2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK230

It seems like every time a first-generation Mercedes-Benz SLK catches my eye I look inside to see what seems like the inevitable. The paint on the center console is all worn away leaving a disaster of flaking paint and a total eyesore. Blame it on poor materials or careless owners, but these SLKs just don’t seem to be holding up as well as you might have expected. Once you realize that these were not just a mini-SL and built with more of the spirit of the C-Class in mind, you start to understand why they are aging like they are. It is possible to keep these nice in ideal conditions by ideal owners, but now that these cars are old enough to buy cigarettes, they are few and far between. Much to my surprise, this SLK230 up for sale in California is one of the better ones I’ve seen for sale in a long time. The best part? This price almost seems too good to be true.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK230 on eBay

1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SL with 1,500 miles

Last week I looked at a 2008 Mercedes-Benz S550 with little over 2,700 miles on it and quite honestly, wasn’t all that impressed. Maybe because it was a modern car that was only 10 years old, but the low miles didn’t really blow me away all that much. Today, we have a 1985 380SL that has just 1,500 miles on it. That’s it, exactly 1,500. I don’t know why or how this car only managed 1,500 miles, but that’s what I’m seeing. The problem is, like the S550 from last week, this car just isn’t doing it for me.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SL with 1,500 miles on eBay

1990 BMW Z1 with 10,500 Miles

Future.

That’s what the “Z” in the roadster/coupe lineup of BMW stands for, and it’s hard not to look at the 1990 BMW Z1 and not see a futuristic Roadster. Based upon, and sold alongside, the E30 BMW, the underpinnings weren’t revolutionary, but the shape sure was. Highlighted by its resin body with guillotine doors, roughly 8,000 of these unique visions of the future were produced by BMW. So thorough was the exterior change, little connection of the E30 base can immediately be seen. Never officially imported to the United States, there are nonetheless several cruising around (by cruising around, I mean mostly being offered for sale for outrageous prices). Today’s signature Urgrün (Original Green) Z1 has only 10,500 miles since new, so is this one equally unaffordable?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW Z1 on eBay

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 5-Speed

Fresh off last weeks bit of random Mercedes-Benz facts about the 1990 300E that came in both a 2.8 and 3.2 liter, I’m back again with some information that might be useful every once in a blue moon. From 1990 to 1993, you could purchase a 300SL with a dogleg 5-speed manual gearbox. Yes, the same dogleg from the 190E 2.3-16v cars. You might think this is the best news ever, but not so fast. This gearbox in this car has often be described as sloppy at best and really isn’t an enjoyable experience. The throws are long and vague, with any hope of fast gear changes being wishful at best. Rumor has it that there were only 166 examples of these 5-speed cars bought to North America which make this a pretty rare car to say the least. But if no one wants it, does this make it valuable?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SL on eBay

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster

I am not going to say the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is forgotten, but it’s not exactly the first or even 10th car that pops into your mind when someone says ”Supercar.” The SLR isn’t a bad car at all, but rather it gets lost in the admittedly small sea of supercars from the 2000s and on. The performance numbers are good with a 0-60 mph time in the mid-to-low 3 second range and a 0-100 mph run in 7.5 seconds. Mercedes put out the standard coupe as well as some special editions over the eight year production run that gained a little notoriety but today I wanted to look at the SLR Roadster. Normally when you take a supercar and try to make it into a roadster, some of the original design language gets washed away simply because things need to happen to actually make the roof come off and keep the car up to same standard. I think the SLR Roadster did an excellent job of keeping this car as true to the coupe design as possible. Let me explain why.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster on eBay

Phoenix Rising: 2001 BMW M Roadster

Let’s pretend for a second that you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years. Welcome back! Donald Trump is President of the United States, the Cubbies won the World Series and Kanye West has alienated the 50% of America that you wouldn’t have expected him to. A Castro is no longer in charge in Cuba, Facebook sells your information to make money and if Bill Cosby offers you a Jello pudding pop, I’d be suspicious.

