Category Archives: Classic Mercedes

Dedicated to classic and ‘young classic’ Mercedes-Benz cars. Mid 1990s all the way back to the 1950s and 60s. Those cars you buy to have fun with on nice days and on the weekends… more affordable these days than you might think.

Rare 1968 Mercedes-Benz Heckfloss 200D Universal Estate Wagon Appears on eBay!

Mercedes universal wagon

Looking for a Mercedes-Benz wagon? Looking for something that nobody else has? This is an extremely rare 1968 200D fintail (Heckfloss) Estate wagon. A very limited number of 200 series Mercedes Benz sedans were converted into “Estate” form (wagon in Europe) by the Belgian firm, “Universal” in the mid to late 1960s, this is one of those cars that was brought over to the United States.

There is really no way to tell how many of these even exist in the United States. Bidding just ended on this car on eBay today, it was bid up to $25,000, but the reserve was not met. According to the seller it is in original, unrestored condition with a patina that makes it look the part. The exterior color is a light gold repaint (so much for ‘all original’), the interior is brown and trimmed with stainless steel and mahogany wood accents.

Mercedes Universal wagon
Even the Universal wagon conversions got the rear facing seats in the 'way back'.

While a 200D is never going to break any land speed records, this would be an awfully fun car to cruise around in during the Summer, and if you decided to take it to a German car show you can be sure you wouldn’t see another one!

Have a look at more photos and a complete description from the seller by visiting the (now ended ) eBay auction, just click this link.

“There are just some things you don’t do, and one of them is mess with another man’s vehicle” John Travolta’s Vintage Mercedes 280SL Stolen from Santa Monica Street

travolta mercedes stolen

It’s unusual for me to be able to work different Pulp Fiction quotes into the Dave Knows Cars blog in the same week, but with this entry, I guess I did it… from the scene when Vincent Vega (Travolta) discusses his displeasure with a vandal who keyed his car after it had been safely stored for four years while he was in Amsterdam with Lance (Eric Stoltz), his Heroin dealer.

The short article below has been bouncing around different websites since last week when, apparently, John Travolta‘s 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SL was stolen. One account quoted Travolta estimating the car’s value at about $35,000, other reports call it a $100,000 car. I’ve got to believe Travolta is much closer to the actual value of his car than the Hollywood reporters.
Travolta mercedes stolen

According to Hollywood media reports, “Swordfish” actor left stranded in Santa Monica, California, as his car was stolen. A thief took 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SL, and it was worth $100,000.

He was at Jaguar dealership for a short visit, but as his car got stolen, he returned back to dealership and waited for the cops to make crime report. Reports also say that  no suspect has been identified yet. Motoring enthusiast John, 57, has a large collection of cars including a Rolls Royce, and a Jaguar XJ6 as well as vintage Ford cars.

He said in 2007: “I have a 55, 56 and 57 Thunderbird – American Fords in the great old tradition. I love the fact that they could achieve speed and distance with such style. I don’t use them for long journeys any more, but to just enjoy the drive.”

1957 Mercedes Benz 190SL Restored at Lake Country Classics in Minneapolis Just Listed on eBay!

Mercedes 190SL For Sale

This pristine 1957 Mercedes Benz 190SL was recently restored by Bruce Kelly’s Lake Country Classics in Minneapolis Minnesota, it was just listed on eBay this evening. This particular 190SL is black with a white leather interior. It has been in the same family for more than 35 years. The owner of the car started a complete restoration more than 25 years ago, and as with so many projects, it was started and stopped and started and stopped. Eventually the owner of the car passed away. At that point it was given to his grandson who commissioned a complete restoration by Lake Country Classics in Minneapolis.
Mercedes 190SL eBay

Over the past 18 months the car was restored, inside and out. Today, the car runs and drives beautifully. It’s smooth and effortless, I’m always amazed how Mercedes-Benz cars from the late fifties don’t feel at all like other cars from the same period. This was a much easier car to drive, in my opinion, than Jaguars of the same period, and it’s certainly a nicer car to drive than just about anything American made in the late 1950s.

The collector car world has noticed the same things I have when it comes to classic Mercedes-Benz vehicles. They start when you want them to start, they’re reliable, comfortable and generally good, easy cars to live with. As we see prices of the A list Mercedes classics climb into seven figure territory, as we’ve seen regular steel body 300SL Gullwings do recently with 300SL roadsters not too far behind, now well into the $600 – $700k+ territory we’ve seen 190SLs increase in value as well. A rising tide does lift all boats in the vintage Mercedes roadster market.
1957 Mercedes 190SL

While 5 or 10 years ago a 190SL like this one might have been a $30,000 – $50,000 car on a good day, it is likely to bring almost double that in 2011. There is a finite number of good cars left, restorations are staggeringly expensive (and getting more expensive everyday thanks to parts price increases and fewer and fewer marque specialists who can actually do the work. The restorations also take a lot of time, time you could be out enjoying a car. If you can find someone else’s completed project, and as long as it’s been restored correctly and to a high standard by a marque expert, like this car, you might just be able to buy it for about the price of the restoration and save yourself the time and headache.

Have a look at the eBay auction by following this link, there are almost 100 photos of the car there and a complete vehicle description.


