Worth What You Pay For It

On an episode of the original Top Gear hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, they ponder buying a used car with a lot of miles, but a status car like the one featured in this post on motor1.com.

This post details the trials and tribulations of a cheap—as in purchased for $5,000 cheap—Mercedes-Benz SL 600. From the article:

“First, the soft top only worked midway, meaning it was stuck when he tried to close it. Seems like a small problem, but wait until it rains.

Next, air conditioning wasn’t blowing cool air and the brake warning lights were coming on all the time. There were also oil leaks, as Hoover pointed out, as well as a problem with the car’s famed hydraulic suspensions. Hoover also noticed how quiet his new old SL600 is, unlike the Pagani Zonda it shared the engine with, so he’s up for tweaking the exhaust as well.

Last, but definitely not the least, the car’s cosmetic issues were a downer. You could literally see a piece of duct tape on the front clip, which, according to Hoover, was the only thing that holds the front bumper together. He also needed to change the side mirrors and do some body work with the side dings.”


One of my cousins emailed me after seeing the Top Gear segment on high-mileage status cars (this was years ago) and asked if I thought it would be a good idea. I replied that as long as he went into the purchase with his eyes open, then it might be worthwhile investigating.

From autotrader.com a picture of the SL600 with the lowest asking price in the country:

Used 1994 Mercedes-Benz SL 600 in Spring Branch, TX - 480938289 - 1

This 1994 model with 145,000 miles is listed at $7,099.

The least expensive SL600 of the newer generation is a 2004 model like this, but not this actual car:

See the source image

This photo is from a Bring A Trailer auction. The asking price for the actual 2004 SL600 is $16,991. By the way, the SL600 has a V-12 engine. My wonderful wife and I once rented one during a trip to Las Vegas. The car didn’t suck.

What do you think about buying a “long in the tooth” status car?


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