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  #1  
Old 06-10-2018, 05:09 PM
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Are prices for vintage Mercedes climbing?

Hi Peaches,

Are prices for vintage Mercedes climbing faster than other objects of art and value? As time goes by there are fewer running and roadworthy old Mercedes available. Our friend Dan is looking for a nice 1960 to 1970 car but there are not many on the market right now to choose from.

Over the past decade, the economics have not been favorable for restoration of four door cars. If you bought a car for five thousand and spent five thousand on repair you could be upside down. Recently however, we have seen very nice sedans selling for up to $30,000 and Coupes selling for $40,000 and upwards.

What are your thoughts about the future of vintage Mercedes?
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  #2  
Old 06-10-2018, 05:26 PM
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If you're buying a vintage or classic car as an investment, don't. With old cars if you break even you're doing well. Usually they're gonna be a money loser over time. You own a vintage or classic car because you like it and you like driving it, not because of what it "might" be worth 10-20 years in the future.
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  #3  
Old 06-10-2018, 07:59 PM
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The good deals tend to get snapped up quickly, so they don't leave as much of a 'footprint' as the high priced stuff does (especially the stratospherically priced, but very well documented vehicles on "Bring a Trailer").

As far as four- and six-cylinder Benzes from the 1960s go, there are not too many left that are in good condition, so it can take a while to find the right one. But the good ones are out there, as few as there may be, and are available at a good price to a buyer who is willing to walk.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:35 AM
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I've noticed it over the last decade. Sedan values are climbing up and while not in coupe/convertible land, if you bought a 6.3 in mint condition for $20k a decade ago, you'd be sitting pretty right now.

Plenty of people buy vintage cars as an investment. You just need to invest wisely. Buy low, sell high, as with anything. You can't buy a 1968 Beetle as an investment, but a VW Kombi - well, those are nuts.
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  #5  
Old 06-11-2018, 11:23 AM
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I saw an episode of Fantom Works with Dan Short where they restored a Pagoda SL. I believe the bill was around $45k for repairs that a common sedan would also need. The Mercedes Benz Classic Center is offering two very well restored Pagoda SL cars for over $200K prices. The sedans will necessarily disappear without a thriving hobbyist community to maintain and restore what is left.

I am not investing with the idea that my car is a piggy bank. My blood and treasure maintain a vehicle that I enjoy driving. I consider myself a steward who saved a vehicle for enthusiasts to appreciate when they see it running down the road.
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  #6  
Old 06-11-2018, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffreyNMemphis View Post
I saw an episode of Fantom Works with Dan Short where they restored a Pagoda SL. I believe the bill was around $45k for repairs that a common sedan would also need. The Mercedes Benz Classic Center is offering two very well restored Pagoda SL cars for over $200K prices. The sedans will necessarily disappear without a thriving hobbyist community to maintain and restore what is left.
Think the MBCC sales prices are sky-high in an effort to both advertise MB's classic parts availability, justify high CC parts pricing, and to set 'benchmark' pricing for these virtually new cars. A rising tides lift all boats, it is said, and perhaps these big-dollar examples have a long shadow, making what was a $30k w113 ten years ago into a $80k 'collectible'.

Still plenty of less-loved classic benz models out there for us insiders.

Last edited by JMela; 06-11-2018 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffreyNMemphis View Post
I consider myself a steward who saved a vehicle for enthusiasts to appreciate when they see it running down the road.
This is what came to my mind a few weeks ago when thinking about my beloved 108. In the long term scheme of things we are nothing but stewards of these cars. Final judgement on our "ownership" will be based on how much of a better condition we leave the car for the next steward.

As for values I hope they shoot up right after I hand the title over to one of my two daughters. This way, for me at least I will not have to worry too much about the car getting into an accident while enjoying driving it.

Anyone have any ideas on the number of road worthy 108/109 cars left in the USA? My wild guess is less than 2000.
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  #8  
Old 06-11-2018, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JMela View Post
Still plenty of less-loved classic benz models out there for us insiders.
And that is the key to finding a good car for less $, just be sure to look at cars that are basically good but are not the highest option spec.

My 97 SL320 is a prime example of this as many think they _need_ a V8 500 or V12 600 .

While max acceleration is a bit slow until 3,500 RPM however, it is just fine in normal driving and pulls hills at 70 - 80 without running out of breath. The motor makes nice sounds when leaned on too.

The Porsche 914 is another example as some shun the 4 cyl 1.7 and 1.8 L cars opting for the 4 cyl 2.0. With most engines needing a rebuild at this point, it makes no sense to pay $$ for a 2.0 when a big bore 1.7 / 1.8 can more or less compete with the factory 2.0

Even worse is when someone is fixated on finding the 1,000 built 1974 " 2.0 LE " . For the most part, all of the cars optional details could have need had on a regular car when ordering it. The seats have gone to plaid on the LE cars but that can be replicated.

