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

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

Not only is that a great quote from The Godfather: Part III and even better quote from The Sopranos, it is what I said when I saw another version of the Mercedes-AMG GT. I’ve covered the GT S, the GT C Roadster, not one, but two GT Rs and I figured that would be it for a while. Then this came along. The GT C Roadster Edition 50. The Edition 50 is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of AMG which was founded in 1967. As you might have guessed it, AMG made 100 of these Edition 50 cars split evenly between roadsters and coupes, with a handful coming to the United States. Painted in either ‘Designo Graphite Grey Magno’ or ‘Designo Cashmere White Magno’, these special editions received black chrome highlights as well as some different colored wheels. No increase to performance or suspension, just some cool paint and some different badging. So I have to ask, is it worth the premium over a regular GT C Roadster?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50 on eBay

Feature Listing: 2017 Audi TT Roadster

As I looked at in my recent write up of a 2016 Audi TTS, if you’re willing to forgo some of the wow-factor and horsepower of the RS models, the standard 8S TT offers plenty of thrills and smiles. That awesome MQB-platform is paired with the 2.0 TSFI turbocharged inline-4 pumping out 220 horsepower at 4500 RPMs and 258 lb. ft of torque at an unbelievable V8-esque 1600 revolutions. Carrying the same S-Tronic DSG dual-clutch 6-speed as the TTS and RS models as well as the same all-wheel drive system, the 3,300 lb Roadster is good for 0-60 sprints in the mid-5 second range and yet will still return 30 mpg on the highway. While those numbers may sound tame in today’s mega-horsepower market, you don’t have to go far back in time for them to be leading-edge performance for sports cars.

Excellent chassis dynamics are paired with a beautiful exterior and interior design, as well. I’ve long admired the Audi TTs for their clever packaging and taunt, no frills design. They just look better to me than the fussy lines from both BMW and Mercedes-Benz. They are thoroughly modern without looking cliché, cutting-edge yet unpretentious. The performance is here married with a package that can enjoy top-down weather yet remains usable year-round, even when the weather turns as snowy and cold as it has here in New England this week. This particular Roadster is even a bit more special than the standard TT. Outfit in Mythos Black Metallic with Admiral Blue leather interior and well specified, this car carries a color combination and set of options that can’t easily be replicated in a brand-new 2018 model:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2017 Audi TT Roadster on Audi Cape Fear

1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

This is a new one for me. A car so far gone, so decrepit, so haggard that it’s only salvageable parts are maybe some gauge cluster faces and one windshield wiper arm. All of this for the price of a new Mercedes-Benz CLA250. I’m not joking and neither is the seller of the 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL in Ohio. What once was a beautiful Mercedes-Benz convertible, is a now crumbling under the weight of it’s own rust. I’m not sure where to being or where to end with this 190SL but I do know that the price, $32,950, is well, a little optimistic in my opinion.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL on eBay

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster

The last few weeks I checked out Mercedes newest supercar, the AMG GT R, in both green and black. Both are really excellent cars and Mercedes seems to be going all in with the AMG GT guise as a four-door version is rumored to be on the horizon. But what we have here today is one of those AMG GT variants, the AMG GT C Roadster. Just clear up all those letters, the GT C Roadster is the roadster version of the GT S coupe. That means this top-down cruiser can do 0-60 mph is a mere 3.6 seconds and top out at 196 mph if you are counting. Everything is great and all, but you are probably saying ”What is the point of this when Mercedes-AMG makes the SL63 and SL65?” Well, I guess options are always a good thing, right?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster on eBay

Two Visions of the Future: 1963 BMW 700 LS and 1990 BMW Z1

Update 2/6/2018 – Unsurprisingly, the 700LS remains available on reserve auction (it is $21,900 on their site)

Normally, our dual posts have two comparable cars to consider. But while typically that manifests itself in one model, one price point or one performance group, today it’s something very different.

Although both of today’s cars come from one marque – BMW – there is literally and figuratively a huge chasm of development between them. There’s also a vast gulf between performance, desirability and price. Yet each reflected the time point in which it was made; the austere 1960s, emerging from the fog of war into a bustling economy when average Germans could for the first time contemplate automobile ownership, and the exotic 1980s, with its new computer designs and technology rapidly forcing car designs forward. For the company, each car represented the future in many ways even if the results and their impact was so vastly different.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1963 BMW 700LS on eBay

Clark Gable’s 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

Last week I checked out a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL in Hellgrün which is a lovely, as well as much cheaper, alternative to the big brother 300SL. Well, today we have the big brother and believe it or not, it also is a 1957 in Hellgrün. Just to top it all off, it was owned by “The King of Hollywood” Clark Gable and has just 1,368 miles. But, as you might have guessed, this 300SL comes with a much higher price tag than the 190SL. Much, much higher.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Clark Gable’s 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster at Classic Driver