Market Commentary


21 Jan, 2022

We don’t have to worry about an odometer roll back on this SLC! 1975 450 SLC VIN# 10702412010302 was posted to one of the FB SL groups with the message “Open to offers.” That should have been phrased as “Open to offers for hauling it away.” Despite claims that the drive train is in “running order” we’re hard pressed to identify anything besides the exterior mirrors and maybe the instrument cluster that has any value beyond being melted for scrap. For once, the annoying FB chorus of ‘save it’, ‘you’ll regret selling’ or ‘the bumpers alone are worth $1k’ were absent from the comments. If not for the sunny skies in the photo, one might have expected #10302 to be located in the UK. But in fact, the car is in Durban, South Africa. We’re not sure if the location has any impact on value of some of the components or if that increases/decreases the scrap value. Anyone from SA care to comment on the R107 market there? As for its future, we’d assume this SLC will continue to melt until the fate of the house its parked in front of is determined. The property looks to be in about the same state.


19 Jan, 2022

Odometer Warning! Our favorite Chicago based R107 seller is back with his latest (cool) find. 1984 280SL VIN#WDB1070421A010898 is on eBay and CL for $12,900. Mileage is claimed to be 71K. Usually the seller swaps in a KM cluster face to get a 40% reduced mileage claim but in this case the original cluster is still there with some wording about “Some states do not report mileage on older vehicle titles” but still saying the car has low miles. As usual, a semi-critical eye says this car does not have 71K miles – worn seats, cracked dash, a general disheveled appearance. We didn’t have the previous sellers ad so before posting this we did run the carfax just to be safe and sure enough there is a big red flag on it saying mileage is disclosed as inaccurate when #10898 sold in October of ‘21. The carfax also mentions damage in 2012. (You can contact the SL Registry for discounted Carfax.) As is our usual lament, it’s a bummer this seller continues to try to increase the value of the cars he sells by either fraud or in this case, bending the truth. All the cars he finds and sells are exactly what the Registry staff loves: euro grey market imports. He often fixes them up a little or at least cleans them up. Just a bummer.. let the cars stand on their merit. No need to resort to trickery.


12 Jan, 2022

Do as I say, not as I do! Our parents used that on us all the time. The Registry staff is going to say it now! We’ve decided to sell our project 1986 500SL VIN#WDB1070461A037316. It has 132,915 miles on the odometer. Instead of following the advice we give others and polishing it up and getting all its issues fixed, we decided we’re too busy and so just pulled out the camera and decided to get it gone! The market loves the 500 and the facelift versions are very rare. This rarity is due to the collapse of demand from the US Grey market in ’86. The drop in the value of the US dollar and the change in regulations meant an almost overnight end to personal imports. Plus the Mercedes released the 560 so most of the demand for the 500 went away. So while the 81-856 500s are pretty common, the 86+ 500 is a rare sight. So if you want a facelift 500 and want to get in at a low price point… here you go. Good points are that it’s the rare facelift 500, its an almost rust free car (just usual 500 trunk lid issues), and the interior is in good shape. Bad points are that it doesn’t start (turns over but doesn’t fire) and was originally Smoke Silver Metallic (code 702) over black. It’s now white over red. Then the passenger seat is disassembled and it needs a new top. Oh.. there’s a cell phone antenna hole in the trunk lid and the 500 spoiler was painted white. Did we mention it’s a rare facelift 500 and the only rust we see is in the trunk lid? Price is $13,250/bo and that price includes a new set of seat foam (4 pieces). Comment to tell us if you think we’re nuts AND dreaming or if you think it’s a fair price. DM us if you want to talk turkey!


07 Jan, 2022

We’ve made two important enhancements to the SL Registry website. First, we have now added examples from our database to our paint color chart. With the examples, a user can see what the paint color actually looks like on a real car rather than just a RGB square on a web page. We’ve been able to come up with examples of most colors but some of the early colors are proving difficult to find. These include Anthracite Grey Non-metallic, Beige Grey, Phantom Grey (we really want to see a car in this color!) and a few others. For the late 70s to early 80s, we’re missing Golden Brown, Sahara yellow (most surprising not found to us) and some of the weird greens like Cactus. For the late 80s, we’re missing things like Bison Brown, Maroon Brown etc. We really want to find a 560 in Pueblo Beige! But it seems like the entire 560 run was either Red, Black or Ivory! If you have or know of one of a car in one of the more unusual colors, let us know. The second enhancement that we’ve been wanting to make for a long time is adding the database search to the decoder. Now when a user decodes their option plate, the system will automatically look to see if we have a record for that car and display a photo and a link. We continue to make enhancements to the site. next up will be an interior color section and then finally the For Sale section. First photo shows the paint samples, second shows the Decoder, and then a few more of the paint samples.


31 Dec, 2021

Copart is the Sagittarius A* of the USA galaxy in the R107 universe. For those not stepped in astronomy, that refers to the super massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Each week, Copart sucks in five or so R107 which in our experience are never to been seen again – at least in one piece. Mostly its the cheery sale photo of a SL from 2018 and its mangled remains show up a few years later. We had never seen a SL come out the other side of the Copart black hole, like in the 70’s Disney movie, until this week. 1986 500SL VIN# WDB1070461A040950 went up on eBay this week for $48,500. It looks nice but didn’t grab us till we checked the Registry database and found it was on Copart only two weeks ago. (We always check each new add against the database as we don’t want duplicate ads from the same seller.) The seller has cleaned it up, removing the cell phone antenna and the gold trim. They didn’t fix the squashed rear bumper rubber. The copart photos don’t show much but they do show (to our eyes) significant paint issues on the driver’s side of the car visible in the open-door photo. Miles are claimed at 55K. The eBay ad says ‘Runs and drive[sic]’. Now, we have experience with this description. The seller is the same eBay dealer we bought our ’73 manual 3.5L from (VIN#10704310009600) back in May ‘21. Our ’73 was descried with the same ‘runs and drive’. Our ’73 showed up running on 5 cylinders (we hope), a transmission that can barely find reverse, bad paint, rusty trunk on a no-rust car… yes it ‘runs and drive’ but that turned out to mean only about 100 feet. So, considering that 500 #40950, was on a copart lot (why?) and this seller has a history of sparse descriptions that invite a buyer’s imagination to run wild, we’d suggest an inspection at a minimum if one is brave (or?) enough to try to get this car. At $48K, we’d stay far, far away – though that goes for anything from this seller. We certainly learned our lesson. But we’re happy this 500, like BO.B the robot from our youth, did make it out of the other side of the Copart black hole. First five photos from current eBay ad. Last five from the Copart listing.

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