Tag Archives: 450SL

Top Down Fun: Nine Convertibles for Ten Grand or Less

1993 300CE Cabrio

So spring (or summer, apparently) has sprung – at least in the Mid-Atlantic region, but also throughout much of the rest of the country, from what I hear. What that means to me is that it’s time to dust-off your convertible, change the oil, pump-up the tires, put the top down, and head-out for a relaxing drive in the country, or the city, whichever is your pleasure. What’s that? You don’t have a convertible? We would argue that there is a convertible out there for nearly any budget or anyone with a credit card that they’ve given-up trying to pay off and therefore don’t mind piling onto. Who among Car Geeks doesn’t relish the wind in their hair, the sun on their face, and the sound of the exhaust bouncing off the trees? Now is the time before prices jump-up for the season. What we offer here are some thought starters…

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 5-speed: Classic and Rare Beater Bargain

1983 Mercedes 280SL - 1

Having been produced from 1971 through 1989 in no less than eight engine configurations, Mercedes-Benz R107 roadsters are hardly rare. In fact, for many of us children of the 1960s, 1970s, and even 1980s, when someone references “Mercedes SL” these are the cars that come to mind. Here in the US, however, we only really got three “official” versions of the R107: the 450SL (and 350SL 4.5 which was the same car) from 1972 through 1980, the 380SL from 1981 through 1985, and the 560SL from 1986 through the end of production. That leaves a lot of SLs that never made it to our shores, including anything across the range that came with a manual transmission. That’s what makes this Euro-spec car on CraigsList in Fort Lauderdale, Florida a rarity. That, and its low $4,400 asking price.

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TTS: Five Fun Cars Near the Bottom of the Depreciation Curve

Last week’s trip to Europe has me contemplating all sorts of next moves related to the things automotive in my life. Really, there are 2 considerations: upgrade the Accord Hybrid to something modern and fun with all of the bits and baubles that one expects with a new car, or buy something fun as a weekender – ostensibly in place of the recently-acquired Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel – that may even be well-positioned to start appreciating if looked after. Truth be told, as dull as the Honda is, I cannot deny the benefits of using the carpool lanes to commute from Fairfax, VA to Washington, D.C. every day. It easily saves me an hour a day. That leaves me looking at the classics.

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Affordable German Convertibles: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SL and 1990 BMW 325iC

 I spent a fair amount of time last night – like many nights – surfing around the interwebs looking at various cars for sale. It’s not that I need another car, but with the attention span of a gnat when it comes to my cars I do like to look, and occasionally buy. Last night’s session revealed two cars that interested me – this 1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SL and this 1990 BMW 325iC. Strangely, they were both listed by the same dealer for the same price and they both appear to be in remarkably similar condition: variations on the theme of modern-classic German convertibles.

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