but I'll be honest with ya, I may just sell this car and go back to being a non-Benz guy like I was for a couple years. Not sure I can take it any more. Ha!!
Not all dealers are bad but its tough to find a good one for our cars these days.
I've been a owner of classic MB for a number of years now. I can tell you that because these cars are now a well used car, they will have items that need sorting out. Your comments to give up are not surprising. Many a Benz owner has been there. These cars will require servicing/maintenance from a fastidious owner to truly enjoy their full potential. This is the tough part. The question is...do you skimp on some maintenance now and just enjoy the car
or spendup and have a trailer queen?
A strategy that has worked for me is as follows:
1. Pre purchase self inspection and an inspection by a mechanic that knows the early Benz's well.
2. If you have already bought (which you have) then get a mechanic that knows Benz's well to go over it. From this inspection you will end up with a list.
3. Refer to the factory service history (if the car with any) and also check the factory servicing schedule.
4. If none are available you just have to assume that things may not have been done on time or at all.
5. Develop a plan of servicing and maintenance. Do the easy bits first. Obviously attend to items that could cost more down the line if not attended to. Examples are your SLS. This system in the car provides enjoyment if working well. Another example is tyres. If you are looking for replacement tyres on standard wheels, think about whether you will go to different wheels in the future. It maybe worthwhile getting those wheels now since you may already be purchasing tyres anyway.
6. Stick to the plan but dont be afraid to sway a little bit to allow for slight modifications.
7. For me these cars are long term ownership. But things can happen that may force a sale. This is another reason to keep your classic Benz in tip top shape.
8. If you can, try and do some stuff on the car yourself. These cars are built on very good basic engineering principles. Regular servicing and maintenance is part of the design. The w126 was designed to last a long long time. An example is - you can buy a compact Honda cheap, run it for a few years with little or no maintenance and then offload it. The Honda will never offer the same enjoyment as an early Benz though. How many Japanese cars over 20 years do you see on the roads today? How many over 25-30 years on the roads today? The engineering principles of the German and Japanese were different back in the day.
9. Part of your plan should be to put away something a week for yearly maintenance. I try and put away $USD1.5 - 2k per year. Its a lot but over time this will even out. It will cost more in the first couple of years to get the car to where it should be. They have lasted 20 years and this is why they usually catch out a new early Benz owner.
10. Look at your w126 as an investment that you can enjoy. That 20k you may have in the sharemarket will only cause you stress most of the time. The w126 is an investment you can enjoy every day if desired. The old saying goes, if you want the best you have to pay for it. My belief is that we are very lucky to be still able to enjoy these cars. A brand new luxury Lexus/Merc just cannot offer this much fun.
If the car has a lot of issues, then it may be better to sell it unless you have really deep pockets or dont mind the car not being able to be used for long long periods of time.
Hope this helps. BW is a great resource. Give BW a go before deciding to give up on your w126. Dedicated w126 ownership is truly sublime.