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Old 05-22-2003, 10:43 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Scarsdale, New York
Posts: 4
How I found 560's and learn to love them.

Dear friends, that's how I think of all of you out there. I found this site a few months back, when looking for information on 560sl's. I have bougth an 1988 560sl with 142,000 miles on its clock.
It all started when I decided to get an MG. I knew that they were discontinued a few years back, but as MG's had been my first cars (before I got marriedand became "responsible") and I had loved them dearly, I decided that I wanted to go back to them. I no longer required a sedan, My children are grown, my wife has her SUV, and I had a plain vanilla Taurus.
I found a few MG's, and was excited again, until I went to see the one I liked best and tried to get in. What a let down. It turns out I no longer fit in one. I had forgotten that I was no longer the slim, happy and handsome guy I was. my waist is now a hefty 40 as opposed to a 28, and even though I am not tall, I felt cramped.
This could not do. What to do? I wanted a sport convertible, to feel the wind in my face, to race up and down a winding road with a blonde's hair streaming back from the side seat, while laughing like a madman with the exhilaration of it all, to drive down fitfth ave at 6am, top down on a crisp spring morning, no cars around (it's sunday) coming back from Jones beach after an all nigth party...
And so, I found the 560's. Now, here is something! The cars are beautiful, the lines perfect, the engines are strong and powerful. I was in love. I was not concerned with mileage, I figured these cars to be well mantained. Nobody buys an expensive car to trash it.
Of course, if I want the blond by my side, I have to have my wife put on a wig. But that is of little consequence, she is beatiful, and the wig fits just rigth.
And I can ride this car!! with the top down, in a sunny day, up and down blue mountain, bear mountain and West point. This is great.
Of course, my children are disgusted with the attention I give my car. (They are forbidden to touch it).
I have now 152000 miles on the clock. All I had to do to it was carry maintenance, change oil and transmission fluid, change the soft top (It was good, but my son decided to open it on a cold day, the plastic cracked), put new tires, and that was it.
But I have begun to worry. I read so many things in this board. I am now worried about the timing chain. My car runs beautiful. The engine purrs, starts at first try even in the coldest winter day, after staying out all nigth, buried in snow. Everything works as it should. I have had up to a 100mph with no effort, and didn't go faster because I am a chicken. I am a firm believer in the adage "Ďf it's not broken, don't fix it", yet, in this case, if it breaks, it's too late.
So, I'll finish here for now. I will post a picture of my "beautiful" as soon as I find out how to do it, meanwhile, my best regards to all of you, and please, if you find the time, let me know your story.


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Old 05-22-2003, 03:42 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: North NJ
Posts: 117
I've been to Westpoint and go to Bear Mountain a few times a year, and agree with you, it's a wonderful ride for anyone with an open top. Just pick a warm sunny day and spend an hour going through the park, it's worth a million, maybe 2 in the SL.

'90 500SL (sold)
17" AMG's
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Old 05-22-2003, 05:31 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: new jersey
Posts: 14
My story is similar to yours. I just bought an 86' 560Sl with 185.000 miles. It looks and feels great. I guess I will worry as things happen. A regular oil change and tune up its needed to keep it running well and lots of praying for the rest. The best car I ever had!
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Old 05-22-2003, 09:52 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 766
I feel so *validated!* Picked the Baron up on Christmas Eve, and he's been my working wheels since late April, adding to his 145K miles daily. There were some issues initially, mostly things that an occasional summer driver (which describes the last two PO) tolerates but shouldn't (shocks, some steering work, a ball joint, major service, bit of rust repair). Knowing that the timing chain was checked at the service, I'm still tuning an ear to anything Herr Baron might have to tell me. Give it another month and I'll finally be past the slight paranoia with each new sound.
Craig Bethune

'97 SL500, 40th anniversary edition

'04 Olds Bravada (SWMBO's)
'06 Lexus ES330
'89 560SL (sold)

SL--Anything else is just a Mercedes.
(Kudos to whoever said it first)
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Old 05-24-2003, 11:40 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Scarsdale, New York
Posts: 4
Thank you guys for your comments, and for the interest. I am gratified to know my car is not the only high mileage one. Somebody told me that MB gives badges for high mileage cars, at some specified milestones. Anybody know how to go about it?, I will appreciate the information.
Meanwhile, here goes a picture of my "beautiful"(If I can make it work)
Best Regards and have a good drive day!
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How I found 560's and learn to love them.-mbz-1.gif  
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Old 05-25-2003, 10:14 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Mountain Island Lake, Charlotte NC
Posts: 376
My SL has clocked 194k and runs like a top. I have owned this car for nearly 3 years and never a problem. I did do the timing chain, new soft top, new exhaust and tires...but that work only makes you love it more. Oh, I had to change the light monitor relay.

