1985 500sel grey market (attn: Bill Ditmire esp), but all help appreciated

<gossip> First, Bill, I never mentioned this to you over the past 10 years, but my father-in-law is Dr. David H. Choi, who used your dealership for
years, first with his 240D and then with his grey market 500SEL imported from Germany. (small world, eh?)
Well, my mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly, and sadly my father-in-law cannot drive anymore so he passed on his 1985 500sel to us. It is a beautiful car and I want to keep it. </gossip>
I use Mercedes Benz of Devon for my 95 E320 wagon who are well-acquainted with you BTW and highly recommend your service.
The 500SEL has less than 70,000 miles. Since acquiring ownership in October, I have only driven it from Princeton to Newtown Square once. There seemed to be a LOT of red fluid under the car in Princeton. The transmission gave me no problem on the easy drive (and believe me, I did not push it much as I wanted to) . I let it sit in my (one-car) garage here and it seemed to leak a lot more red fluid over the next two months.
Now to the questions. 1) The car must be inspected in pennsylvania. 2) I believe the 500 SEL is leaking ATF (as the brake fluid level seems stable). 3) how do I check the ATF level? i.e., where the hell is it? 4) if I can't, should I have it trailered to the local dealer ? 5) If I can, what type of fluid and how much should I add (dealer sezs dextron 2, and to only add like 1/2 quart). where do I fill it? 6) Unfortunately, life has gotten much more complicated and the car is now sitting outside. Should I rent a storage space for it? Or is a car cover enough? I won't be driving it much in the salt-water solution called roads here.
7) my father-in-law (whose memory is at best can be considered of dubious worth) claims that you tried to fix the leak twice and failed. Is it even worth trying to fix again?
The leak does seem to emanate from the front (not the back, which I guess is the transaxle).
8) Mercedes Benz of Devon will take a shot at fixing it, but I know they will cost more and I don't really know if they can fix it better than you.
Bill, we vacation annually in AC and it would be no problem to drop the car off with you for a week (if of course I can get it there safely).
Thanks for your time and effort.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I can take a stab at some of your questions (I own a 380SE)

Under the hood (obviously), near the fire wall you will see a red cap on a dipstick (on the passengar side of the engine). To pull it out you have to unlatch the black plastic latch that is attached to the cap. The proper way to check is to get the tranny at operating temp (this requires you to drive for quite a while), put it through the gears waiting a couple seconds in each gear, return it to part, let the car idle for 2 minutes, and check the dipstick. Another way is with the car started and run for 1-2 minutes, but still cool (service manual says the oil should be 20-30C) pull out the dipstick and the level should be a certain amount below the min mark depending on your tranny
tranny 722.0 should be 30mm below min tranny 722.1 should be 30mm below min tranny 722.3 should be 5mm below min tranny 722.4 should be 12mm below min

Dextron 3 is the new dextron 2 and you have to fill it up through the dipstick by using a funnel with a small funnel part. The distance between the min and max mark is .3 liters btw.
Richard
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You probably got a leak at the transmission pan... The worse case is a leak at the front tranny seal.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.