Mercedes-Benz Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
1997 SL500
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi group,

Last weekend I went to take a look at this car:

Cars For Sale: Car Details - AutoTrader.com

I must say, pictures just don't do it justice... it's simply stunning in person. Equally as stunning is the asking price. KBB says this car is only worth $8-9k. But with these cars now approaching classic status, I'm wondering if those rules are starting not to apply? The car has a brand new $4k paintjob, new tan custom top, has had $3k spent replacing the entire top system, the interior looks to be 100% new, a couple thousand probably spent on new wheels and tires, etc. In other words, some serious money has been put into this car to bring it up to date. I could probably buy a MUCH cheaper car, but could easily dump just as much money into it getting it up to par (I know ALL about this... I've owned 2 DeLoreans). Everything works on this car, looks and operates as it should. The dealer selling it did all the work himself, and he's a true 129 enthusiast. I can't help it too... this car just pulls at my heart strings. It's the exact color and option combo I've always wanted. And no, I've got no interest in a 500SL.

So given all the factors, what's a fair price for this car? After owning two DeLoreans, I've learned buying an initially pricier, but much nicer, well-maintained car pays off so much more in the long run vs buying a fixer. Those give you headaches and slowly bleed you dry and drive you insane. Also, how do I check if the car has had the head gasket replaced? Should it have blown by now at 91k miles? Thanks in advance for the help, and I apologize for the newbie questions :eek: .
 

·
Registered
E350 Sport
Joined
·
1,459 Posts
"Largest Non Franchise Mercedes Dealerships in the Carolinas".

it's nice but hi-priced in my opinion.

even though you're not interested in the v8, you're talking the same money,or less for a '97-98 sl500.

before buying, pay for a ppi at a shop tha deals with mb's and is familiar with the vehicle.
it was supposedly locally owned, get the po's name and ask a few questions.

i'm not sure if the hg was an issue like the sl320 but reciepts would confirm it, it was ever done.
 

·
Administrator
1998 Pano SL500; 1993 SL500; 2005 ML270cdi
Joined
·
9,093 Posts
I'm sure you can find a much later, better spec. model for the same price.
 

·
Registered
1997 SL500
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, there is a '97 SL500 in town, same color, same price, equivalent condition, with 66k miles which is very appealing.

Cars For Sale: Car Details - AutoTrader.com

But I can't help it, I think the design on the '90-'95 SL's is so much purer and cleaner. I think the bumpers on the newer cars just look clunky, and I don't like the seat design as much either. Plus, paying $4.25 for gas here in Charlotte last summer is still fresh in my mind, and I'm betting insurance on an older 6 cylinder SL would be much cheaper than a newer 8 cylinder. I'm still kinda weighing my pros and cons at this point, and am not ready to break out the checkbook for any car just yet.
 

·
Registered
MB SL600, MB 380SE, Suzuki Grand Vitara, 38' Chris-Craft, Volvo V70XC, and my own two feet...
Joined
·
4,131 Posts
I also like the exterior styling on the 1st-Gen cars.

That price is high. While I do agree that when a car gets to be 20 years old, the KBB and other guides become useless, and while a super nice one can be worth multiples of it's supposed book value, this economy still SUCKS and the owner probably knows he will have to negotiate. So if you like the car, then make him an offer of $10k or whatever, and see what happens. Worst he can say is "no"...

And FWIW, you can easily spend the $6k price premium attached to this car on repairs for the soft top system, soft top fabric replacement, paintwork, etc. Basically, you're paying for all that upfront, since he already did those things. The soft top fabric replacement is $1k-$1.5k if you get it done by a shop, and the hydraulic cylinders he's already replaced would be another $1300 job. The car's got a new set of Continentals on it, that's another $1k. Added together, that's almost $4k right there, and that doesn't include the new wheels (which I don't really like anyway), and the new paint job (which looks fantastic in the pics).

