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Mercedes 380--450--560 SLs

I am interested in purchasing one of these models
and am looking for advice on which models and years
are best in terms of reliability, performance and
value.

Thanks,
Edward
«13456711

Comments

  • I have a 560sl that I would love to sell you. 18,500, Excellent condition White/Navy 2 tops 120K the air conditioning and heat are beter than my 300E. [email protected]
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Posts: 414
    Way in the back of my brain, I swear I've seen a 2+2 configuration 450SL (not SLC - it was definately a convertible). Was I dreaming or was such a car ever made?
  • The only 2+2 I was ever aware of was the SLC. I know that in the SL, that there was an optional jump seat for the small area behind the two front seats. This would allow one person to sit sideways. Perhaps this is what you are thinking of.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Unless some crazyman chopped an SLC...people do weird things with welding torches these days, and an SLC, being near rock bottom in the Mercedes used car pricing, could be transformed into---well, not a valuable car, but at least one worth more than $5,000 on a good day.

    All these older V-8 SLs are in great danger of extinction once the engines fail on them, since the rebuilt engine will cost more than the car is worth....not a good situation for survivability.
  • I've got a good friend with a 77 450SL. The weatherstripping or gasket or whatchamacallit that goes between the ragtop and the frame is worn out and the car leaks like a sieve in the rain. I want to buy him a new one for his birthday so he can enjoy the car this summer.

    What do you call this part, and where can I find one????? Thanks for the help.

    I'll also check on the maintenance board and see if I can find info there, but thought this would be the place to start.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Hardtop gasket I guess.

    You might try this site for the part:

    www.budsbenz.com

    or

    www.germany-direct.com

    Host
  • Thanks so much! I'll take a look at them :)
  • thanks for the info. I'll give them a try as well. I think the locks are in good shape, just the weatherstripping is shot.
  • By the way, the www.germany-direct.com e-mail address didn't work for me. Came back as undeliverable. Haven't heard back from Bud's yet.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Oh, sorry, it was from a current ad...harumpf! Well, scratch them off the list.

    Let me know if you srrike out and we'll try to look for others sources for you.
  • The reference to Bud's Benz, which is located in Douglasville, Ga, was a good lead. They did the total restoration of my 72 350SL. They are extremely knowledgeable about the SL.
  • coolchickcoolchick Posts: 174
    Heard yesterday from Bud's Benz and from GAPA. They both have the part in stock, a 50 cent price difference between the two, and very very reasonable -- $23. I'll have to get on the phone to order it tomorrow.

    thanks again for all the help.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Great! Thanks for reporting back on your success.

    Host
  • I have taken a liking to Mercedes recently, I decided that I would make a Mercedes site with discussion forums so that I could learn as much as possible about Mercedes. (I still Love Edmunds, I just created a more specific site, I hope) I remember that some people were asking for a Mercedes discussion site on the board so I thought I would post my site here.


    My Mercedes-Benz Enthusiasts Site


    If anyone is interested please check out my site. Thank You for your patience.

    I hope you enjoy this.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    No, it's a double row 5 liter V-8 (m117), gray market car here in the US, and consequently devalued somewhat....probably $12.5K-$15K would buy you the world's nicest.
  • ataieataie Posts: 84
    I'd appreciate if you would let me know what sort of things I should look for in these cars when buying one? also would you recommend the 500SL over the 380SL of early to mid 1980's? The one 500SL I've found has records only for the past few years. the car has less than 70K on it, but it's been sitting alot during the past 17 years. there are no fluid leaks, and the engine and transmission are smooth. your advise is appreciated Mr Shiftright.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Rust is always a factor to consider on a European car. As for what to look for, I'd suggest having the car thoroughly diagnosed and tested by a competent shop, since any major repair would be a financial disaster for a car of this value (i.e, they are not worth putting new engines in). I'd go for a domestic 380SL over a Euro 500SL if value retention over time were an issue, but the 500SL is a much better performer, no doubt about it. The problem is that Euro cars are hard to sell if you ever want to. All the SLs are heavy gas eaters and a bit clumsy, so if you're expecting a sports car, you may be disappointed, but for a comfortable sunny day straight-line cruiser they are had to beat. Think of them as German Impala convertibles but with a much better overall build quality. Certainly a lot of car for the money, if you can find a really nice, well-cared for vehicle.
  • ataieataie Posts: 84
    Decision time........

