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Old 12-07-2003, 07:29 PM
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bhatt bhatt is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 421
Buying a repaired car..


I'm about to buy an '87 560SL and would be interested in everyone's opinions on something..

I have pulled the history on this car and it appears to have been in an accident. It looks like a law firm bought it and owned it for a year, then it was in the hands of the following in one year:

-Local auto wrecking company known for reselling "rebuildable cars" to body shops. Most of their cars are theft recoveries, minor damage, etc. Nothing they sell looks like it would need more than two body panels repaired (ie. door/fender/bumper but not hood, roof or any other doors)
-Auto collision shop (who presumably bought it to fix it up)
-Used car dealer.

Looks like a normal chain of minor damage/theft recovery, then a collision shop fixing it and finally a dealer selling it.

From then on, it has had four owners. A dealership known for selling used MB's in Toronto which has been around since 1955 owned it for two years. Someone bought it and only owned it for a month. Then someone owned it for six years, and the current owner bought it and has owned it for six years.

Car has been repainted but it was done 6 years ago when the current owner bought it. Looks like brand new -- obviously an MB dealer or someone similar did this paint job.. it's was done REALLY well. No rust or any fading or other problems. Has held up REALLY well for 6 years.

Current and previous owner have each owned car for 6 years.

Here is my question... if there were a major problem with the car, would the last two owners have owned it for a total of 12 years? The earlier history scares me, but if something was repaired in 1992 and hasn't shown up yet, do I need to worry?

Won't be doing a PPI for three reasons:
1. Owners is 2 hours away from my good mechanic
2. Looked over car and it looks totally fine. Checked all the usual W107 trouble spots and no problems. Has new softtop. Paint and wheels done 6 years ago.
3. Was first one to look at car and snapped it up for what I think is about $3k below what other ones go for. Winter is coming and owner needs a 4 door car for his wife quickly.

Any thoughts? I'm planning to go ahead with the deal considering 12 years seems long enough for a problem to arise... Somebody scare me out of this or I'm going to own a 560SL by mid-week!

'83 300SD 335,000km (207k) mi SOLD
'87 560SL 163,000km (101k mi) SOLD
'86 300SDL 356,000km (220k mi) SOLD
'92 500SEL 250,000km (155k mi) SOLD
'90 300SL 140,000km (87k mi) SOLD
'01 S430 260,000km (161k mi) SOLD
'03 SL500 167,000km (104k mi)
'07 GL320 CDI 4MATIC 289,000km (162k mi)
'07 S550 4MATIC 170,000km (105k mi)
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