Then factor in all the other miscellaneous stuff you'll have to fix if you really do go out and buy a $8k SL, and you're coming out way ahead paying a little more for this one. $10k-$12k is probably tops though, $16k is waaaaaay outta line.
 

·
Outstanding Contributor
2005 SL600, 2003 SL55, 1990 300SL
Joined
·
4,578 Posts
In a few weeks I expect to sell a '91 300SL to someone from North Carolina for $5500. The car has 130K miles, could use some paint, and the seats look a bit rough but the top will be brand-new, and everthing works. If my car is priced correctly, then I would think this red car should be worth about $9K.

In regard to the head gasket, someone on Mercedesshop long ago speculated that it affects a third of the cars. I've owned serveral 300s in the past 8 years and have not had this problem at all. Maybe it is as you suggested -- if the gasket were going to be a problem with a specific car it would have given trouble by now. At any rate, I would not let the head gasket factor into my decision of which 300 to buy.

If you are looking at a 320 be aware that the engine wiring harnesses are prone to failure in '94 and '95 models. The insulation falls off of the individual wires within the harnesses. Cost to repair is $1000 give or take a few hundred.

I am sending you a PM...
 

·
Registered
1997 SL500
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I definitely agree that $16.9k is just crazy for the car, and that amount is certainly out of my budget anyway. I only saw the car because I was going to look at '90 300SL with 56k miles he had for $12k (it sold the previous day), and he said he couldn't let this one go that cheap because of what he had in it. I suspect if he keeps it a bit longer, he'll soften up on the price. But I don't know... he has a whole warehouse full of 129s... he just loves them, and I'm sure he wouldn't mind holding onto this one until it finds the right buyer. In any event, I'm in no rush to buy... I guess I'll see what happens! Thanks guys!
 

·
Greek God of the R129
SL500-500SEL-190E
Joined
·
8,603 Posts
$16K.Don't get crazy, there is more fish in the water.
But do get a 500 you will regret it later.
Regards.
aam.

PS.
I don't like it in red, but that is me.
 

·
Registered
2003 E500 Sport, 1995 SL320
Joined
·
129 Posts
damn, for $16,900 i'll sell you my '95 320 with just as many miles and pay to have it painted by the local benz dealer too. at that price, i'll even throw in free shipping and all the free floor mats in world :)
 

·
Registered
1997 SL500
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There are several reasons why I'm not interested in a 500, or a later model car. The very early 90s are becoming more of a classic... they're almost 20 years old, and have a more of a classic look about them than the later cars. They're very clean and uncluttered. The later cars they just tried to throw too many gizmos and flashy things on an aging body. To me, the later 90s/early 2000s 129s are just used cars to me at this point. I have a brand new car for my daily driver... I want more of a classic automobile.

Also, since I'd be doing most of my own work, the access under the hood of the inline sixes is WAY better than the v8s. I've owned two DeLoreans, and those crazy things had HORRIBLE access issues. Plus there are WAY fewer electronic gizmos on the early cars to worry about going out.

Regarding horsepower, the 300SLs still have 50hp more than my new Subaru, and 100hp more than my DeLoreans had... and the DeLoreans were still fun to drive (having manual transmissions helped immensely). Road burning just isn't something that's important to me. I just want a stylish, classic automobile to cruise around in that gets decent gas mileage. Thanks everyone for y'all's opinions :).
 

·
Premium Member
95 SL500, K&N, NEOKEN Ported TB, Custom Intake, RENNtech Sport Exhaust, AMG I Monoblocks
Joined
·
10,980 Posts
Hello to another fellow North Carolinian, and welcome aboard!

In the price range of $16,900, there are many other fantastic options that must be considered!
Please take a look at some of these listings of other 300SLs, SL320s, plus SL500s (just for comparison) advertised on the Autotrader within 300 miles of the Charlotte area and tell me what you think. :)

Sorry, I must agree with others that $16,900 is way too high for a 91 300SL. Lets remember that a new paint job does not increase the value of a $9,000 unit to nearly double that price!!!

