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W126 deliberations

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I was looking at this 1981 380SE today. Very tempted but perhaps you guys can talk me out of it.

One owner car for soon to be 40 years being sold by the owner. Sparingly used with 55K with fsh for when the car was on the road. Lovely condition overall with an unfaded interior. Always garaged, which is believable. Local car to where it’s being sold. The paint is original apart from a bit of touch up on wheel arches though can’t tell. Manual seats (rare), sunroof, elec windows, no aircon, ABS.
I did a thorough inspection. The negatives are as follows. Most due to lack of use I’d say:

- a little rust on the bottom of front doors and the horns are a little rusty. No rust underneath, the sunroof, parcel shelf, etc.
- leak from the diff and rocker covers. Potential leak from power steering though could be from rocker covers as hard to tell.
- Interior slightly damaged by installation of security alarm. Screws in lower front fabric covers where there shouldn’t be any.
- Some fraying around B-pillar cover. Clearly reinstalled badly.
- Driver’s seat slightly worn and springs collapsed on right front edge (common). No tears. Other seats are perfect.
- Car not driven properly for 15 years and will need all fluids and filters changed. Brakes might reveal problems once it goes for a long journey
- Slight blow on the 1 exhaust connection on left side. Exhaust original Mercedes and overall okay condition.
- Minor blemishes on paint and bumpers. Chrome is good all round.

What’s your view on this? Is it worth it? About 5K GBP required to make perfect and it can be made perfect I think. This is an example that could be concourse entry if the above were addressed well.

I've got no pics or pic links. The exterior is Thistle Green and interior is orangey cloth velour. This is in the UK so it's a European 3818cc motor with full power.

What's the MOT history like? Service records add up with mileage?  55k in 40 years... This should be a criminal offence! ;)
The core question - how much is the owner asking for it?

Sounds like a "Note 3" car, which Classic Data place at ~9900EUR.
Note 2 cars are valued at ~16200EUR.

I'd say if you can get it for under 9k EUR / 8k GBP, you might just about break even after it's fixed up (provided costs don't escalate... as they always do :)).
Or buy it, use it, enjoy it, let it stretch its legs finally and forget the oh-so-pointless concourse :)

Yes all service books and MOT certificates tally up. This is a genuine seller with one of those amazing true stories - had the same car for 39 years mostly for pleasure use. Local man. Ran a business nearby. Now retired and the car has not been used except for grandkids' weddings. The condition is consistent with that.

There is no rust on the car except what I mentioned. An amazing thing in the UK as I'm sure you know.

He's asking for 8K GBP. I don't think it's an economic proposition but an emotional one for sure... Hence my dilemma.

Well if asking is 8k, that's a good place to start negotiating.

From where I am sitting, it all sounds very different! I know Ptashek's NOTE's are real, but I have never been able to wrap my head around (almost) any W126 fetching more than 5 thou.
I see them in Germany very regularly for 7-15 thou and I just don't understand. I kind of considered the german MOT being so severe, that the rules must match the Pebble Beach standards. How else can any car, built by the zillions, available everywhere at this "meat-nor-fish" age fetch these prices in germany, where in other countries (like Taiwan) you can't even give away a rust-free W126. In know that the salt-spray in the winters is a massive factor that you have and we do not have here, is a big metal killer. Is that the big "selector"? Wouldn't there be cheapish  W126's in France, Spain, Greece or Italy that never saw any salt, and still cost the same as a w126 1-3 thou?


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