While we’re on recent trends, have you checked out the pricing on Z3 Ms lately?

What used to be the cheapest foray into one of the most polarizing designs offered by BMW in modern times has become a cult classic and increasingly expensive, especially in Coupe form. But select the right options on a Roadster, and the price will still shock you. Take today’s, for example. Produced in August 2001, it’s a later example and that means something special is under the hood. That’s right, it’s a S54 cranking out 321 horsepower. Only ~1,600 were produced with that motor for North America, so that makes it pretty special. More special is the color; in total, only 39 E36/7 M Roadsters were specified in Phoenix Yellow Metallic. This is one of fourteen PYM/Black Nappa produced for 2001. As if that wasn’t outstanding enough, this particular M Roadster has turned only 19,760 miles since new. Guesses on the price?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW M Roadster on eBay

1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL

One of the greatest crimes in automotive history were the 5 mph bumpers mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 1973. As a result, our favorite cars from Europe went from being great designs to cars with massive underbites. Arguably no car was hit harder by this mandate than the Mercedes-Benz R107. A great, boxy design was totally transformed because of these massive bumpers. Thanks to another ridiculous rule at the time that required sealed beam headlights, the R107 design was basically decimated. Thankfully, there are enthusiasts out there who told the NHTSA where to go and swapped back on the slim bumpers and non-sealed beam headlights. This 1986 560SL up bid in California is one of them. Thank goodness.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL on eBay

1996 Mercedes-Benz SL320

Spring has sprung and convertible season is here. I type this as I look at my window to still see snow, but the calendar tells me it is officially spring so I’ll just go with that. What better way to start the warm seasons by picking up a relatively inexpensive roadster that won’t kill you in repairs/maintenance and maybe even make you a couple of dollars if you hold on to it long enough. If that is your goal, the R129 Mercedes-Benz SL320 might just be the perfect car. Fortunately, this 1996 up for sale in Maryland checks in with just under 94,000 miles and is a really good deal. How good?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL320 on eBay

1960 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

This is a new one more me. No, not the gorgeous Mercedes-Benz 190SL, but a car that is so perfect that is actually has its own hardback book with glossy pages showing off how beautiful it is. That is the level of perfect we are dealing with today with this 1960 W121. This isn’t an original time capsule or forget gem that has been buried away for 50 years, this 190SL actually has over 65,000 miles on it. Of course, this roadster has had a full nut and bolt rotisserie restoration done to it and by the looks of it, it wasn’t time or money wasted. Everything about the 190SL is perfection and of course, the price tag reflects that. So how much for all this perfection?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190SL on eBay

2005 Mercedes-Benz SL500 for $9,000

”How cheap can they really get?”

That is what I ask myself all the time when checking out almost any car. I understand why cars get to a certain point, even ones that were really expensive to start with. Sometimes it is just the natural cycle of used cars. Sometimes it is a situation where the car just isn’t worth the trouble and prices hit the floor. Of course this is a case by case basis, but it is always interesting to see how certain cars slot into the market when they’ve matured to over 10 years old. Today’s car, a 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL500, is one of these cases where I always wonder how cheap they are going to get.

The R230 generation isn’t like SLs of years past; this is a modern-era SL with a retractable hardtop and a sleek design. Gone are the square slabs and lightweight feel, this is a bloaty, heavy grand tourer. Of course all this came at a very expensive price. The 2005 SL500 started at $92,000 ($118,000 in today’s money) and only got significantly more expensive from there. The thing is, these are pretty stout cars. They aren’t mechanical nightmares like a Land Rover (I know this from personal experience — I own one) and maintenance won’t bankrupt you even if you daily drive one of these. But this SL500 isn’t a mint to get into: it is a mere $9,000. That’s it. No, it doesn’t have a rebuilt title and it’s not full of mold, it is just a 2005 SL500 with a 141,000 miles. This makes me wonder; are all R230s heading towards this level of cheap buy-in?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL500 on eBay