I have twice purchased an SEL
From my experience I suggest that you need to be a risk taker. Also, you need to define what things you really will live with if they break.
I have enjoyed both cars, and am glad I bough each. BUT magic things have happend with both - things that just were not visable when I bought the car.
The power steering pump blew on the 380SEL and the transmission sprang a leak on the 500SEL.
I only sold the 380SEL (yes some one bought it with 293K miles) when the rear engine seal leaked so that I was embaressed - puddle at each parking spot. I still own the 500SEL.
Summary: I agree with others - have the car checked out my a Mercedes mechanic, but also realize that something very expensive is going to break on the SEL.
My next car will be an S class. They are great. Enjoy your adventure.
Thanks for the help
'86 560SL (186K) - Now a 'classic' : Registered as an Historic Vehicle
'95 E420 (188K)
'03 LS430 (Lexus)
- - - - -
'95 E420 (231K) Sold to a happy buyer, new to Mercedes
'90 300E (65K) Sold to an Mercedes Lover
'92 190E (215K) - retired to the salvage yard, sigh
'93 500SEL (214K) - Moved to another family, still runs like a young pup