Enjoy your SL.
Rob Armstrong, Charlotte, NC
Mountain Island Lake

2004 VW Passat GLS TDI-50k
2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L 7k
FOR SALE 1991 300TE 228k

2003 Subaru Outback 57k Silver/Black-SOLD
2005 C230K 18k Pewter/Grey-SOLD
1997 E420 108k Black/Grey-SOLD
1986 560sl 200k Black/Palimino-SOLD
1985 300sd 340k-SOLD
1979 240d 170k-SOLD
2000 Volvo V70XC-POS couldn't sell fast enough
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Old 05-25-2003, 07:37 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,538
Originally posted by Le Chat
Thank you guys for your comments, and for the interest. I am gratified to know my car is not the only high mileage one. Somebody told me that MB gives badges for high mileage cars, at some specified milestones. Anybody know how to go about it?, I will appreciate the information.
Meanwhile, here goes a picture of my "beautiful"(If I can make it work)
Best Regards and have a good drive day!
Mercedes gives the badges for free for 250,000 km (155,350 miles) and 500,000 km.

You have to go to the dealer, have the mileage verified, and fill out a form. You send it in the mail to MB USA head office in New Jersey, and you'll get it in the mail.

This has been discussed many times before on this site, along with pictures posted of the badge, the tie pin, and the certificate.

Try a search and you'll find it.
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 06-13-2003, 11:13 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Posts: 58
similar stories

Funny how so many of us come to our 107s through the same route.

I had an Austin Healy Sprite (before marriage), a chrome-bumper MGB roadster (after marriage) and now an '87 blue 560SL (bought by selling the MG and most of the rest was a 50th birthday present from my wonderful wife).

Just returned from a driving vacation all through MN, WI, and the UP of MI. Fabulous.

'87 560 SL
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Old 06-13-2003, 02:07 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 86
got the rest for my 50th birthday

PLEASE don't tell me I have to wait that long to get my SL!!!! My wife keeps saying I need to wait a bit....but I can't stand the wait.
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Old 06-13-2003, 04:23 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Posts: 58
life's too short

Personally, I wouldn't wait. I loved the MGB, an underpowered touring car with a real feel for the road...but the Mercedes Benz is a horse...all the power I'd ever want (am a very conservative driver), but what a sweet, quiet ride.

Am only sorry I didn't pull the trigger sooner. I'd say, life's too short...why wait. It's a commitment to be sure...maintenance isn't cheap...but life was meant to be lived, according to Eleanor Roosevelt.

'87 560 SL
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Old 06-13-2003, 06:16 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,695
I was a senior in High School on Long Island when the 350SL came out in the 107 body. While everyone in my class wanted a Corvette, Camaro, Mustang or any muscle car I wanted a 107 body Mercedes. I guess I was a snob even in High School. I have always love and owned convertables. My first car was a 59 Karman Ghia convert. then I got a 63 Chevy Impala convert.
In 82 I almost bought a 190SL But My wife convinced me not to do it. I could barely afford to maintain the 220D the way I liked so how could I maintain another Mercedes. She admits her mistake, we should of bought the 190SL. In 1995 I was at annual training with American Airlines. Twice a year we went to simulator training. I felt I needed to go by the Mercedes dealer that day when I got out of training. I asked about any SL's. They had one but it was sold, or promised to someone. I asked if I could see it in case the deal fell through. It was an 88 560SL with 45,000 miles. Desert Taupe with Parchment interiors. Full records. Mercedes Starmarked. The deal did fall through and I negotated a price and the replacement of the softtop. Actually we had already come to an agreement. We found out that someone had driven it and lowered the top without folding the curves in. This caused the material to be cut. So the top now had a 2 inch cut in the softtop. I got them to put a new Hapich top on the car.
I converted the car to synthetic fluids and have been driving her ever since.
My kids are not allowed to drive it. They have driven when I'm with them but as I say "its my toy, not your".
I do love the SL. The one thing I don't like is the fact that the seats do not crank down. When My wife and I go on trips in it She likes to leave early. I don't. So she drives and I sleep. Its tough sleeping sitting straight up. But that is the only thing I don't like about the car.

