I apologize for not giving you guys an update on this. I made the offer, which he declined, and he chose to hold firm at $6K. It didn't help that in the meantime a 155K mile car appeared with a $5995 asking price.
So I am going to stick with my current car for now. It really has no issues, except it does use about a quart every 800-900 and has a very slow leak from the side seam of the radiator.
Since the compression is fine, I may go ahead and invest $19 and an afternoon and do the valve seals. I need to decide if is is worth spending $350 for a radiator to fix a leak that costs about a pint of coolant mix every four-five weeks.
Beyond that it feels old and kind of loose - not exactly a "bank vault" on wheels. I'll take a picture when it's clean and post it.
Knowing full well all the AC and electrical gremlins, I do think that the 5-speed 300E's are about as good a car as MB ever made that's why I am always on the lookout for a better one. I dram of running across a pristine really low mileage example (that had the evaporator fixed, of course)!
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe