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None yet, Looking for an SL500 somewhere between 94 and 05 with less than 100K on the clock
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
Did a search on MB SL500 and found your site.
I’m looking into getting a non-AMG SL500 between 94 and 05 with 100K or less on the clock. Have been looking around on the WEB and have questions, but no answers or sources for answers.
Different posts show the same features as standard and as added options. Can anyone tell me or give me a place to look to see what is standard and what is on upgrade for each model year so I have some way of making a valid price evaluation?
Thoughts on the 94-02 vs. 03-05?
Things to look and listen for owners know that the rest of us don’t.
Noticed the SL320 appears to hold value better than a 500. Thoughts on the 320 vs. the 500?
Thanks in advance.
 

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2003 SL500 Launch Ed.
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22 Posts
AT the beginning of the R129 section of the forum, there's a sticky that reads
"Please read these useful archived topics........."
Then go to "Purchase tips and advice" under archived topics.
Check out everything that Brian Clifton has there - a great start on educating yourself on the R129 cars. ALso......check the Star Magazine on the MBCA.org website - there's an article on what to look for and a pretty good history of option availability, etc.
Good Luck - You'll love the car once it's right or getting it there.
Regards
 

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1998 SL500, 2004 SLK32 AMG
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17 Posts
Good for you for finding this site - it really is a wealth of information. Personally, I bought my first MB last year and it is a 1998 SL500. It has been a bit of a project car but it's a hobby I enjoy. I can tell you a couple things to look for and I'm sure others on here can guide you, too.
1) make sure you see the hard top removed and the soft top work. I found the rear plastic windshield torn in mine, it folds into the tonneau right across the rear windshield and over time is bound to give. The top works off a hydraulic pump under the spare in the trunk. There is a set of cylinders (7 I believe it was) and the seals deteriate in them, cost around $500 to rebuild if you remove them and send them off.
2) check for suspension leaks. Some models have a hydraulic suspension (not my preference). The pump is a tandem pump that is both power steering and suspension, high dollar.
3) previous owner didn't keep wiper blade changed on mine and the windshield was so scratched and distorted that I had to replace it.
That was the "biggies" for me. This car is my daily driver and it is a real joy. I have about a 45 mile commute and the car makes it a pleasure. I'm still amazed at the responsiveness and power. Awesome! I've since bought an SLK32 AMG project and face the grueling decision of which one to keep! Anyhow, hope this helps.
 

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None yet, Looking for an SL500 somewhere between 94 and 05 with less than 100K on the clock
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
SL500 RFI update

Hi again,

Did some more research and think 94-2000 is more in my $ comfort zone. Found a 2000 500 at a MB dealer and a 97 320 that are in my comfort zone and close enough to me to check out.

Any thoughts on dealer vs. owner buy?

I visited the "must read" before posting, but didn't see everything there it felt I needed. Thanks for the web link, I'll check it out.

A big thanks on the heads-up on removing the hard top and checking the rag top for condition and operation. I'll be sure and do that. I guess I should aslo check the car for anu scratches from the hard top. If the seller won't pull the top off, that may be a walk-away! And the suspension tip too!

Look forward to more input/advice from members. Again, thanks in advance.
 

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2003 SL500 Launch Ed.
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22 Posts
Dealer vs. Private Party

OF48--

IMHO, I'd always go for the MB dealer vs. private party.
I realize (hope ??) most people are honest but when it comes to used cars ......
I've always felt, perhaps naively, that an MB dealer has a whole lot more to lose selling a $20-30k used car than any private individual. When the average price of a new MB approaches or exceeds $50k (with many, many of them over $100K) why would any dealer risk their reputation by knowingly selling a car that has serious issues. The price of honesty, unfortunately, will cost you some as you, no doubt, will pay more for the exact same vehicle at a dealer than yon'd pay a private person. I bought my 2002 SL at a dealer about a year ago and I know I paid probably $2-3k more than I would have paid a private person......no regrets here. And...no surprises.
Best of luck with whatever you decide.
Regards
Les
 

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2005 CLK500 black,2012 E350
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391 Posts
I'd be careful of a southern ie Florida car- sun is intense-
just bought one- leather in bad condition- lots of sun damage-

other damage in past from accidents not on the history of companies you pay for history- even when paid for by insurance companies.

get the frame checked and the mechanicals- look closely at wear in seats,etc great differences for same model year.
 

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94 SL600, 89 Jag XJS conv, 85 Daimler Princess, 97 993 63 Avanti 16 Lincoln MKZ hybrid 16 Silverado
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720 Posts
I purchase a model that meets my ego. I buy toys that I want, not get stuck with! I buy the history, ownership legacy. I enjoy the private offers, but I don't fall in love casually! Widows have been a good source, and buying a barn full of "his stuff" has been very good!:0
When I buy as an investment I look at market trends. The Cord, Dussenburg, Packard et al are investments with a near horizon. I buy certified.
The sports car trend is less clear.
Six-12 cylinders, all the MB's will be money pits. The R129 is less complicated compared to the R230's An R 107 may turn to the positive price curve sooner ( 190SL and 230SL has been a positive return )
Good luck and enjoy the ride.
 

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None yet, Looking for an SL500 somewhere between 94 and 05 with less than 100K on the clock
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Still looking so keep the info comming

Thanks to all,

Keep the help and advice coming. There is no better source of information about something than someone who owns one.

Did a little more research and have narrowed the search range to a 96 -98 SL500 although I wouldn’t eliminate a 96 or 97 320 if I see one in good condition.

Any thought on a 320 vs. 500 re: maintenance/fun factor from an owner’s viewpoint would be welcome.

Have noticed some dealers and private sellers using Carfax. Could be a useful tool for the buyer I guess. Anyone have experience with it or thoughts about it?

Again Thanks in advance.
 

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Departed 1998 SL500 (and the Pano is in Bogota)
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11,108 Posts
Carfax only reports what is in public record. So if someone wreck his car but just fix it without claiming Insurance, then it wouldn't show up in Carfax.
 
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