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USED European Luxury Cars (pre 1990)



  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,119
    You could try that, Shifty, but I'd guess that such a narrow subject wouldn't gain much traction.

    In terms of reducing the age threshold of the current topic, I suppose it depends on how much you're willing to stretch the term "classic", since it will take a few years before the 1989s meet the definition. Currently, 1989s are merely old, as would be 1999s. Another possibility, if "old" is the defacto criterion, would be to raise the threshold to "pre 1997" on January 1, and then bump the date up one year on January 1, 2008, and each year thereafter...or not. Well, okay, let's make that January 2 if the new years eve party you happen to attend is a trifle to libatious.

    You're the arbiter, of course, of how much latitude is appropriate for the term classic. I'm just trying to think of how an interesting topic might be revived.

    Another possibility would be to leave the date as is, but substitute European for German, so as to include some Italian, Swedish and British marques.
  • Yeah let's do that!
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    Shifty, you'll typically say that a Benz with,say,150,000 on it is used up and not worth much. That certainally makes sense,but I notice that the few times I've investigated bottom-feeder MBs as just a fun,week-end car, I'm surprised how little $5,000 will get you here on the east coast. Are they jusy much more common in Califirnia, and therefore worth a little less?
    Last week I looked at an '86 420SEL at a Toyota dealer's. It had 150,000 miles on it...Nice paint,no rust, but brake and coolant lights were on...interior had many large cracks in leather. I was dumbfounded that the "sale" price was $5,000...Certainally they'd go lower, but the car really drove like a dog. And $5,000 Benzes always seem to be like that here...Am I expecting too much?
  • Well you know what Shifty always says:

    "The asking price of a car is merely the seller exercising his First Amendment rights".

    They are obviously trolling for some fool to pay that much for a doggy car....for $5K, such a car should be darn near immaculate.

    Yeah, I'm sure cleaner Benzes are more common out here, but really a market is based on supply and demand, and I can't see ANYWHERE in the world there would be a demand for shabby's not like a shabby bad-running Benz is going to bring anyone happiness or prestige, or have any allure to drive up market prices.

    So what i'm saying is sure, you could argue quite rightly that there may be a shortage of clean, well-kept, great running Benzes on the East Coast, and that such a shortage would demand perhaps a slightly higher price than out West....but there is no shortage of beat up old used cars in America, that's for sure.

    Besides, a dealer can offer high interest financing and can sell a shabby car on the monthly payment price. Anyone with a pulse can buy $5,000 worth of credit.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,914
    420SEL sounds like a $1500 car in that condition, and I'm being generous.

    Brake light could be pricey.

    If you want a nice W126, do as Shifty mentions and peek at California...or really the whole west coast.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,914
    A better W126 deal

    Price is certainly negotiable

    Funny with MB...with older cars it seems the 6 is th best bet, and the V8s are problematic. But in modern ones, I seem to hear about more problems in 6 cyl cars (C320, E320) than in V8 cars (save for the W220).
  • Yeah the Inline 6 was always a better motor then the V6 that replaced it.

    The newest MB V6s might be equal to the old Inline 6 but I doubt it.
  • Looks to be in good shape. Price is too high by about $1,500 though. Two tons of solid German freight train...the car gets up and goes pretty good, though (under 8 seconds 0-60) and if you don't put your foot too deep into the Boschware, you'll average 15 mpg. Certainly more fun than a big SUV.

    Don't know about the "collector" part. Pricing in the marketplace suggests it's really just a nice old used car.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,914
    Yeah, they aren't exactly appreciating. Some British magazines have called them a future collectible, but I suspect people were saying the same things about the SLC 10 years ago.

    Lots of content for $7500 though.
  • They'll probably bottom out like the SLC at around $5,000 and stay there forever.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,914
    Sounds about right. Seems to be about where most nice examples of larger old MBs go.
  • The downside of that is that these cars fall into the hands of owners who can afford to buy them but not maintain them...and so, they are driven into the dirt.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,914
    Yep, and it's rare to find an enthusiast for non-sporty old MBs who will care for them. I think it's been that way for reason why a nice W111 coupe is easier to find than a nice fintail.

    I just thought of this...W126 - nice one 5K. W116 - nice one 5K. W108 - nice one 5K. W111 fintail - nice one 5K. And a good ponton isn't much more.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,648
    Not surprised that they have a lot of those BMW models. Those are not really the "hot" models, so many of those old parts will rot on the cars I fear, although some folks will selectively pick stuff off 528s as they share parts with the i models. If they were 528i, 325s, Ms, 2002s and 635CSi, they wouldn't even be there anymore. And nobody wants junk 914s or 924s (the 914 aftermarket parts market is excellent---outstanding actually)...and definitely nobody wants old Jaguar XJ6s unless there is some cherry chrome on there.

    Actually a very solid 914 tub would be desirable, as these cars can be build into great AutoX cars.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,119
    I know that Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche parts tend to be very expensive, but I don't know exactly why this is, or whether there's a valid justification for it. Do these manufacturers tend to price their new cars aggressively, relative to their cost to manufacture, and then try to recoup profits through replacement parts, kind of like Gilette does with razor blades and Kodak does with film? Do they simply charge what the traffic will bear, thereby taking advantage of the fact that owners of these cars are willing to pay considerably more for parts than owners of Chevys, Fords, Hondas, Nissans and Toyotas? Do German car parts tend to cost more to manufacture, due to their design?

    To expand the question to include parts and labor, why is the term "money pit", or variations of that term, associated more with German cars(and Swedish and British, for that matter) than with domestic and Asian brands? I know that mechanics who work on European cars frequently charge a higher hourly rate (which may be why they're more often referred to as technicians), but that doesn't entirely explain the higher labor charges. For example, I've been told that oil changes on Porsches cost about $250, because the engine has to be dropped.

    Have Lexus, Infinity, and maybe Cadillac adopted the German/European pricing model, thereby leaving reliability as the primary cost-to-maintain differentiater between luxury models?

    I can only guess about what the answers to these questions are, but maybe some of you have better insight on this matter than I do. One thing beyond question is that the high cost of parts, especially, is a deterent to owning an old German luxury car.
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