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Old 08-06-2000, 09:56 AM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Buffalo, New York USA
Posts: 69
I'm looking at a 1972 350SL, 75,000 miles, most of which were driven in the first few years, then driven about 1000 miles a year when not in indoor storage (Buffalo, NY Area). They are asking $10,000. Anything special to look at on these cars? It's close to what I can afford, but is it better than an 86 560SL with over 125,000 miles? Any outstanding mechanical issues? What would you offer for a price?

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Old 08-06-2000, 10:06 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 1,193
I would be concerned by its lack of use in the past few years. My father in law bought an 87 Cadillac Deville brand new and from 87 to 96 when we got it as a wedding present it covered only 10,000 miles. We thought that was pretty good, but it turns out a lot of stuff goes bad when it just sits there. the 350SL is supposed to be a really good car, but given the choice the higher milleage 560 might be a better choice. Have it thouroughly checked out by a dealer or independent mercedes restorer and ask what it would take to get the thing in pristine condition. Its no pleasure to buy a Benz you constantly are thinking could be better when you can't afford to make it so. The price is right, even if its old, its still a Benz, but offer 8, you never know when the extra two grand could come in handy for a new exhaust system. Most important is records. If it has been serviced regualarly by a dealer, especially recently, it should be ok.

Jason Priest
1986 420SEL
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Old 08-06-2000, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
No question to me. I would go for the 560.

In addition to the above good comments about age deteriation, the 560 represents about three generations of improved auto technology even though in the same shell. Airbags, ABS brakes, better fuel economy with more power, half an A/C instead of none, and significantly better front suspension geometry are a few of the major improvements. Radio, cruise, power windows, better gauges (warnings)are some of the minor improvements.

Service is lower for the 560 due to hydraulic lifters, solid state ignition, and much improved fuel system. If that isn't enough the 350 will have no resale value once put into regular service and the interior improvements are enough alone to get my vote. But then I never liked the 107 chassis anyway, if I wanted to drive a 220D with a V8, I probably would have put one in myself.

I suppose part of my feelings about 107 chassis cars comes from the fact that it has been the only MB produced that doesn't comfortably sit a 6'4" human being.

Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician
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Old 08-08-2000, 12:57 AM
Harvey Sutlive
Posts: n/a
If it was two thousand dollars and you like to work on cars - maybe.
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Old 08-08-2000, 07:31 AM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Buffalo, New York USA
Posts: 69
I've had a chance to drive both now, and there's no comparison. The 1972 350 was noisy in the back end - grinding transmission noise. The 560 was unbelievable! Of course, they're asking $22,000 for a 1986 560SL w/65,000 miles. Kelly Blue Book puts it at no more than 19k if perfect, but this one had some minor rust areas, will need an exhaust system within a year or so, and the owner says he had an estimate for lifters at $800. How is it that these cars keep such high value, even more than NADA and KBB list them at??
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Old 08-08-2000, 12:06 PM
Posts: n/a
I think you answered your own question about the resale price. The 560 was unbelievable!

I saw one about 2 months ago that was perfect. They wanted $28k Good Luck finding one at KBB price.
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