Will buy a car this fall...suggestions?

justin syder

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okay so should I stick with 1990-1993 SLs? I have a carfax vin checking account for a month and have checked a few SLs. Most looked good with the report.

As far as 400Es in my area go they are absolutely unavailable. I might consider a 300E, that is in the back of my mind but wouldn't mind going for a good R129 SL.

and the 15,000 price is more like 12-15,000. I would try to negotiate it to 12,000 or lower. My absolute max is 15,000 but if I find a nice one at 15,000 and it can be negotiated to 12,000 then that would be the ideal situation.
 
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Adunaphel

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Well, let's put it this way, the R129 was a technological tour-de-force from Mercedes-Benz, they wanted to show the world that they were still the number one when it came to inventing new technologies. And as is often the case with new technologies, the first implementation is rarely the best one. As far as the newer models go, Mercedes was able to iron out a lot of the problems there were with the earlier ones, so if you really want a R129, go with the newer ones indeed.
 

Austere

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okay so should I stick with 1990-1993 SLs?
That would still be an R129. They made them right up to 2001 so I'd consider a 1993 car to be pretty early.
It's not that they're bad cars - It's just that they were, as Adu says, very advanced in their day. The whole car is run by the inboard computer and all that technology was made in an infuriatingly complicated way. Things will go wrong with the car more frequently than with an E-Class for example and when they do go wrong it will cost an obscene amount of money to fix.

When the cars were new they often worked properly and they were typically owned by very wealthy people so fixing the occasional problems was easy. Now the cars are ten or fifteen years old so they're much more problematic and for a second hand buyer such as yourself the repair costs will probably seem outrageous.


I would try to negotiate it to 12,000 or lower. My absolute max is 15,000 but if I find a nice one at 15,000 and it can be negotiated to 12,000 then that would be the ideal situation.
If you find a good one check its history as thoroughly as is humanly possible. Check to see that it has a full service history from a certified Mercedes-Benz mechanic - I can't stress that enough - No matter how good a mechanic is he can't service one of these cars if he hasn't been properly trained to do so. I've met a lot of Mercedes-Benz "specialists" who are completely self taught! They wouldn't know a graph-enigmatic phlange-extractor from a hole in the ground! Try to contact the mechanic that worked on it last to see if he has any information that might help.
 

justin syder

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Well I will look at a 92 500SL tomorrow.

It is $13k and has 45k miles on it.

I understand what you guys are saying but I cant find a SL (R129) in my budget that is 1998 or newer.

I also figured that a SL in the 1990-93 range were those SLs that were engineered to perfection by Benz at that time and would have fewer maitinence probs.

Let me know if I should go with it or seriously consider another model or year.
 

Austere

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Let me know if I should go with it or seriously consider another model or year.
It depends on how much you know about them and how committed you are owning one. Some of the things I mentioned that you need to look out for will need to be maintained by you if you buy one. To keep it in tip top shape you'll need to maintain a strict service schedule, only take it to a Benz dealership to get it worked on, have any and all problems fixed straight away with genuine parts and only give it the finest of everything. If you aren't prepared to do all that then the car will deteriorate.

I don't want it to sound all doom and gloom because a lot of people who own these cars swear by them. Lots and lots of people who bought these cars had very few problems with them and a lot of the problematic cars only had to be fixed once. But it's still a bit of a gamble buying a car like this especially when the car is now fifteen years old. This isn't really a car to take on lightly but if you understand the risks and you're still committed to buying one then that's fine but do proceed with caution.

But my advice would be to keep looking out for that 190e you originally wanted. It was one of the very last simple cars Mercedes-Benz ever made. It's utterly reliable, dependable and virtually bulletproof.
 

justin syder

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I would definitely take it to the Manhattan dealership to get it serviced, I would have no problem with that but now I think about storing the hardtop and I have no place for it.

It seems as if I should really go for the 190 or 300Es instead and I just might do that.

I have 4 cars that I called for and would look at tomorrow, 2 SLs and 2 190Es.

Deep down in me I think my conscious is telling me to go with the 190 or 300E. It would be nice to have that SL though and that is what I'm fighting against.

I will let you know my final decision tomorrow evening, after I finally make a purchase. Need to sleep on which one I will buy.
 

justin syder

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GOING RIGHT NOW TO PICK UP MY 1992 500SL!!

Insurance price is cheap, the sticker price is affordable and I found a place to store the hardtop!!

I will be driving my first car today, fuck yeah!
 

Spectre

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If you'd bothered to read the thread, I didn't advocate the purchase of a Jaguar. I had, however, advocated the purchase of an E-class.

The R129 SL is known to have a *lot* of problems, especially as it gets older. And they're not at all cheap to fix, as few of their parts were shared with other Mercedes.

