Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello r107 experts,

I've been lurking around here for some time, whilst I have searched for a SL450 on mobile.de. A car to ve driven in the spring/autumn in Denmark.

I love cars, but I am not technically skilled, nor have I bought a vintage car before. But I don't mind paying a mechanic to do some repairs and upgrades each season.

Challenge is, that I wanted a SL450 with manual aircon (not the automatic that "never works") and rear seats, in a REAL non-US version. They are little hard to find, and certainly not in Denmark.

I have been offered this SL450 from 1978/79. It was supposedly deliverered in Germany and later brought to the US and/or Canada (no books...only a title stating the last owner was from Indiana). Ended up back in Germany. Tacho says 62.800 miles, and the seller said it seemed accurate. It was delivered with rear seats, but somehow they disappeared over time.

The German seller seems like a good guy, and said it was in good condition.

The seller will:
- install rear seats and install 3 point seat belts in the back (seller already found some with only the middle missing).
- put new leather on front and rear seats with perforation.
- new armrest in matching color.
- put on FUCHS wheels, blasted and painted.
- fix aircon and make sure it runs on r134
- change speedo/tacho to km.
- change cracked wood trim around gear shift
- welding at spare wheel compartment
- minor work on brakes and axle rubbers.
- full service

The car is geographically quite far away from me, and so I have paid a mechanic to inspect the car. His photos and comments are attached, and another file with exteriour photos of the car at the link below.

https://tinyurl.com/y2szt9ro

I see a lot of rust, bad painting, cracked dashboard, etc. Should I leave it or is it worth the €28.000 I am asked for it?

Thank you!

Rasmus
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
I think you'd be better off looking for something west of the Mississippi river in the United States. Ideally, something in California/Nevada/Arizona.

Don't buy something with suspect structural integrity that you never know when it'll surprise you with rust bubbles under the paint.

Also, if you want a challenge, see copart auctions and abetterbid.com for cars you can buy and get assistance shipping. There are a lot of interesting pieces out there that can make a nice project. And for something like $35 they'll do a video car inspection so you can get a better idea of what you are getting. That saved me from getting a car with pretty serious frame damage.

Or if you want something pristine, go to bringatrailer.com and wait for one to pop up.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,102 Posts
Sounds like a european delivery vehicle. That cute program where you can buy a car, tour stuttgart and the factory, and then drive around Europe for a few months on a grand excursion. It's a cool program.

With what you've written, I would confirm that mileage with a carfax.com report. You will get a good estimate of the car's age.

However, in my not so humble opinion: at 28K EUR I would run so far far away that you would end back up in the same spot. That price is not only a joke given the issues, but the rust will turn your already expensive car into a 40-50K EUR car. Even with all of the "nice" stuff that the previous owner will do. While i'd take the word of a German guy over an American's anyday, I still wouldn't trust all of those promises.

You would be better off taking that cash, flying to the US, find a better example of what you want, ship it back, and still have a few grand left over for purchasing stuff that you want.

OR given your budget for vehicles, have you considered visiting the SL Shop in the UK? They have vehicles that are not only incredibly nice, but they would also be willing to do the stuff you're asking for. I would check there as well.

You may want to reconsider your aversion to the automatic climate control. They're very robust and work quite well even after all of these years. It would open up your options in terms of vehicles considerably.

Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
For 28k Euros you could come to the US (maybe Arizona in the winter?) mad find a 107 to your liking. Plenty of 380’s for instance in great shape that all in can be had for $10-12k pretty regularly w documented mileage in the 70k mile range and no rust. Perhaps a bit more w documented services that are up to date.

Back seat can’t really be used except for a small child but if you like the looks the seats can be found and easily installed.

Price seems high but can’t speak to ease of this transaction
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Although being from Maine,to me the rust is not that bad. But,that being said it is way over priced. That car is definitely under 10Kin the US...
 

·
R/C107 Moderator
Joined
·
31,457 Posts
Why limit yourself to the 450? (It is 450SL not SL450.) Not all European models had the automatic climate control systems. I have seen '86-'89 300SLs with the manual controls.

To me that rust is run don't walk away.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,564 Posts
For 28K Euros, I'd run away unless every last it of rust was fixed and the work guaranteed - and then only if a thorough inspection found no rust remaining at all, ever, period.

You can do a hell of a lot better for that price, even factoring in what it will cost you to import it from the uS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
I would also point out that replacing the automatic temp controls is an easy job and there are remanufactured units readily available. Screwdriver and maybe 10 minutes and you can get a new temp control unit in a 380sl.