In the summer of 95 when I bought it I decided to drive every convertable on the market, almost, to make sure the SL is what I wanted. I did and I do.

Change your oil and fluids to synthetic. Check the stretch of your timing chain. If you find it out of limits then change it. If not then keep checking it. I just had the subframe mounts replaced at the Dealer $1600. Unless you have a lift its a bear of a job. I do the majority of the work on the car but some things , like subframe mounts, I have the dealer do.

Enjoy the car, they are fun

1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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Old 06-23-2003, 04:36 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Scarsdale, New York
Posts: 4
Thank you Suganami, for your comments. I am looking forward to do as you say, as soon as we reach the mark. Perhaps in six months time.

It is my firm intention to drive this car for the next 20 years at least. At 6,000 miles per year, it will bring me to about 270,000 miles, a drop in the bucket. I will try to keep it looking as new as possible all that time, and I believe I will succeed. After that, it will probably go to my most beloved grandson. Not yet born, but planning is everything. (None of my sons are married)

Meanwhile, I am having a lot of fun. Of course, keeping it looking new requires time and care, as well as money. Luckily for me, I found an excellent MB shop, where my “Beautiful” is maintained properly. For instance, I took it for an oil change, and was told that the shift bushings needed replacement. The shifting was ok as far as I could tell, but, it is a high mileage car, and I did not get a lot of paper with it. All I had was a carfax report when I bought it, so. In my deepest voice, I said.. “go ahead.., make the change”. And lo and behold, what a difference in the feel upon shifting gears. Now it feels tight and yet smooth. A much nicer feel. So I call myself lucky to have found a good mechanic, one that will not take advantage of my fears and ignorance, as so many of them do.

Mind you, I am not totally ignorant about cars. I have learned to take them apart and put them together again while fairly young. My first car was an MG Midget, I bought it for two hundred dollars, and it was not running. A friend of mine helped me tow it from Indianapolis to Crawfordsville, Indiana. This was at the end of a school year. There, in a friend’s garage, I took the car apart, with the help of an MG Manual, and put it together again. It took two weeks. Afterwards, I drove that little thing to Los Angeles, where I spent summer vacation. I was hooked on these cars. I came to New York for Post graduate work, and the first thing I did was look for another MG. This time I found a 1960 MGA.
It seems I am being carried away down memory lane, there are so many adventures to tell, but I feel that I am intruding, so I will comment again on the thing that bind us together… our beautiful SL’s.

There is one thing I miss. That is the manual transmission. Somehow a manual transmission feels like there is more control. The beast is more responsive when one can force a downshift to 2nd from 3rd in a tight corner, and accelerating rapidly to get by a slow poke. I think am careful though. I drive aggressive-defensive. If it makes sense to you, it does to me.

To LUVMY84300SD, my advice is to get your SL now. We are not getting any younger and every missed day is not coming back…ever. This applies to anything in life. Life is short, and there is no time to waste. Live now, for tomorrow never comes. In this, I agree with TAHODGSON.

Good Story DMORRISON, like you I love to drive, a couple of months ago I needed to go to Florida and I was all set to drive my SL, I was finally defeated by my wife, who threatened to blow up my car if I insisted in “such a foolish thing”. She is absolutely convinced that I fall sleep while driving. Silly woman.
You mention changing the timing chain. My mechanic has already told me that he is going to change the valve cover gaskets, and generally give my car a 150,000-mile check. To tell you the truth, I am a little worried of what he is going to find. I read in this forum a story, in which a car, like mine with no sign of anything wrong, was given a check up, and repairs needed amounted to putting in a new engine. That did not sounded right to me. Let’s wait and see. I’ll keep you posted guys, if, and when, I do the deed.

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