need advice on classic convertible choices please!

Hello,
I'm interested in buying an older Mercedes convertible and I've seen three good potentials but don't know much about insider preferred cars.
We ran Nada and Kelley Blue book and Manheimgold etc. and they seem to all be about equal.
Here they are: 1988 Merc 560sl with over 200k miles on it, in pretty good shape, may need front end work
1983 Merc 500sl Gray market from Germany, emissions changed and passed, great condition 120k miles
1984 Merc 380sl with 150k miles repainted, great condition, no soft top
Any of these hold value better than the others? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Hera
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On 21 Aug 2005 07:00:08 -0700,
had to open a new box of zerones to say:

All three cars should remain on the bottom of anyone's dream list for the following reasons:
1. 200 thousand miles is too much mileage for a specialty car, especially one that was produced in the tens of thousands... Buy it only if you're willing to take it to your grave because you'll be financially upside down in it as long as you own it...
2. Gray market cars are almost as soft in the market as flood recoveries... When you're ready to sell this money pit, look for a guy who's being wearing a bag over his head for the last thirty years as a possible buyer...
3. The 380SL is the weakest link in the SL chain, being underpowered and early versions had timing chain issues... The repaint and lack of a soft top puts that car at the very bottom of your list...
The best buy in the SL series is the 87-89 year models with under a 100K on the clock... There's always a bunch of them listed in Hemming's Motor News but beware of the guys who fell in love with the car and are now selling it because they can't afford to keep it up... Insist on a pre-purchase inspection for anything you get the hots for; it'll save you money, which you can then use to repair the climate control when it fails... Good luck...
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Why an old money pit.
Try a newer SLK.
DAS
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Yeah, you can buy a newer, much more expensive, and anecdotally much lower quality money pit instead!
I agree with zenits comments 100%
Marty
PS ( I like the old pagoda tops myself), although the new SLKs sure do look fine also.
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Don't buy a car because it will hold it's value, buy one because it lights your fire.
I bought a 380SL years ago, put chrome wire wheels on it, and drove it for a couple of years. Sold it for very slightly less than it cost me, but it started to rust and so I got rid of it.
Now I have a 93 SL 320 with just over 100K miles, immaculate, still worth about what I paid for it but I've had so much enjoyment from this car that the money end has become completely irrelevant.
It's an investment in pleasure, not in a savings account.
Canoli
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Hear hear.
However, there are measures one can take to reduce depreciation. These usually depend on the age of the car (less applicable to old cars) and country. At least one should be aware of them before making any purchasing decisions.
DAS
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Herawood wrote:

Find a 1990 - Totally redesigned and higher quality - up until 1994 or so. Much better use of your $.
Jan
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