    83 500 SL with 65k miles, for $10K
    89 560 SL with 120k miles for $20K

    which one should I go with? $ to performance ration.

    Also are the parts for the 500 SL readily available like the 560SL? just wondering if foreign auto part stores or Mercedes dealer stock parts for the 500 SL which is European?

    thanks,
    Shon
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    The 560SL is a much better car in every respect, but I'm not sure I'd pay $20K for one with all those miles on it, unless the service documentation was impeccable, the car mint and the mechanical inspection gave the thumbs up. There's supposed to be a $3,000+ deduction in book value for that many miles, so I think about $18.5 would be a target price for a very very nice car.

    Also, the 65K miles for the 500SL sounds highly unlikely...that's 3,800 miles a year.
  • ataieataie Posts: 84
    the 65k on the 500SL is documented, and the engine sounds excellent(hard to hear at all with the hood down). This car as far as power, handling and drive is identical to the 560. The 500 has been sitting a lot and not driven regularly.
    The 560s in my area run between $17k - $24k. We're talking $8k-$10k difference between the 560SL with much more miles and the 500SL with low mileage. But if I have to wait for parts to arrive from Germany then it's not worth it. One other thing that I really like about the 500SL is the European slick head lights. Please let me know if the parts are available for the 500SL? and if there's that much different between 5.0 and 5.6 engine. by the way the 380 is out. that's one slow, sluggish car. after driving the 500 and 560 the 380 is no good.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    The 560SL is a superior car in every way, really, with many refinements, including torque compensator to the rear axle, limited slip differential, front air dam to control front end lift, new front end geometry for better handling, ABS, theft alarm, much better climate control system, warning lights for low fuel and bulb failures, much better radio/cassette system, standard leather seats with much better lateral support, new alloy wheel design and equal power to the European car.

    Aside from all that, I regard low mileage as a liability, not an asset on these cars. Lack of use kills a Mercedes, so if you are expecting the low miles to work to your advantage in terms of reliability, this has not proven to be true in most cases.

    And the issue of European origin is a serious one. Some insurance companies will not insure a gray market car, and some mechanics will refuse to work on one. Given all the fly-by-night companies who converted these gray market cars in the 1980s, who can say what snags you'll run into with parts, emission testing and safety issues.

    My opinion is that over time the 560SL will turn out to be the better buy...none of these SLs are destined to be collectible, so they won't increase in value, but the Euro cars will depreciate faster and always hold less value compared to the 560SL models.
  • wasjrwasjr Posts: 22
    I am looking at a 74 450SL owned by the classic little old lady. The car has 88,000 mi and is slightly above average in appearance and wear, with minimal rust underneath. It has been hit in the right front and the repair was poor with respect to suspension--new bushings may be needed.
    My question relates to the engine and oil pressure. When idling the gauge registers 18 lb, otherwise 45 lb. The mechanic I had look at the car says that a range that wide means that the car was not well maintained and that there are cam problems. He says the engine wear is equivalent to 180,000 mi and that a $3,000 to $8,000 major overhaul will be needed within 20,000 mi. She says that she had the oil changed every 3,000 or twice per year but she does not have service records. She is a client of a close friend and I do not think the car was neglected.
    I can buy the car for $3,000 so my main exposure is the engine overhaul. Any ideas on the reasonableness or liklihood of the mechanics diagnosis? What are the chances that the oil pressure gauge is bad? Thanks for any response.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Frankly, the car sounds like money pit and I would listen to your mechanic...you can buy these cars in pristine condition for around $12K and this is the only way to buy them. I think $8,000 wouldn't be enough to overhaul the engine anyway unless perhaps you get lucky and you live in a low labor rate area...and with the body damage and rust situation, the old lady really needs to give you this car to make it worthwhile...and even then I'd worry you wouldn't come out right on it.

