Went shopping for an SLyesterday, tale of a viewing!

PJayUK

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In my continued search for a car for fun purposes I went to see a 1996 P reg SL280 yesterday. The car was at a local dealer that specialises in prestige cars and was taken in as a part ex for a newer SL. I spoke to the dealer on the phone and he told me the car was immaculate in excellent condition and in need of a quick sale.

When I got there the car was indeed in very nice overall condition but there were a few areas that are making me decide not to part with my money, I wanted to get your opinions on whether I made the right decision.

The car in question is a cardinal red SL280 with 92,500 miles on it. It was in very good condition no rust. There was some loss of lacquer on the front bumper and both of the front fog lamps lenses where broken. The interior was black leather and again in very good condition no rips or tears and indicated that the car had been well cared for. It had a hardtop the soft top was in very good condition with the rear windscreen being replaced recently.

Had a set of AMG alloys and new tyres on, but not sure that the wheels were right for the car, looked ok though. It's a basic spec car with no rear seats etc but in good overall condition.

Everything worked, the windows dropped properly and the hood mechanism was smooth.

The bad points...

There was some slight rattling coming from the front right hand side of the engine, I suspected timing chain or tensioner. The front disks were worn, there was a good 1mm lip on both. A test drove confirmed that the brakes were not great but worked ok. The rattling was still noticeable after a test drive.

The Air conditioning didn't blow cold air. Could be a simple regas or could be something more complex, likelihood is that there is a leak.

The power steering was noisy on full lock and had a slight whine upon normal turns.

the car drove well if a little noisy but then I havent driven a covertible for a while I drove the car for a good 4 miles on my own. Tested kickdown and all gearbox functions. he only comment was the gear selector did not seem to engage positively, on one occasion I was in neutral when I wanted reverse.

Anyway, the asking price for the car is 5.950. I pointed out that I felt that this was high for an SL with this particular engine and specification. I offered 5,000 and he has yet to come back to me but I think I will walk away from it now I have thought about the car overnight.

What do you think, given the potential bills to repair the points above I think this could be an expensive mistake!
 

Setanta

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Walk away

Too many ifs and buts about that car from what you are describing.

Sorry, don't mean to sound negative but I have seen too many of these types of cars when I was looking for mine...and the non-working aircon?
 

Alex M Grieve

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What do you think, given the potential bills to repair the points above I think this could be an expensive mistake!

I think your skepticism is warranted. In the current climate I think you could find a car without the snags you have identified - you clearly know what you are looking for and how to recognise it.

I have certainly seen some nice ones with good provenance and fewer miles - sadly I did not keep a record of when and where but I could probably locate some of them, if they are still for sale.

Where are you based?

Are you purely looking for a 280? IMHO a 500 might serve you better. They came with a better spec and are not much more expensive to run. As a car for fun purposes, they take a bit of beating!
 
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PJayUK

PJayUK

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I was looking for. 320 or 500 but I was quite impressed with the 2.8 it wasn't as gutless as I was expecting. I will carry on looking the main criteria is budget. I am in Surrey near Guildford by the way!
 

Setanta

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Second vote here for the 500

Cannot fail to bring a smile to the face when the foot is planted to the axminster and that howl comes out......drove mine (coupe but same 5 litre engine) into work last night to drop off some stuff and had to drive around the block again (City streets in London, very all buildings, perfect for the engine note and no one around...laughing head off at the noise that it makes!)

There was a 500 for sale at Runnymeade Motors that actually seemed to be a not-too bad price from a dealer. Miles are over 100,000 miles but I would buy on condition and history not miles.

In all seriousness, with the weight of the cars, the difference in the powerplants does make itself known on drives...especially on overtaking.

I can only imagine what manner of insanity it would be like to have an S65/CL65/SL65. I will let you know if Euromillions comes up :p
 

Setanta

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biga.jpg


This is the one
 

D1gger5

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Well in my SL Hunt:-

Viewed cheapo one today in Caerphilly/Treforest, South Wales (back to the homeland for a day). A lot of car for the money but short (10 Week) MOT and lots of questions:-
1997 320 BUT was supposedly now a '91 300-24 with PP.
Seat split and trim needs work (fixing/replacing).
Some electric gremlins I think
It was priced up at twice the price in January at another garage.
Early dashboards had old mechanical mileometers wheras later ones were digital. Why did this early one have a digital dash?
Lots of history, hardtop and went like stink compared to 2 litre Capri.

Now for myself (who has rebuilt, rewired and upgraded all my Capri's over the years), no problem to fix but would I get it for a song or would they stick at the asking price?

OR

2001 "Y reg" 320 with panoramic roof.
over three times the asking price with history.


Well nicer seats in the newer car, smoother lines and that lovely light cabin (with the roof on).

Moral of the story, you get what you pay for and I'll get one off santa with the saving scheme progressing more every month until then.

- One question I have is the cost of spares and the expected cost of one of these cars if it was stripped/sold?
- For the Capri it can be from £500 to £3500 depending on model, what is the sum of a SL in parts?

Please can someone help me with answers to the above.

Diggers
 
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PJayUK

PJayUK

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Late update....


Drove a 500, WOW!!! Its a 500 I am after now for sure. The car was a little ropy but at least I know what model I am after.
 

Cole@MBS

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Didnt want to say anything Paul when I read your 1st post, but I thought driving a 500 would change your mind for sure!

When you say a lil ropey - in what way???
 

mikestrivens

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The car was a little ropy but at least I know what model I am after.



Oooo yes do tell. Others here might be interested, me included as I am also looking for an SL500
 
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