1970's classic MB quandary

Palfrem

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Go for the cheaper car, it's got 40k less for a start.

Say if it cost you £5k to restore, that would still leave you £2,500 up for a car with a lot less miles.
 

EDZ649

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Whatever you think it's going to cost to get it how you want it, allow for double your initial budget. Projects always cost way more than you think and you very rarely get your money back.
 

ss201

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A well established and very experienced restorer of Classic Mercedes told me that if taking on a restoration project, only expect to get back around 30% of your total outlay. He would always recommend buying a car that's already been fully restored. (and no - he wasn't pitching for business, he has more work than he needs). I tend to agree. Unless of course you are very skilled, have all the facilities and have lots of time on your hands (and deep pockets). By buying one that's already been restored, you can test drive it to see if you actually like it, have it professionally examined before purchase, and if it's meets all your expectations - use it from day one. On the other hand, a restoration project..........
 

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The dearer car doesn't say anything about being restored, just the paint being renewed, it may still be a money pit.

Depends if you want to buy and drive or you want to do the restoration as a hobby. I haven't done this on any Mercs, but I did a chassis up rebuild on an ex military lightweight landrover. Cost wise it made no sense at all but I never regretted it. It was a great hobby for 12 months and the other benefit was that I literally knew every nut/bolt/wire/connector on the car inside out.
 

Scott_F

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The red one is 40 years old and could easily cost you a four-figure sum in the first year of ownership just on sorting out a few issues that all cars of that age inevitably have. And you'd need to budget very carefully to ensure that £7.5k will be enough to bring the cheaper car up to the standard that you require - a close inspection may reveal it to be uneconomical to restore and only fit for spares.
 

Charles Morgan

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Buy the best one you can find if you are going to be spending your own hard cash on other people's labour. All the purchase price is is a down-payment on significantly greater future costs. As Scott says £7.5k can disappear very easily. I have researched what the guy who restored my BMW spent on parts alone, and it is less than I paid for the car.

With these vehicles, the expensive rust is what you can't see.
 

grober

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The cheaper one is a V8 which makes it more valuable - in particular to someone restoring converting the very desirable coupe and convertible models to V8 SPEC without an engine and gearbox for example should they want it as a donor car for spares rather than restoration.
 

NOMONEYBUTAMERC

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At 2.5k with a private plate that on the face of it is probably worth a fair bit,due to the low number , It has to be worth a look. But take a good mate with you to prevent you buying a money pit , preferably someone who knows a bit about bodywork. Good hunting !
 

corned

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As Grober states, the cheaper one is a V8. So even if you spend £7500 on improvements to get it to the same overall outlay, the result is going to be worth quite a bit more as it will be way more desirable.

That said, the photos are suspiciously dark in all the most important areas, so a viewing would be utterly essential!



Edited to add: Having looked at the expensive one, you would have thought that windscreen wipers would have been included in the £10000 asking price...
 
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Palfrem

Palfrem

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Thanks for all the wisdom chaps - much appreciated.

Following on from my successful triple by-pass in June, I have decided to treat myself to a bit of motoring madness and put something nice in my garage. Something a bit special that only comes out on sunny days and drives us to country pubs for weekend lunches.

I can afford about £10K and will want something nicely fettled and won't loose too much money in the process.

I just happened to spot these two on a convalescent trawl of Pistonheads as a good indication of my quandary.

The car must fit in the garage and be relatively simple mechanically as my tinkering days are over.

I have seen so many lovely things on numerous web-sites that the sweet shop syndrome keeps kicking in.

A boyhood bit of me fancies a TR6 but a good one is over my budget. I used to have a P6 Rover 3500 and wouldn't mind another one. Good P6 = Hens teeth. I saw a lovely E39 M5 but again - over budget:-

BMW : BMW E39 M5

I have always liked the older Mercedes though and I am focussing on something with a bonnet mounted star and a bit of charm and style.

Early days yet - no rush to buy, but buying the "right one" cheaply and paying for the work is looking like a good option. I have a good indy for the mechanicals and I'm sure a good body-shop can't be far away.

...besides, budgets get more flexible when it's already at home in the garage!
 

jaymanek

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Those W108's can swallow money very quickly. They rust like all older Mercedes and that green one will have hidden areas I bet.

However the straight six 280 is very sluggish for such a heavy car, go for the V8 anyday.
 

74merc

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I don't think the V8 has air suspension, only the 300SEL 3.5 and the 300SEL 6.3 had it. There's a hydraulic suspension compensator above the rear diff which goes and causes the rear suspension to sag. It costs about £1000 alone before fitting so isn't cheap. If I were spending my money on one, I'd go for the dearer one as these cars should be bought on condition alone.
 

John

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I saw a lovely E39 M5 but again - over budget:-

BMW : BMW E39 M5

I love the colour - same as my old Alpina (Japan Red).

That is over top money for a pre-facelift and is in that ball park I imagine due to the upgrades.

Standard ones go for less.

NB: Manual-only car - no flappy or slush available.
 

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