    The only other alternative is to buy it as cheaply as you can, and don't put a single penny in it...O wouldn't even change the oil--drive it til it drops and walk away...you'd probably get $500-750 from a wrecker, so if you bought it for $2,000 and got 6 months or a year of fun out of it, that would be okay I think. As an investment, you'll be an old man before you get your money back...trust me on this one.
  • ataieataie Posts: 84
    well, I have to disagree a bit. I've had about 10 or 15 of these Mercedes from 220D to 450SEL and anything in between (except the SL models). some with as many as 250k miles. I did notice the same thing on my oil pressure. In the morning the pressure was all the way up, but when the engine would warm up it was below the midway point when stopped on a red light, as soon as you start moving the gauge would go all the way to the top. In all cases I had the cars checked and compression tested before buying. they ran perfect.

    so as far oil pressure, that's a new one for me. $3000 sounds like a bargain, and I haven't even seen the car. You can sell the parts and make $10,000 easy.
  • ataieataie Posts: 84
    just got back from looking at the SEC. The car is very clean, but has an oil leak. it's not the valve cover gasket, and 'doesn't' seem to be from the pan. the metal frame which runs across the car behind the oil pan is soaking. could be the rear seal, or maybe from the block itself. If you had to guestimate the cost what am I looking at. under $500 I maybe able to negotiate in the price, but few thousand, I'm not touching it.

    by the way this is the 4th 560 (3 SLs & 1 SEC) that I've looked at and so far 2 have looked pretty oily underneat. as I mentioned I've had many 450SELs and 300SDs and you basically gas and drive....... most with close to 200k on them.

    let me know your thought on the above few posts.

    thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Yeah, the 300E is a pretty good bet...of course, as with all 80s era Benzes, you have to check the climate control systems very carefully before you buy, as they are poorly designed, and you can also take the factory radio/tape deck and throw it over a fence...but those are not major hassles, they just need examination.

    The problem with oil leaks is that you have to determine exactly what the cause is...valve covers? No problem. Head gaskets or main seal...oops! Big problem. A technician who has the right tool can add dye to the engine oil, and then hit the oil leak with a special light and see exactly what the source is.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I'd prefer the 3.0 liter cars, since you really don't save any gas with the 2.6 or 2.8...my favorites are the 4-valve engines with variable valve timing, which started in the 300CE in 1990 and in the 300E in 1993. These are really great cars, but are not going to be collectible in any way. Buy one and USE it up and enjoy the ride.

    As usual, the weak point on 1980 on up Benzes is the climate control system/a.c. system. Play with all the setting, knobs and valves and make sure everything works perfectly. They are expensive to fix and the A/C isn't terribly effective in really hot climates no matter what you do. But mediocre climate control is a small price to pay for this great-performing car.
  • ataieataie Posts: 84
    bought the 91, 300SE with 105k miles for $11,000
    looks and runs excellent. It's amazing that it has more power than a 380SEL which has a v8.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Great! I've been out of town so couldn't answer your questions. Sounds like a good car for you and a fair price...I was going to suggest the SE rather than the SEL, because who needs the extra weight and size...Benzes are big enough already inside.
  • ataieataie Posts: 84
    Mr. Shiftright, your expertise maybe needed at the following conference if you care to add this to your placemarks.

    Maintenance #1295 (General Mercedes Questions)
    thanks,
    Shon
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Okay, ataie, thanks for the tipoff, I'll check it out!

    shifty
  • ecjrecjr Posts: 1
    I am looking for this car. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
  • mbnzorgmbnzorg Posts: 2
    nt
  • bigbozerbigbozer Posts: 22
    Mr. Shiftright: A guy on my street has a "for sale" sign on a 1981 Cream 380 SL here in Sacramento, CA. The car has done 135K miles and looks ok from the outside (no dings or accidents). It has both tops in good condition. He is asking $12,000 for it. Of course I will have it checked (incl. the dreaded A/C) out by a qualified mechanic, but do you think the price is too high for the year and mileage? Kelly's Blue Book days only $7,425. I noted what you said about the 380 SLs bieng like a Chevrolet Impala! I once had a 1960 Impala convertible. Straight line boulevard cruising was great (the girls used to stare) but at near top speed the rear would begin to rise, and the car had terrible road holding! Any advice you care to dish out would be most welcome.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    The price seems high, yes, because the 380SL is the least collectible of all the V-8 SLs...it is slow and ponderous, but it looks nice and rides well, and has the typical MB build quality.