Perhaps you should read the entire thread before you spout off, Scion boy. M'kay?
 

cvrefugee

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Perhaps you should read the entire thread before you spout off, Scion boy. M'kay?
I said to avoid any Mercedes, on the first page of this thread <_< In fact, I don't see the point in trying to pinpoint a specific model/year/engine when it's obvious the car has known defects or weaknesses. Like I said, any Mercedes is going to be a money pit.
 
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Spectre

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The guy said he was going to buy a Mercedes, period - so that objection is right out. He wants a Mercedes, the least that could be done is to give him advice on what model to get.

Also, the guys driving the diesel W123s and any W201 (like the one parked outside right now) would have a laugh at you describing their cars as "money pits".
 

M3lover

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A early congrats on your Benz before we see it in the "your car" thread or what ever it's called. It's cool you let desire win over reason and got the car you wanted. There's a bigger risk of getting your fingers burned but everytime you walk to your car, you won't have to think "That could have been an SL"
 

justin syder

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Well as the surrender monkeys across the pond would say, "Ce La vie".

Gentlemen it was not to be. I wanted it sooooo badly but the bastard selling it wouldn't budge from $13600. That was without sales tax. (8.25%) My budget was up to $12,500 at most, not a penny more.

There was a C43 1999 at 81k miles which was nice and the torque was great. Hammer down and it pushed me back in my seat. But that was at 12,500 plus sales tax. Again he wouldn't budge much in price and my first choice was the SL anyway so I left.

The SL drove nicely and was a beauty with just 45k miles. Right now I'm left with my dick in my hand. I definitely appreciate the advice and would post pics here before I post the my car thread.

Back to square one.

I'll post later tonight what I'm currently looking at to possibly buy tomorrow.
 

andyhui01

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Justin... just 1 more thing, if you buy an SL500, have you taken fuel consumption into your budget? I don't know if it is the same in the states but in Malaysia, I know that Sl500 sells for less than the 320 mainly because no one wnats to pay for fuel... my uncle bought a SL500 (94) i believe and it was great, but when it came to being sold... it was worth about 3/4 the price of the 320's.

I would suggest you buy a smaller cc SL, V8's aren't cheap to fix as well.
 

justin syder

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Whoa I haven't factored that in my budget. Thanks andy, somehow I overlooked that point. I could afford a gas guzzler if I bought a car under 10,000 but more than that would really pinch my wallet so I guess I have to let go of the 500s.

I will look for a 300/320SL but they are slim pickings. I had a whole bunch of cars to choose from before I left for vacation, even two 400Es but now I'm scrabbling to find something good and that hasn't been sold by the time I call.

Here are the two cars I looked at and drove today,

1999 Mercedes-Benz C43 Sedan $12,999 -81k miles
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/modelinfo.jsp?vehicle_number=12838&&default_sort=priceDESC&dealer_id=54118039&model3=C55AMG&end_year=2002&address=10475&make2=MB&start_year=1990&fuel=&certified=&keywordsrep=&car_id=226290704&search_type=both&max_mileage=100000&body_code=0&marketZipError=false&drive=&min_price=2000&distance=75&engine=&transmission=Automatic&awsp=false&make=MB&page_location=findacar::ispsearchform&model2=C43&keywordsfyc=&sort_type=priceDESC&num_records=25&only_photo=1&car_year=1999&doors=&style_flag=1&cardist=44&max_price=13000&advanced=y&make3=MB&search_lang=&model=CL55&only_price=1&color=&ref=srl#vdptop

1992 Mercedes-Benz 500SL Roadster -$13,995 45k miles
http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&searchType=21&cid=&dlid=&dgid=&amid=&pageNumber=0&numResultsPerPage=50&largeNumResultsPerPage=0&sortorder=descending&sortfield=PRICE+descending&certifiedOnly=false&criteria=K-|E-|M-_31_|B-11000|D-_287_|N-N|R-30|I-1|P-PRICE+descending|Q-descending|Z-10475&aff=national&paId=134777295&leadExists=true


Right now at this moment I have these cars to pick from,

2nd choice 2001 Lexus IS300 $11900 93k miles
1st choice 2000 BMW Z3 2.3 $12995 83k miles
3rd choice 1993 Merc 190 E $2,975 105k miles
5th choice 1986 Merc 300E $7500 54k miles (5th choice because its alomst as old as me and its waaaaaaay underpowered)

I can't drive stick so I had to leave a 1999 Z3 2.3 with 66k miles out, it had the same price as the 2000 Z3. Sucks, I know.
 

andyhui01

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if you're looking for a reliable cheap transport, I would go for the toyota/lexus IS300, you'll have other times in your life to own a benz, I would stick to japanese for the first car on a limited budget, my gf just bought a JDM prelude and it needs fixing here and there but everything was like 200-300 but if someone were to buy a say 94 M.Benz E or 525, it would be in the range of 600-700 or more if you bring it back to the dealership... and if you're buying a car from the mid 90's, please be ready to spend some money fixing it up (unless you aren't that fussed about it)
 
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