Unless the car is a daily driver the ac is unlikely to get much use. I use my heat a lot more than my ac. Heat extends the season. Ac only gets used when it is crazy hot and I’m in a suit or it’s rainy and hot.

I’d focus on condition over the temp control, but in the end the car needs to make you happy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thank you!

Thanks to all of you for replying.:|

I am sorry for misspelling the model number - I realise that must be a death sin in here! :wink

Anway, I will run away from it.

The European market seems flooded with US versions, so I wouldn't have to actually import one of these myself.
But I am just not keen on the powered down US-versions; catalysator, battery in the trunk, big bumpers, "double" headlights (exterior can of course be changed, but at a pretty high price).
So US version is not really an option for me. Epecially not the 380!

Yes, I could poke the rust, and perhaps its superficial. But even then it needs to be removed.

Rear seats and aircon. Yes, I know, for many not a "must-have". But it is for me; 2 kids and most likely quite a lot of driving in the summer time with the soft top on.

My search restarts...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,727 Posts
These cars require a lot of owner involvement and unless you are prepared to make it your hobby that will never recover expenses in fiat currency or gold, perhaps it is better to look at later cars (e.g. R129). Later model will be more modern so that every Billy Bob can work on it and there are better chances of finding one with a bit less rust-rot.

But that does not say that one can not find a good 107 with little or no rust and with little or nothing to repair.
At any time there are plenty of good rust free cars at low price, finding one and having the money right there and then is much harder. Bad and expensive cars are much easier to find. ;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,291 Posts
I just did a quick internet search on importing an old car into the EU. It looks a bit complicated but not really expensive.
For well under 28k Euro (=31k USD) you should be able to find a nice rust-free example, equipped as you like, in the USA where most of these cars were sold. Keep your eye on eBay.com and be patient.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,102 Posts
Thanks to all of you for replying.:|

I am sorry for misspelling the model number - I realise that must be a death sin in here! :wink

Anway, I will run away from it.

The European market seems flooded with US versions, so I wouldn't have to actually import one of these myself.
But I am just not keen on the powered down US-versions; catalysator, battery in the trunk, big bumpers, "double" headlights (exterior can of course be changed, but at a pretty high price).
So US version is not really an option for me. Epecially not the 380!

Yes, I could poke the rust, and perhaps its superficial. But even then it needs to be removed.

Rear seats and aircon. Yes, I know, for many not a "must-have". But it is for me; 2 kids and most likely quite a lot of driving in the summer time with the soft top on.

My search restarts...
As an owner of a 380SL, I find your lack of faith ... disturbing /darth vader voice.

I know you have your heart set, but a little mechanical education on these beasts is a must since you have a lot of leeway to make your "toy" purchase go farther. :wink I mean, we just saved you from sinking money into a black hole so let's expand your knowledge.

I wouldn't consider the US cars "bug bears" as a lot of that can be modified. If you purchase a US car, you can have any exhaust shop remove the catalyst and straight pipe the exhaust since your car will no longer be subject to emissions regulations which removes that annoyance from the equation. This won't impact performance and can be done for pretty cheap.

The US 380SL, while a dog HP wise, will get you 20 US mpg (or ~11.7 L/100km) on the highway when the engine is properly tuned running 87 RON as in the cheap fuel at the pump. Any other vehicle and you'll have to put in premium for the added expense. Yes the car is a cruiser and not a @roncallo speed demon, but it gets the job done.

Frankly, the fuel ECU systems on these cars are stupid easy to troubleshoot and with an o2 sensor, allow you the benefit of more easily tuning the engine to get peak performance. A euro car like a pre-1986 500/380SL that hasn't been federalized will require a CO2 sniffer on the tailpipe to properly tune the engine. My knowledge of pre Kjet cars is limited and sadly I don't know what the differences of the earlier DJet r107s were.

Yes, you can fiddle with the air metering screw to get it "close" but without a tool to measure output you're just guessing and it will never be perfect the way Hans in Stuttgart designed it.

This is assuming someone has touched the metering screw which at this point in time is almost a certainty.

If you go post 1986, you will have the KE-Jet system to deal with which does have fuel trim and electrical stuff that makes everything I just said easier. I'm not sure if they have a catalytic converter on the european models, but you could also in theory remove them. The UK SL Shop has the european headers and exhaust systems to retrofit all of this. They do have "europeanized" 560SLs which are faster than what you guys got in Europe.

If you go earlier (1976?), you have the Djet injection system to worry about. I am speaking blasphemy here, but that injection system looks complicated, crotchety, and scares the living crap out of me. It's an early style fuel rail system designed with electrical components and ECUs from the 60s and 70s. It's amazing what some of the guys here can do, but man they look like a nightmare to get right. Not to mention, certain parts for it look to be impossible to find.