    I'd say if the car checks out perfectly and looks terrific, that $10K would be all the money in the world. And take it for a long test drive...it's a pleasant, solid car, but a sportscar it ain't!
  • Mr. Shiftright, What do you thing about the 1997 SL 500 Aniversary addition. Will it have any increased value later or do you think it will be just like any other 500SL.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    As a rule, "Anniversary Editions" do not, in and of themselves, make any difference in value over time, unless the car itself is also appreciating as a collectible. The AE edition cannot turn a depreciating or stagnant car into an appreciating one, is what I mean.

    It's hard to predict how a car will eventually turn out in the collector market. Probably, like most luxury cars currently in high demand, the price will stay high for one or two years until the supply increases or the next nifty model comes out, then the price will drop just like any used car, eventually bottom out in 10-15 years, and then, if there's collector car interest, it will start to rise again. Look how long it has taken the old pagoda roof 280SL to finally start rising in value...even now, the car I paid $11,000 for in 1971 can be had in very nice shape for about double that $22,500...not a screaming investment by any means, but better than the poor soul who bought most other 1971 luxury cars. And some restored 280SLs have broken $30,000.

    So I'd say there is no immediate prospect for appreciation in value for the 500SL, no. Best thing, if you don't have money to burn, would be to buy a 2 or 3 year old one with low miles and let someone else take the big depreciation hit.
    There's some delayed gratification in that plan, but if it suits you, try that.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Maybe what you're seeing is "asking prices", but why anyone would pay $5,000 over top blue book for a 70s SL needing work is beyond me. Must be really ignorant of the market. $12-13K is PLENTY for these 350/450SLs in very decent condition all around.

    ANYWAY, that being said, the priciest of the older style V8 SLs is the 560SL (upwards of $20,000) but it is easily the best of the pre 1990 SLs. The 560 is better in every way than its earlier predecessors. While it is just as ponderous to drive, (for a two seater) it is NOT a slow car like the earlier ones, and mechanically much better, too.

    You've got to be very careful with the earlier SLs...the engine, for instance, is worth more than the car, so if the engine fails, you can throw the car away, literally. It's an easy $10K for a rebuild.
  • c43amg7c43amg7 Posts: 32
    I also have thought about a older SL (I have a '98 C43 AMG), but on doing a bit of investigation was a bit surprised to see what seemed to be relatively low horsepower (ca. 230) for the size of engine in the 560 series (the AMG power-to-weight equation is addictive). Mr_Shiftright: would appreciate your comments, and as to whether there are economical and relatively easy (or worthwhile) upgrades for the 560 engine to boost that horsepower.

    On an allied point, the 560 sedans and coupes seem a relative value for their selling prices-- Mr_Shiftright, any opinion as to model years (are the earlier '86s and 87s to be avoided?) and mileages (stay under 100M?) to consider--realizing that the later the model and the lower the mileage the better, but also the higher price. Where in your opinion does the price/value curve yield the best deal?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I think the 560SL is plenty fast for a big heavy coupe that it is. It doesn't need a power boost, it's got enough to deal with as it is. If you drive a 560SL properly, using the automatic as a manual shift, you can make it perform admirably.

    As for the 500 series sedans and coupes, they don't really have much collector value either, but now that they've depreciated, it's a nice ride for not a lot of money. That being said, they aren't immortal, and even a Mercedes with 150K on it is a tired car, whether it looks like it or not. I'm always amused when someone says "it's got 150K on it and the mechanic says the engine is like new"...well, then, when DOES the wear start, or will it run for one million miles :(why not, it never wears out, right?).

    My point is that these old 500 series cost a helluva lot of money to repair, so you have to balance the selling price, mileage and the odds of having future trouble. To me , a car with say 200K on it is nearly worthless. You should never be paying good money for a car like that. Sure, 100K is a reasonable upper limit for an older Benz. There's bound to be life left in the car at that mileage. At 125K I'd bargain hard, at 150K I'd probably pass unless it were so cheap I could part if out for the selling price.

