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  #1  
Old 04-23-2003, 11:18 PM
fz500sel's Avatar
Happy now in paradise!
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Venice, FL - "sharktooth capital of the world"
Posts: 712
Grey market MB values?

About 2 months ago, I had my 1984 500SEL Euro stolen. The car was never recovered. I finally just settled with my insurance company after arguing with them for about 2 weeks.

Their contention was that since it was a grey market vehicle, it was not worth that much. NADA said that it was worth around $7800, but that was for a US version. They actually called a previous owner (a friend said that they would NEVER invade someone's privacy like that) and apparently he told them that the car was never brought up to Us safety standards (at least by him).

Other than emissions concerns, what else needs to be done to the vehicles to bring them up to US standards? What are your opinions about grey market MB's?

I saw a guy trying to sell his 1985 500SEC Euro here and he ended up getting just $3500 for it, after having apparently little or no interest whatsoever for it.

What are your thoughts?
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Frank
84 500SEL EURO 101K ( JUST LIKE MY 1ST WIFE. GLAD TO GET RID OF HER! )
85 300D 310K (sold)
90 350SDL 184K sold
83 300D 118K (sold)
88 300E 153k (sold)
93 400E 105K (sold)
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2003, 11:57 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 19,745
They replace with US spec parts:

- headlights, and rewire corner lights to be park lights as well
- tail lights, the US version has a red lens on the side
- bumpers, heavier must be safer
- km/h speedo to mph speedo
- third brake light added
- side intrusion beams in the doors added (to make it difficult to work on the windows)

The rest would be emissions stuff.

You might contest the PO's claim on the basis that he/she is not qualified to judge the safety of a car.

As a last resort, maybe you can request a refund on your premium payments since they were probably based on a payout for a US spec car. Worth a shot.

If everything is not absolutely done right and the paper trail isn't complete, it can be a hassle to get the car inspected.

I don't know if dealers still won't touch a gray market car. I don't think independents care.

All the MB buyer guides advice against gray market cars except for collectible cars (e.g., 450SLC 5.0)

Sixto
91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD
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  #3  
Old 04-24-2003, 12:27 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 481
I would kill for the euro 560sel. We brought a 300TD over from Belguim with us in 1984, had it Americanized and sold it for NADA in 1987 so Grey markets can get good prices. I also agree with sixto, bet your premiums where based on the US model.
m
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Martin Ingram
Colorado Springs
2005 320 CDI
2006.5 VW Jetta TDI
1991 560SEL (179000 Sold)
1972 280SEL 4.5 ('The Lead Sled' 320000 miles when sold.)
1972 220D (225000 when sold)
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  #4  
Old 04-24-2003, 11:14 AM
fz500sel's Avatar
Happy now in paradise!
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Venice, FL - "sharktooth capital of the world"
Posts: 712
They hadn't an answer for that

You guys are right. I brought that point up and they had NO answer for it. I live in MI and the insurance rates are higher than in other states. My 6 month premium for the SEL was $482 and the 6 month premium for my 1990 350SDL was only $310. Go figure.

Anyways, I got the car on eBay back in 1999 and they ended up settling with me for about $800 more than I paid for it.

I know one thing, I will NEVER get a grey market vehicle again. The hassles I had to go thru with the insurance company and SOS regarding the VIN was horrible.
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Frank
84 500SEL EURO 101K ( JUST LIKE MY 1ST WIFE. GLAD TO GET RID OF HER! )
85 300D 310K (sold)
90 350SDL 184K sold
83 300D 118K (sold)
88 300E 153k (sold)
93 400E 105K (sold)
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  #5  
Old 04-24-2003, 11:53 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 788
Currently my car is being totally reworked, so at this time I do not have it insured or licensed, but my dad owned and drove it for the better part of 10 years over here before he handed the car over to me and had no problems. Had insurance and everything.

My car is not technically "grey market" though since it was shipped over here by an individual (my dad) for personal use, but it has the German VIN nonetheless.

As far as the crap that sixto listed...I am reversing as much as I can on that list. My headlights/wipers are being returned to euro, I removed the bumper "reinforcements"....they put in a rusty iron bar with the sorriest welding job I had ever seen. Wouldn't have done a thing in a wreck. They also pushed my bumpers out about 1/2 inch. So those went to the trash heap. I'm leaving the taillights. Never had a 3rd brake light installed. And since you can't really notice the side beams, I'm leaving them, and they seem to have actually done a pretty good job on them. With emissions, the only thing they did was retrofit a cat, which also was a sorry job, so I am fitting a new high flow unit. If they did anything else to my car as far as engine electronics, I probably don't know about it. I got a German spec sheet for my car and I am taking to a tech and telling him to check all of it and adjust it to German spec if it is off.

I am not ever selling my car though, so I won't have to worry about getting $3500 out of it!!

I would also kill for an 88-91 euro 560SEL, or better yet a 560SE (rare)....279-300HP!!
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'86 420SE Euro
904 Midnight Blue, Gray Velour
Dad bought it new, now I own it.

"A Mercedes-Benz is like a fine wine, it only gets better with age."
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  #6  
Old 04-24-2003, 12:13 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 788
Just one more thing I want to add. It seems that some people don't understand that no matter where a Benz is going, it comes off the same line as all the others!! There isn't a "US line" and a "German line" and a "British line"! And one line has better quality control or whatnot than the other! Same line!! When I toured the Mercedes Werk Sindelfingen, they were making W210s and W203s. I was witnessing these things coming down the assembly line. There were US models, German models, RHD models, wagons, sedans... all coming completely intermingled down the same line...both 210s and 203s!

So this misconception that US models are "better" is BS. The ONLY difference would be the hassle some people have with insurance and whatnot, but I guess my car has been fortunate enough not to have had any of those troubles. And as far as parts....I haven't yet found a US part that doesn't fit my car.

Have a good day
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'86 420SE Euro
904 Midnight Blue, Gray Velour
Dad bought it new, now I own it.

"A Mercedes-Benz is like a fine wine, it only gets better with age."
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