Your aversion to having a battery in the trunk is an odd one. I consider that a big feature. Batteries in the engine bay are exposed to massive heating and cooling shocks which drastically reduce the life of the them. Having the battery in the trunk makes them last way way longer. A lot of modern cars (my old Prius especially), moved the battery into the trunk for that reason.

As for the US bumpers, US lights, and rear seats. I feel you on that. However, remember that all of those are highly desirable parts and will add to the markup value of the car. You'd make your cash go farther by buying a good US example and replacing those later. The rear seat and seatbelts can be had for around $1000.

You'll also get better cooling capacity with R12 than with r134a. Granted European summers aren't that hot, so this is a bit of a wash.

Look mate, we're trying not to discourage you but rather give you the entire "lay of the land" as we say in America or the full disclosure. Djenka018 really hit it hard on the head. The last model year of these cars are quickly approaching the 30 year old mark and some even are turning 48!

These cars will require mechanical attention and can be very needy. They say the only people that can afford these cars are mechanics and the rich. There is some truth to that. If becoming a hobbyist mechanic isn't in your plan, then expect to pay a mechanic to be doing a lot of preventative work to keep the car going and passable for country's inspection program. I expect shop rates in your part of Europe to be pretty expensive.

Now that we've set your expectations, I would encourage you to visit the SL Shop in the UK as well as take a look at their website. They have a showroom and can give you an honest appraisal of their vehicles If they can get their cars to pass the UK's MOT, then in my not so humble opinion they will be able to fit the bill of what you are looking for.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
I just did a quick internet search on importing an old car into the EU. It looks a bit complicated but not really expensive.
For well under 28k Euro (=31k USD) you should be able to find a nice rust-free example, equipped as you like, in the USA where most of these cars were sold. Keep your eye on eBay.com and be patient.
A place in my neighborhood has a mint one for just over $21.000. They also offer shipping and have been around for over 30 years. https://www.chequeredflag.com/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Thanks to all of you for replying.:|

I am sorry for misspelling the model number - I realise that must be a death sin in here! :wink

Anway, I will run away from it.

The European market seems flooded with US versions, so I wouldn't have to actually import one of these myself.
But I am just not keen on the powered down US-versions; catalysator, battery in the trunk, big bumpers, "double" headlights (exterior can of course be changed, but at a pretty high price).
So US version is not really an option for me. Epecially not the 380!

Yes, I could poke the rust, and perhaps its superficial. But even then it needs to be removed.

Rear seats and aircon. Yes, I know, for many not a "must-have". But it is for me; 2 kids and most likely quite a lot of driving in the summer time with the soft top on.

My search restarts...
If you import one yourself, you could save a lot of money. I have cousins in Norway, that are into American Muscle Cars. I often buy cars for them and ship to them. They then sell them there. I also buy cars and ship to them to sell for me. I more than double my money. If you bought a car here, you could get it cheaper. Converting the headlights and bumpers could still be cheaper if you bought a car here. . Why do you not want the battery in the trunk? You never deal with it and it should help the balance of the car. If Denmark is like Norway, you will never notice the lack of power.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Buying an remote R107 as club member

The seller looks very thorough and open (presumably honest), but as others mentioned, the price is very high.
Hi Rasmus,
I would recommend you to do some more research and at some point to become member of the german R/C107 club! You can rely on strong support anywhere in Germany then, there are technically skilled members and they will help you instantly. There is one of the main expert coming from Denmark for all of us. I would never buy a car, spend a fortune or restore one without the support of experienced other owners. There are also fair estimates on the value of cars and the trends in prices.
I spend a 5digit number on restoring a coupe which didn`t have to have a lot, bur just some rust...
The better car is the better buy!
It is not guaranteed that all club members sell cars cheaper or better cars ... but there are fair deals and well preserved cars for value to have.
Take your time and choose the best! Yours S
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Be VERY careful with cars of this vintage in the UK. Generally there is so much underbody corrosion (from salted roads) the only thing holding them together is the paint .. :-( .. ! This is not conjecture, it comes from bitter personal experience.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
About this Discussion
22 Replies
18 Participants
chiman
Mercedes-Benz Forum
BenzWorld.org forum is one of the largest Mercedes-Benz owner websites offering the most comprehensive collection of Mercedes-Benz information anywhere in the world. The site includes MB Forums, News, Galleries, Publications, Classifieds, Events and much more!
Full Forum Listing
Top