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Old 10-27-2002, 02:48 PM
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96C220 96C220 is offline
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hamilton, NJ
Posts: 367
Question Purchase advice needed

Grettings all....

I am considering the purchase of a second MB.

The particular car in question is a 1989 420SEL

The car has been owned by a family friend since day one. They have a stack of service receipts that could fill a 3 ring binder.

The exterior of the car is an 8.5 / 10 - Paint is good and still shines. There is a tiny scrape on the front bumper (apparently happened when it was in a parking lot several years ago).

The Interior of the car shows some wear - the leather has no rips or tears, no significant cracking, but looks somewhat faded and feels rough (I doubt it was conditioned much, but the car was garage kept, so it is in 6/10 shape) - With dilligent application of conditioner, the leather should be at least serviceable, but its way beyond the point of looking new. The rear seat is in a lot better shape than the front seats, but that is to be expected.

The center console wood and the retracting cover over the center console, also wood have seen better days, and are cracked and splintered. It's all there, and I'm wondering if it even can be refinished, but it looks beat up now.
There are no dash cracks, and the carpets are clean.

The car has a new trans, new alternator, starter, brakes, as well as a fairly new set of matched Michelin MXV4's.

Car also had a kenwood cd player and 10 disc cd changer in the trunk.

A/C is cold. The car drives well and feels decently tight. Didnt have as much power as I expected - but it's a really heavy car.
Now the bad stuff:

#1 - passenger side rear power window.

It works, goes down ok, but struggles to go up, and basically stops about two inches from closed. They have gotten it to close, and basically advise dont open it, unless you repair it.

#2 - Passenger side front power seat

Some of the adjustements work intermittently. Specifically the raising / lowering of the back. Seat stays in place, and is generally comfortable, just doesnt like to come back up if you lower the back.

#3 High mileage - 242,000 miles - Mostly highway and driven easily, but still present. I'm wondering if its just too many miles, and the car is a time bomb. Can I expect any reasonable level of reliability at these miles? Or am I just going to keep adding to the stack of repair invoices.

The mechanics who inspected the car said that it was in good shape, and had no apparent problems.... except the two aforementioned things. They said it was ok to buy, but I dont want a car with a greatly uncertain near future.

This car will be a temporary solution for me, I am planning on keeping it for 12-18 months at most, at which point I should be in a position to get a much newer car.

Asking price (which is not really subject to negotation, because they have been offered this much for it in trade) is $4000. Its basically a take it or leave it situation.

I would appreciate your thoughts on the matter,

George - new e-mail is

96 C220 - 109k miles
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