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Lost Cause Weekend – So, you want to own the Mercedes-Benz of your dreams…

Jim Brennan November 18, 2012 For Sale, Weekend Edition 14 Comments

Welcome to the Sunday Edition of the Lost Cause Weekend, where we explore the inventory of the Beverly Hills Car Club. We had fun with the British Stock on Saturday, with Austin-Healey, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and Jaguar taking center stage. Now its time for the Germans, starting with Mercedes-Benz.

Lets start out with this 1962 Mercedes-Benz 220 SEB Coupe. Of course the dealer states that this is an excellent candidate for a restoration, but really… This is a 4-speed car, with factory sunroof, but there is going to be a lot of work before this will ever be road ready. First off, you will have to deal with the rusting floor pans before tackling the drive-train, and then you will have to source an entire interior, right down to the instruments. Asking price for this piece of lawn art? $1,500! See the listing here.

While you’re at it, there are two more SE coupes in even worse shape offered, and you can see them here, and here.

This is a 1972 Mercedes Benz 350SL, which at first glance looks to be rather presentable. According to the dealer:

1972 Mercedes 350SL with both a soft and a hard top. This car comes in white with black interior and has very sought after small bumpers. It is an original California Car owned by the same gentleman for 32 years. This is a nice presentable daily driver that is mechanically sound.

If I’m not mistaken, this is the only year the SL was offered in the US without the large federally mandated bumpers, and I’m not sure if I like it or not. This car shows over 143,000 miles on it, but so what? This is a Benz, and offered at only $6,950! See the listing here, and tell me if this is the Benz for you…

Moving up 11 years, and we have this 1983 Mercedes Benz 280SL. This one looks to be a grey market import, with the 2.8L inline six, a proper manual transmission, and manual window regulators! Its a pity that the US spec headlamps were installed, because the Euro face is so much prettier. According to the dealer:

1983 Mercedes 280SL in green with parchment interior. This car comes with both a soft and hard top, very sought after small bumpers and (rare) manual transmission. It was previously owned by an elderly gentleman since new.

That interior is going to need some attention with either new leather hides, or better yet, MB Tex indestructible vinyl! The soft top will need attention as well, but so what… you have the hardtop! This car shows 174,000 miles, and is offered at $3,950! See the listing here.

Switching Gears, this is a 1960 Mercedes Benz 300D Adenauer RHD Saloon, and it really is a magnificent beast. According to the dealer:

1960 Mercedes-Benz 300D Adenauer in the highly sought after color combination of Arabian grey with red interior. This vehicle is an extremely rare right hand drive, fuel injected car that has been in California since the early 70’s. It is an excellent car to restore.

What is not mentioned is whether or not the car is running, and what the state of the rest of the mechanicals are. The body looks to be in great shape, and the interior will need a complete refresh. However, this particular car will command a lot of attention when complete. Yes, it will be a Herculean task to restore this car, but is it in pretty good shape to begin with, and will be worth more than the comparable Rolls-Royce or Bentleys of the same vintage. Offered at $19,750. See the listing here.

Which of these Mercedes-Benz vehicles will make the perfect starting point for the Benz of your dreams?

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  • Van_Sarockin

    The SLs need to be sixties models. And no 190 SL, either – odd since those are now expensive to purchase and restore, but don't yield must investment appreciation. The rest of these are bank manager or trophy wife cars.

    • mallthus

      Call me a Bank Manager then, because I like them. They seem to me like nice summer house cars (when in good nick). Certainly, better to drive one of these around Palm Springs, Palm Beach, etc than a Mustang or Sebring. Admittedly, they're not race cars or true classics, but they're handsome enough and, even taking into account their restoration costs and ongoing care costs, cheaper than alternatives like Jag XKs and Alfa Spyders.

    • Dean Bigglesworth

      I used to hate them. Now i kind of like them,and wouldn't mind having on to cruise around in. The only thing they need is a sensible lowering and some AMG wheels..

      <img src="http://www.benzworld.org/forums/attachments/w126-s-se-sec-sel-sd/322094d1280342803-selling-my-3-piece-amg-wheels-mini-img_0082.jpg&quot; width="600" img>

  • smalleyxb122

    Wow, that '83 ticks all the right boxes. Inline six backed by a manual transmission for under $4k? The miles are fairly high, but it looks very solid. The upholstery, the soft top, and the missing bit of trim would all be easily sourced. I actually want it. Not "go out to Beverly Hills to buy it" want it, but want it nonetheless.

  • buzzboy7

    Sorry, you didn't post any W201s. I'll pass.

  • lilpoindexter

    The 72 and 83 are the only real choices…but the 83 has a stick, so it wins…the seats should be easy enough to rectify…you can get some cool buckets from summitracing for $99 bucks, weld up a little seat frame, and you are good to go.

    • mallthus

      You'd want to reskin the original seats. Cheap Corbu seats would look really damn silly.

  • mallthus

    So, I'm going for the 82 SL.

    Here's my obvious costs:

    Convertible Top Made in German Canvas – $629
    Pair of Top Rubbers for Convertible Top – $30

    Door Panel Kit made in Vinyl – $438
    Interior Carpet Kit Made in Multiloop – $719
    Headliner for HardTop Made in German Vinyl – $200
    Convertible Top Lid Cover made in Vinyl – $132
    Rear Panels made in Vinyl – $105
    Sun Visors made in Vinyl – $438

    Front Seat Kit: Vinyl (4 pc set) – $525
    Rubberized Seat Pads: Front Set (4pcs) – $484
    Rear Stationary JumpSeat Kit made in Vinyl – $648

    Total Parts Costs (no labour): $4348
    Car: $3950
    Total Outlay (assuming no additional, hidden costs): $8298

    Yes, that's less than $10k for a nice looking Merc with a drop top and a manual. Well played, I say. If I had that dough to spend on a car right now, I'd be heading to LA to pick this bad boy up.

    • Uncle Charlie

      Excellent analysis.
      IMO to be safe you could easily get up to $10K oonce you factor a buffer for misc. engine/exhaust/suspension parts. But still agreed this is promising.

  • Manic_King

    Even the worst example of lawn art has received detailing. Shiny tires are important while car is sitting still, years probably, waiting for missing parts to arrive.

    • Uncle Charlie

      Noticed that too. One less thing to do once you have it on the road.

  • Rover1

    In the US, Euro headlights are seen as desirable.Outside it, people are drawn to the Quad 5+3/4 inch fed spec lights but swapping the sealed beams for halogens,maybe off an E30 BMW. Either R!07 for me!

  • That reddish orange one really does it for me.

  • sporty88au

    About the only use I can see for any of the SE coupes is as a donor shell for somebody with an even sadder example which has all it's brightwork attached. If they still had all their glass and their exterior jewellery, I'd suggest them as a candidate for the AMG 6.3 swap mentioned on here a couple of days ago – at least that way you'd have an excuse for a non-standard interior.

    I'm torn between the two 'Panzers' – the white one looks to be tidier overall, and could be a stylish daily-driver as-is (except those mismatched wheel trims would drive me nuts), but the green one has a stick, and you could probably get away with not fixing everything it needs at once.

    That Adenauer needs a lot of work, but at least it's almost all there. I wouldn't want to contemplate a restoration on something like that with any significant missing parts. That said, the tinworm in the sills (hard to tell from the photos just how far it extends – I suspect the rear wheelarches are swiss-cheese as well) and the rotten woodwork are really worrying issues. I think it could make a very interesting wedding car when finished.