The issue with the Nikasil block was present in the 740 up until mid 1995. There were NO 1996 cars affected by this shortcoming.
Regarding the two cars: I'd have to say I'd go with the 740. It's probably the best driving 4-door sedan I've ever owned. If I were to get another it would be a '98 or newer example as the larger 4.4 engine along with many other updates were implemented.
Additionally, IMO this generation 740's styling is second to none.
'85 380 SL (sold)
'85 Carrera Flatnose
'71 280 SL Signal Red/Cognac
Last edited by RickM; 04-18-2003 at 10:27 AM.