    What you want (what we ALL want) is that clean, reasonably low miles car that has not been messed up by inept paint, bodywork or poor maintenance. There is no such thing as a Mercedes "fixer-upper". They are all "fixer-downers".
  • FREDERICKFREDERICK Posts: 228
    Believe it or not Mr. Shift Right it's me! Yes, you're old American land yatch buddy! The 82 Lincoln Mark is going to have to go because I'm moving up to San Francisco at the end of Aug. Parking in S.F.is a major pain. I'm going to be commuting from S.F. down the coast to Monterey, about 2 hour each way, at least once a week.

    As you know, I love heavy, powerful, V-8, rear wheel drive cars but I need something smaller. Is an 87 560 SL w/ 96,976 miles on it asking $16,200 a bad bet? The car is a private party sale w/ out of state plates, originally from Texas. Clean, rust and dent free body with a new soft top. I drove the car and it seemed crisp and responsive with good firm straight holding brakes.

    I'd certainly take the car to a MCB specialist mechanic to get it fully checked out but am I making a big mistake? I smelled oil burning after I stopped and parked the car and noted that the water pump hadn't yet been replaced.

    I have a close neighbor who bought an 88 560 SL w/ 84K miles on it about a year ago and she's put nearly $4,000 dollars into repair bills on that car since. I got copies of the bills and the list just went on and on. She's got 96K miles on her car now and its a beautiful looking car but man that's gotta hurt. She paid $21,500 for the 88 560 SL at a dealer.

    She had a 450 SL w/ 54K miles on it that was stolen so this was the car that she bought to replace it. I feel she got screwed on the 560 SL's purchase price but she actually took it to an independent mechanic beforehand to get the car checked out and he told her it was O.K. then later told her how much it'd cost to fix it when she found oil leaking on her garage floor. Needless to say she took it to a different mechanic to get it repaired.

    I know your passion for Miata's, is that really a much better choice? They just seem so small and squirty though. I've not driven one yet but I know they're substantially cheaper. Would I be happier in a Miata, or would it feel buzzy and an cheap on the long road trips down HWY 1 to Monterey. My wife always hated driving my Lincolns because they were just too big but I don't know about an auto on a 4 cyl. Miata. She doesn't drive stick!

    Talk to me. I like the MCB but is it just a big waiste of money. Is a $16,200 560 SL going to drop to $2,000 in five more years or have they basically hit bottom? Where's a $7,000 Miata going to go? Tough questions but I feel you're the most likely person I know who could really compare. How about an Alpha Spyder?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Hi Frederick,

    Why don't you drop by and see me and we'll go drive a couple of cars. I have a buddy who has a great used car lot and often has these fancy cars..also you can try my Alfa Spyder and see if you like it....it's a swell, cheap car but not a high speed cruiser...more for top down twisty driving on coast roads under 75 mph.

    To answer your question, well it's really impossible to know what a used car is going to do. Oil smell means oil leak, so there's something you're gonna have to deal with. The 560SL is a good car, but it is a complicated car, too. So any work you do will cost some money, no way around it. The price seems okay, pretty fair if it's really nice.

    That oil leak can be traced by adding a dye to the oil and flashing a special "blue light" on it. The source of the leak will show up clear as day. If it's a head gasket or rear main leak, that's bad. If just valve covers, only a couple of hundred bucks.

    I like Miatas, but they are very small (much smaller inside than an Alfa) and it is claustrophobic on long trips. Still, it's a tighter quieter car than the Alfa, but not as much fun IMHO.

    Have you ever driven one of the older Infiniti Q45s. Awesome car for not a lot of money...not terribly pretty ( a bit dull rather than ugly) but a honkin' 280 HP OHV V-8 and great amenities inside. All for under $10K.

    Shiftright your Host
  • FREDERICKFREDERICK Posts: 228
    Very intersting response and much appreciated. I didn't know you had an Alpha! Are these fancy cars or just interesting to drive and own? I have a very dear and fun loving Aunt and Uncle who own one too!

    I saw a very interesting Alpha V-8 Coupe on the internet last night, it was orginaly from Canada but now residing in Florida. E-bay sale going on @ around $6,500 but it was a total rust bucket. I'd never seen that kind of Alpha before.

    I know well of your Q45 reference. I have a friend in Japan who has owned three of these cars in a row. Very nice automobile, but when they first came out with that totally Japanese style add campaign in the States of Shinto views of Rocks, trees, and babbling brooks I had to laugh. I'll look into your idea.