Performance of the 6 cyl 914 is completely different and worth holding out for an original or conversion for if you want such a thing.
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  #9  
Old 06-11-2018, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JMela View Post
Think the MBCC sales prices are sky-high in an effort to both advertise MB's classic parts availability, justify high CC parts pricing, and to set 'benchmark' pricing for these virtually new cars. A rising tides lift all boats, it is said, and perhaps these big-dollar examples have a long shadow, making what was a $30k w113 ten years ago into a $80k 'collectible'.

Still plenty of less-loved classic benz models out there for us insiders.
Some years back I told everyone that once the classic center was up and running that the price of parts would go through the roof. I was told that I was crazy and most didn't listen. Now these same people think it's great that their cars went up in value because it now justifies their investment or any future expenditures they might make. No consideration is given to anyone just coming aboard rightnow but then I expected that.

The MBCC division is said to be the most profitable of all MB operations - I wonder why. Your little 15% MBCA member discount? Peanuts compared to MB's 400% markup on many vintage parts.
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:38 AM
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I am an emotional buyer. If the funds are there and if I like the car I'll buy it. I have never bought a car as an investment since I do not have trophy cars, I drive them on a daily basis.
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  #11  
Old 06-12-2018, 09:53 AM
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Wink Ia a Mistress cheaper than owning a W108/109?

My late father and I have had 70 plus MBs since he bought his first in 1958. All but four were sedans. Maybe 30 of them were W108s that were flipped in the high inflation seventies where inflation and the Dollar to Deutsche Mark change made MB prices soar. We always discussed that as the W108/109 aged they would never hold the prices of coupes, convertibles and SLs. When MB discontinued complete parts coverage for M100 powered 6.3s in the 80s we sold the last one for several thousand dollars. And until recently we were correct that the sedans wouldn't appreciate enough to make them investment collectables. But the 6.3s have recently proven to be the exception as they are indeed exceptional cars. But I suspect that rough 6.3s still cannot be restored to the degree W111/112 two door MB's can be and work out economically.
I am of the "fix it and drive it" approach. My 1971 280 SE base model was bought two years ago with the idea that I could make it a great daily driver. I do not have the tools and expertise to do the work myself and with the know how concentrating into a declining number of mechanics repair and maintenance is time consuming and pricey. But if I can drive the car for 10 years and 100,000 miles, it will be worth it to me. The car will never be worth what I put into it and I am cool with that. But I will get my moneys worth in usage and satisfaction driving what I consider the pinnacle of post WWII personal vehicle engineering and design before other priorities made the cars heavier, more complicated but safer and easier to maintain. When serviced properly and driven regularly late model W108/109s are dependable, safe and fun to drive. (I should start a thread on fun to drive.)
If you can find a rust free example that just needs a little TLC to fix up I bet you might find an enthusiast that will pay crazy high prices, but there are much better way ways to make a buck. If you are looking for a hobby then making money isn't really an object anyway. But I do believe that the W108/109s will not drop much if at all in value and that makes owning one way cheaper than most boats and mistresses.
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  #12  
Old 06-12-2018, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Benz Dr. View Post
The MBCC division is said to be the most profitable of all MB operations - I wonder why. Your little 15% MBCA member discount? Peanuts compared to MB's 400% markup on many vintage parts.

Slow moving parts cost more per unit to store than fast moving parts so they will be more $.

There are some CC parts that might sit for years or never move at all so parts that do sell need to cover this.

Seems like a good business opportunity for you to have parts made and sell them for 1/2 of MB no? What will you be selling?
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  #13  
Old 06-12-2018, 05:17 PM
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6.3 values have been floundering big time of late. The word is out that these were and are needy cars to keep and feed at the best of times. Part prices will make you cry in your beer if you can even still find them. Agree with all that has been said with regards to not trying to make money off these old Benzes. Fix, drive and enjoy, but that is it.
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  #14  
Old 06-12-2018, 09:15 PM
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I see a total bucket of a 6.3 for nearly $15k. I wouldn't call that floundering. Of course, asking and getting are two different things, but still, that's what a 6.3 in very good condition would have been 10 years ago.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mercedes-Benz-300-Series/222975100639

That being said, my money would be on LWB 108s to be the best long-term value holders. No costly air suspension issues, blank canvasses for customization without the 109 entry fees.
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  #15  
Old 06-12-2018, 09:50 PM
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My folks were good stewards of their 220S and 280S but they drove me nuts growing up: “Stop exhaling in the car! Don’t stare at the woodwork so hard!”

Maybe I exagerate a little but we did have to slap these covers mom made on the cars whenever they were in the sun for more than a few minutes. That definitely paid off. This cover is the improved model with velcro ties.
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