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300sdToronto 01-29-2008 09:29 AM

126 dieselhead seeks 380SL buying advice
My wife is dreaming of getting a 380SL

I have a lead on one here (85 model year) in Toronto for $7,900 with 100,000 kms on it.

Is this a fair price or suspiciously low? One owner, all records available.

What are the top 3 things to look for in one of these cars?? I know the basics of looking for rust, brake system, fluid leaks etc but know nothing about how to evaluate if one of these gas engines and associated injection and ignition systems have been PROPERLY maintained.

Thanks for any tips...

rocky raccoon 01-29-2008 01:55 PM

I believe it is a fair price for that 380SL assuming it is in good cosmetic condition. Not a bargain but fair. At 100k miles, it should be ready for a timing chain replacement if that has not already been done. The basic mechanics and engines are very long life. Peripherals such as vacuum lines and climate control components can be problematic. They are reasonably easy to work on and parts are widely available.
The 560SL (86 to 89) has a lot more power and some detail upgrades but they are 5 to 10k more in price.

450slcya 01-29-2008 05:29 PM


Originally Posted by 300sdToronto
...with 100,000 kms on it.


Originally Posted by Rocky Racoon
At 100k miles,...

Kilometers verses miles. Big difference.

meltedpanda 01-30-2008 09:06 AM

Howdy, the 72-89 V8 powered SL's all have great engines, that said there are some that are more finicky than others. Its best to avoid the 74 California, and 75-76 models,these typically have problems with excessive heat in the engine compartment and some polution control stuff that goes bad. Also the 81 Sl's had single row timing chains and this, if not retrofitted with dual chains can spell trouble. Mileage near the 20's are typical of the later modles, early 70's 14, MPG at best.
Very very safe cars
If you buy one get the service history, this is very important, they are not high to maintain, unless they have not been maintained if you know what I mean

Run from rust, make sure all the tops are in good shape, always get service history.

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