Find Your Car: Listings Near Charlotte, NC - AutoTrader.com

Best Regards. :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
1997 SL500
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the links Ken :). I've been browsing a 500 mile radius on auto trader and cars.com for a little while now. Believe me, I wouldn't pay anywhere near $16k for that '91, and I'm just beginning my search. It may be a year before I find just the perfect car to buy... I'm very thorough. Plus the car is going to be a secondary playtoy, not my every day driver. I just really like the red/tan combo of that '91, and the '97 here in Charlotte. We'll see where I end up. I still need to actually DRIVE a 129 :D.
 

·
Premium Member
95 SL500, K&N, NEOKEN Ported TB, Custom Intake, RENNtech Sport Exhaust, AMG I Monoblocks
Joined
·
10,980 Posts
I still need to actually DRIVE a 129 :D.
Hi Louie,

I usually don't mind allowing fellow enthusiasts to test drive my 500 if they desire. :)

Let me know in advance if you are ever in the Raleigh/Durham area. :D
I seldom end up in Charlotte, however I do drive my R129 through the Greensboro/Winston-Salem area occasionally. :cool:

Best Regards. :thumbsup:

PS: Since you are in no real rush to make your purchase, in the meantime, I would highly recommend that you read the topics in the R129 forum's Blue Stickies to familierize yourself with most commonly asked qusetions and answers. I am certain that the infos contained therin will greatly assist with your final purchase decision. Good luck and keep us posted!
 

·
Registered
1997 SL500
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Neoken! I have actually been wanting to hit the museums and stuff in Raleigh again sometime... I might just have to take you up on your offer! Your car is my fav vintage too (93-95). I think I love those so much because of being a teen when Another Stakeout came out :) .

I will definitely check up on the blue stickies. I've been lurking on the board for some time trying to educate myself on the cars. I've been reading about the disintegrating wiring harness, the head gasket issues with the six cylinders, etc. Having owned DeLoreans in the past has certainly taught me how to be patient and do my homework, look for a car with documented receipts/service history, and wait for just the right car. I need to get all my ducks in a row regarding $$ too (wait for my income tax return, keep putting money aside, etc), so I'm certainly not going to run out and buy the first car I stumble across. Thanks again for the offer and pointers! -Louie
 

·
Premium Member
95 SL500, K&N, NEOKEN Ported TB, Custom Intake, RENNtech Sport Exhaust, AMG I Monoblocks
Joined
·
10,980 Posts

·
Registered
1991 Mercedes 500SL, 2001 Jaguar XJR
Joined
·
346 Posts
I have to agree that the price is way too high. Keep in mind that the car market is really low right now, and KBB values may in fact be high. Also note, that what he has "in it" does not mean that it is worth that much more. If it is really cherry I might say around $9k at the moment. I understand your thoughts about wanting a 300 over a 500, but keep a few things in mind:
1. The 300 is way underpowered in my opinion. I test drove a few when I was looking for my car, and I was scared getting onto the freeway from on ramps.
2. For what ever reason the mileage is pretty close for the 500 and the 300.
3. Insurance may be pretty similar (not cheap) because the body parts are not cheap, and these cars are not cheap to fix after a collision regardless of engine.

Go out and drive a few, and keep in mind there will always be others, even in the color choice that you want..
 

·
Registered
E350 Sport
Joined
·
1,459 Posts
so why are you selling it?
 

·
Registered
E350 Sport
Joined
·
1,459 Posts
where are you, i'm moving back to phx in june and may be interested.

do you have the hardtop?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts

·
Registered
E350 Sport
Joined
·
1,459 Posts
we made that trip in '82 from the boston/nh area to phx and i wouldn't do it again.

on the trip i got my last ticket, b/s speeding ,from an ohio state trooper.
i was dead on the speed limit and my wife was right behind me but the jerk tagged me for 10 over and i had to post bond, with him, or face the magistrate, i chose to pay and be on my way.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top