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Old 10-06-2002, 05:15 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Las Vegas, Atlanta
Posts: 669
What is an early '90s SL worth?

I have decided to sell my 300SL solely because I want an automatic instead of a manual transmission. I'll probably replace it with a 500SL, since the 300 automatics I have driven are sluggish compared to my current car.

I'm posting because I can't get a handle on what these cars are worth. Book values are at odds with what seems to be transpiring in the marketplace.

Going to and punching up a '91 300SL with an Atlanta zip code, excellent condition, and 120K miles gives just $13,575 for "private party value". Yet looking at classified ads suggests the market prices are much higher. The Atlanta Journal presently has a '91 300SL with 110K miles for $20,700, and the L.A. Times just recently had a similar car at nearly this same price. These two cars are typical of the classified market. A glance at the ads on affirms this observation. And on eBay, where sellers are inclined to sell bellow market, cars very rarely trade hands for less than $15,000.

I think the KBB is way off base with its “private party value” of the 300SLs. And for that matter, the 500SLs as well. I would guess a typical 300SL is worth $17K - $22K. And within this range, I think the price is more sensitive to mileage than model year. I believe a ’90 with unusually low miles is worth more than a ’93 with extraordinarily high mileage – contrary to the KBB.

Any opinions will be welcome.
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Old 10-07-2002, 01:25 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: North NJ
Posts: 117
Bobterry, check out the replies to Islander. Eli.
'90 500SL (sold)
17" AMG's
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Old 10-08-2002, 12:45 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 133
Bobterry, black book in Canada is just as out of whack.

BB on an early '90's 300 SL is around $20K Cdn but asking prices seem to run around $30K Cdn. Have seen low mileage ones mid to high $30's.

BB on a '92 500SL is about $30K but they seem to run about $37K range.

As a car dealer once told me here, if you want to buy a Honda or Mercedes SL at book it will never happen.

I also own a mint Toyota MR2, BB is about $5K, I paid $12K and most I see are around $15K.

Agree on the sluggishness, drove a 300SL earlier in the summer but it was just too slow.
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Old 10-08-2002, 02:49 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: North Wildwood, New Jersey
Posts: 84
As others have pointed out, condition is everything. Condition coupled with low mileage and the right color can really drive the price up. How about this ad in today's Philadelphia Inquirer?

"Mercedes 300 SL '90
19,500 mi, smoke slvr with beige leather, $31,000 call 610-530-8876"

I don't know how close the seller will come to that asking price, but it seems that mint condition 300 SL's are fetching prices very close or at par with 500 SL's

Ironically, in that same classified section a '92 500 SL listed as mint condition with 79 k mi has an asking price of $23,000 and a '91 500 SL with AMG whls in "immaculate" cond ( no mileage given) had an asking price of $21,900.

The real key is what dealers are willing to payat auction which I believe is a lot more than some of the stated book values.

I think, in this area your car would bring anyware from $19,000 to $22,000.

BobH 90 R129
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Old 11-01-2002, 07:27 PM
Marc-1's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Spencer, MA
Posts: 80
Wait a minute here

Whoh baby,
First and foremost you can't buy a 300SL with a standard transmission in this country!! None sold at a dealership. If this is original it's worth a whole lot more than an automatic because this makes it rare. If it were mine the asking (demand) price would be NO LESS than 1/2 original price.
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Old 11-02-2002, 04:38 AM
Holson Adi's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,561
Here's one with a 5-speed..
2008 BMW 335i Coupe
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