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'87 560SEC, '85 500SEC; '85 500SEL parts car, '84 300SD parts car, Euro '85 500SEC parts car
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I need your help guys - it's time for me to 'pick children', so to speak...

I have two 126 SEC's. A blue 1987 560 and a black 1985 500.

I spent 8 months of weekends sanding and blocking and resanding the 560 until it was (I thought) absolutely laser-beam straight. I then had it professionally painted...and it came back fairly straight, but with thick paint and with hair (!) and runs in the paint. It also didn't come back in the right color.

I got so disgusted with my 560 after spending months and months of labor and thousands of dollars trying to 'do it right' that I finally just gave up and bought a really nice black/black '85 500 SEC.

I now learned the 'really nice' 500 SEC has a prior salvage title that was 'washed'. Turns out the car was stolen, recovered and rebuilt in 1989. Somehow, the title I got with it is clear. Carfax shows no salvage history. Autocheck does show a salvage history. Go figure.

So my question to you is: which car do I keep? I've decided to keep the less desirable of the two. Seems like a toss-up, though...

Will a sloppily (if very expensively) repainted 560 SEC with 200K miles and thousands and thousands of dollars worth of repairs be easier to sell or a very nice, low-mileage 500 SEC with a salvage history no records?

Any suggestions?

Brian
 

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Banned
99 Merc S420 (80k Mi) 07 Lexus LS460 (21k Miles)
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4,583 Posts
Get rid of both and get a nice low mileage clean titled late model 560SEC.
 

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Premium Member
1990 SEC
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4,082 Posts
Sorry to hear about your misfortune. :(

Both cars are going to be difficult to sell.

With the high mileage and weak appearance of the 560 and the salvage title to the 500, any buyer will have to get over their initial reaction, i.e. to walk away, and focus on what is really important; the condition of the car.

The only way you can get someone to overcome their urge to run away and find a better car is by offering them a bargain. Which means you are unlikely to get much money for either car.

On balance, I would think the 500 will be easier to sell due to the desirable colors and that, despite the salvage title, it looks better.

You may want to consider whether you can make more money by parting out either of the vehicles.
 

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83 500SEC, 84 300TD, 86 190E 5.0 M113, 87 300D, 01 CLK55, 02 C32, 02 C320T, 03 C320T4, 03 E55
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2,600 Posts
You've also got to conside which car would make you happy. If it we're me, Id go with the 500, if everything else is ok with it and it's just the salvage "title" thats the problem, I could live with that.
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
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39,397 Posts
You've also got to conside which car would make you happy. If it we're me, Id go with the 500, if everything else is ok with it and it's just the salvage "title" thats the problem, I could live with that.
IMO, If the 500SEC has a clean title in spite of it's history, the question is whether it was put back together in a competent and professional way? Another matter would be if a future buyer would do an in depth search
You talk about all the time you spent in fixing up the 560SEC, but don't mention the interior, or other work on the car? The only way the car could have come back with as bad a paint job as you complain about, is if you either tried to get it on the cheap, and / or didn't take enough time to pick competent people to do the job.
Sorry about your mis fortune man, I am not trying to hurt your feelings here.
Is there no way to salvage the 560? I would redo the work,find someone qualified, re sand and block the car, and do all the dismantling / and as much preparation work as I could do myself, before finding someone qualified, and getting another paint job.
Pictures would really help.
Cheers
 

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'87 560SEC, '85 500SEC; '85 500SEL parts car, '84 300SD parts car, Euro '85 500SEC parts car
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thank you.

I'll add pictures when I'm done reassembling the 560.

In the case of the black 500, it's so nice that probably no one would look hard enough to uncover the salvage history. However, knowing about it and not disclosing it, to my mind, would not only be unethical, it would be fraud.

The blue 560 SEC was prepared for paint to a very high standard. It was fully disassembled (lights, grille, glass, bumpers, all exterior trim, etc). It was also painted in top-grade Glasurit 2-stage urethane (the paint alone was $800). The painter works at a professional shop but has a 'hobby shop' at home. I've known him for years and seen him do some phenomenal work. And it was by no means inexpensive.

From 5 feet away or to the untrained eye, the car looks perfect. There are no masking lines and it's very straight-sided. When I post pictures, it will appear perfect. However, if you get up close and inspect it, you can find MANY faults, primarily on the passenger's side. These are paint faults - runs, hair and dirt, metallic fade, not enough paint in places and too much in others. I asked him why this is and he told me "I was tired when I got to the passenger's side." Good news is, he's agreed to fix the problems. Bad news? Not sure I want him touching it again.

Other work to the 560? Rebuilt transmission, rebuilt front suspension, new brakes all around, new timing chains, rebuilt driveshaft, all new weatherseals (these were expensive!), new upper front bumper chrome and the list goes on and on...

Brian

...I think I'm keeping the black one
 

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500SEC
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You shouldn't have paid him and told him you were tired when it came to getting your wallet out..
 

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Premium Member
1987 560 sec impala metalflake over cream
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1,076 Posts
thats a lot of work! done on the 560. sounds like it may have been in rough shap? the way im looking at it is through a buyers eys. since i just went through a lengthly proces in buying my 560 sec. even a perfect paint job is still a paint job. ( im not interested in buying paint on a car, ill buy it in a can ) if the 500 was checked out & i found anything wrong with it that you didnt tell me about id walk! on bothe cars, but if it met all cryteria & the price was right maby. but no mater how good they are they just dont bring the big bucks, not me saying this its just 2 yrs of observation. looks like your stuck with the 560. dont put it together & get sleepy head to fix it. sell the other & put money into 560 , unless its not worth it? only youd know this.
 

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1982 280 se aut. ecc. - sold
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1,607 Posts
I'd have the guy redo the passengerside and then decide.
If you cannot sell the salvaged one for a decent price I'd keep that one.

gr J
 

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1987 560SEL with over 200K miles and still running like NEW
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33 Posts
take it to Maaco! kidding. I would sell both of them and get a well taken care f 560. One from an original owner of at least not with a salvage title.
 

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'87 560SEC, '85 500SEC; '85 500SEL parts car, '84 300SD parts car, Euro '85 500SEC parts car
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all so much!

I've decided that the salvage history doesn't really bother me and I like SEC's in black better than I like them in blue anyway.

So, I think I'm most likely going to just sell my blue 560 SEC, take the (substantial) loss as a learning experience and drive the wheels off of my black 500 SEC.

The crazy thing is that the blue 560 that I had painted really wasn't that bad when I started out. It was just old and kind of worn out. I sort of felt sorry for it...

Thanks again!!

Brian

PS -

Anyone know where I can get some of those original 1980's 17" 3-piece AMG wheels like the "Hammer"s had? I think that, with black centers and polished outer rims, they would look really nice on my black 500 SEC.
 

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1982 300CD|1998 GMC Sierra 2500 6.5 Turbo Diesel|2008 Chevy Cobalt 2.2L DD
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2,003 Posts
Good decision. With the Savage title, I say keep it. That's how it is. And after working on something that hard only to have it come out poorly I would sell also. I am getting discouraged with My project as well, I know wthere is NO WAY I could ever get the 6K+ out of this thing at this point. And The DOT Hasn't given me my Fuc*ing Plates yet for my 500! Rediculous! It's been MONTHS!
 

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'12 E550 Sport, '01 550 Maranello *RIP*, '97 M3 6-Speed, '95 Dinan M3 Vert, '16 F350 Dually
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775 Posts
I had the same problem sort-of. I couldn't make up my mind on the 86 560 or the 86 500 euro. I just want to sell the 560 and put the money into the 500 now.
 
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