    Thanks for the input on the Miata. As you've probably guessed by now practicality has never been my strong suit. At least maybe not to a Miata kind of a degree. I think what I'm looking for most is something new and definitely different but not way out there in the automobile spectrum.

    I'd love to take you up on the test drive idea. I hope a ton of folks don't read this though because you'll have God and everyone asking to do it with you after this.

    Thanks again!

    Frederick
    [email protected]
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    No problem. The Alfa you are referring to is a Montreal, a very complicated and problematic car, although very pretty and fun to drive.

    No, the run of the mill Alfa is not complicated by any means. It's a tried and true design spanning 30 years or more. It's pretty bulletproof, at least the Spyder 2000. The other sedans and some of their vintage offering have certain problems that need understanding (I also have a 164LS sedan which is a sweet, fast car but a bit quirky for the average Joe).

    shifty
  • I always admire the style of the SLs and looking to buy one in the range of 10,000. Would anyone please advice me on the characteristics of the SLs? Recently, I found 380SL, 450SL, and 500SL on local newspapers but also found myself clueless on what to get. I guess, I am asking for advice on which SL is the least problematic and best for the money. Your opinions and advice are greatly appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I think the 560SL stands out among them. It is the fastest and the least clumsy of the type. The SLs overall are expensive to maintain but generally very reliable if you get a good one to begin with. They are, however, heavy on gas (especially the older ones) and not very agile.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    My wife has a 84 380SL that we have been fixing up. I've come across a couple of companies that sell wood trim kits to enhance the original pieces of trim, but the only kits I can find for the 107s were made for the 450SL. One such place is:
    http://www.woodtrim.com/catalog_woodtrim.cfm

    My question is this. Does anyone know how closely a kit for a 450SL would fit the 380SL? This kit has 33 pieces to it! The shadow print looks pretty close to me, but the distributer claimed he had no information on this and would not guarantee a fit (ie, buy it at your own risk). I might have to ask my mechanic to call me the next time he has a 450SL in the shop so I can go look, but I thought someone here might know.


    On another note, although I mostly agree with Mr Shiftright about value, you've got to factor in the intangibles. My wife had the opportunity to get this car for essentially free, and it had a strong engine, but was neglected cosmetically. I tried to talk her into something else....well ... anything else. I took her to see the SLK, the Z3, etc. But she had her heart set on the SL. After new shocks, struts, radiator, ignition, soft top, carpet set, rebuilt seats, leather, trim, and more too numerous to list, I've got about $13K into it. But I also have one very happy wife, who get's constant comments on her car, which brings a smile to her at least once a week. I've put 7 coats of Zaino on it now and it looks like new. One thing I have found to be true in life is that when your spouse is happy, chances are good that you are happy too. I figure she could have ended up with the Z3, and at the end of 5 years, I'll be about even .... depreciation vs repairs, and she got what she wanted.
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Posts: 414
    "One thingI have found to be true in life is that when your spouse is happy, chances are good that you are happy too."
    Man, ain't that the truth!
    WRT your wood dash problem, I was wondering if the company would send you by mail or email, a full size paper pattern that you could cut and check the fit. If it fit, they could start listing the kit as applicable to the 380 and increase their market. Worth a shot.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Well, now, if you had asked me to factor matrimonial bliss into the equation of which car to buy, I may have been more liberal in my evaluation!

    In any event, I'm glad it's working out. I have no idea about your wood question, but knowing German automakers, I'd be willing to bet there have been changes to the wood trim here and there. They never let anything alone.

    33 pieces of wood? No wonder the rain forests are disappearing (just kidding!).
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    The aformentioned SL has the original 15" wheels. I think they are painted with a paint that makes them look very much like the low-shine aluminum alloy. I was thinking of getting them chromed or replacing them with chrome wheels of the same style and size. I've noticed that after 16 years, one is a little out of round and they have a couple minor nicks. Any thoughts about this? Can they be trued? Is it worth trying to salvage or should I just replace them? My mechanic suggested going to 16" wheels for performance, but I was thinking of staying with 15" for the original look and better ride characteristics.

    Christmas is coming soon. It's going to be wood or wheels.
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