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Old 05-26-2022, 08:45 PM
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Graham Graham is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,257
Originally Posted by BWhitmore View Post
An older SL model will be expensive to maintain especially if you are paying for labor. A W123 model (240D, 300D, 300CD, 300TD-wagon, 230-280E, etc.) will be a lot less expensive to maintain especially if you have a basic tool set and can rely on this and other forums for guidance. I currently own a well maintained 1985 300D and spend less than $500 per year for maintenance (I do my own labor). Parts are readily available and not outrageously expensive. I drive this car less than 5,000 miles per year.
I have owned both my 85 300D (285k miles) and my 72 350SL (160k miles) for over 30 years. They both have required on-going maintenance. I don't think there is much difference in cost for most basic maintenance items. Other than the engine, designs are quite similar. For example, suspension, drive train, steering, electrical. W123 has been more prone to rust.

Keeping them up does depend on how much you drive them and what unexpected things might fail. If your transmission fails, it will push your maintenance a lot higher than $500/yr. At 285k miles, it is one thing I am afraid might happen sooner than later on my 300D (and perhaps the SL too)
85 300D,72 350SL, 98 E320, Outback 2.5
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