MUST READ! The Most Eloquent Craigslist Ad I’ve Ever Seen: A Vintage Mercedes 280SE 4.5 in San Diego County, CA

Classic Mercedes For Sale

I’ve been combing classifieds recently for a W108 Chassis Mercedes-Benz sedan and came across one of the most eloquently written Craigslist ads I’ve ever seen. (link to the actual Craigslist ad from Lakeside, CA, near San Diego HERE)

It was for a 1972 model W108 chassis  Mercedes-Benz. Built between 1965 and 1972, these cars were the S classes of their day. They were big, imposing, comfortable, and powerful if fitted with the right engine, the right engine for me would be the 4.5 liter V8 that, even today, can keep up with modern day traffic just fine and propel the vehicle it’s mounted in well over 100mph for long stretches without really breaking a sweat (or anything else for that matter), after all, it does pack 230 Horespower… and that’s back in 1972!

Today, these cars are easy to find, and based on their high cost when new, most were taken pretty good care of. Many show up when folks pass away and leave them to a chile or grandchild who then realizes that they don’t need an ‘extra’ 40 year old car or they go to start it up and realize what a car that’s been sitting in storage for the past 15 years might need to actually get running again and they decide to sell the car.

LOTS of these cars are showing up on eBay and Craigslist these days. The right example can represent an incredible value, as it’s a lot of car for not much money. The sedans will always be less desireable than coupes and convertibles to teh collector and psuedo collector crowds. People usually want the top on their extra car to be able to go down on nice days. As a result, these cars are incredible cheap at the moment, not old enough (or more likely, rare enough) to be true collectibles and not new enough to be regular daily drivers with the usual creature comforts we’ve come to expect.
Classic Mercedes 280SE

The seller of this particular car has quite a way with words, and while I’m not really one for giving someone the full history of the production and design of a car in a sales description (I figure if someone’s seriously looking, they already know, or should already know, what they’re looking at) this guy writes extremely well. He must be well educated or have some sort of educational background heavy in literature and letters. There is just the right mix of information and sense of humor, never taking himself too seriously.

While for me, this car isn’t quite right (this light ivory / light beige color just doesn’t do it for me) I’m tempted to take a closer look just based on the great description from the seller… hey, at least he’s out there having fun with the sale of his old car!

SOLD! Mercedes Benz Young Classic 1978 450SLC Exceptional Condition and Ready for Cruising!

Classic Mercedes 450SLC

This 450SLC was purchased by Sears Imports from an older gentleman who was making some room in his garage, he is a long time Sears Imported Autos customer. This 1978 450SLC is in exceptional condition, inside and out. It is metallic brown (sort of a dark copper color) on the outside, it has cognac interior which is original and in excellent condition. More expensive than an SL Roadster when new, these are fairly rare cars today. There were lots made… about 63,000 in this body style from late 1971 until 1981 when the SLC was replaced by the W126 sedan based 500SEC… but few good, survivor cars still exist today.

The Sears Imports body shop performed a very high quality repaint on this car, in the original color. It was extremely well done. It is a dry car.. there was no rust or rust repair, the paint was just ready to be done after more than 30 years. The interior upholstery and carpet is all original and, frankly, in better condition than some of our other SLs that are 10 year newer than this car.

The 3 speed automatic transmission shifts easily, no clunking or jerking. I’ve driven a number of cars like this one and owned several similar cars with the same drive train and this, very honestly, is one of the nicest I’ve driven. Everything works… the electric windows, electric passenger’s side mirror (driver’s side is still manual), electric sunroof, even the clock on the dash. There are no dash cracks in this car, it’s just an honest, original car. It has just over 89,000 original miles on its odometer and is ready for another 89,000 more.

classic mercedes 450SLC

Get in today, turn the key and get on the road. Priced to move at $8,995, Sears Imports stock#19873. Give me a call, come on in, drive it, make an offer, we’re looking to move this vintage cruiser before the end of the Summer.

Local Vintage 1957 Mercedes 190SL Roadster Maintained by Lake Country Classics Now For Sale on eBay Motors!

The owner of this 1957 Mercedes Benz 190 SL roadster has decided to sell his wonderful car on to its next steward via eBay motors. He has owned it for about ten years and has enjoyed using the car as it was meant to be used… driving it often and over long distances. He regularly drove this car to the family vacation home on Minnesota’s north shore from Minneapolis and back during the mild Minnesota summers.

Visit the car’s eBay auction by clicking this link!

It is a driver quality car with an off white / putty colored exterior and a very nice red leather interior. The exterior has its share of paint chips and nicks, it presents well with plenty of patina. It drives flawlessly. It’s a manual transmission 4 cylinder engine equipped with dual Weber carburetors. It was restored in the mid 1980s and now has the honest, patinated look of a well loved, well used vintage Mercedes-Benz roadster. According to the owner you get 90% of the fun of a 300SL at about 1/5th the price!

Relisted on eBay – Ultra Rare 1985 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Euro Model

UPDATE: AS OF JULY 14, 2011 THIS CAR IS STILL AVAILABLE – the owner wants to sell it and is open to reasonable offers in the high teens. Please contact me if you’re interested or want more information.

This car was originally listed on eBay a couple of weeks ago… the car was bid to $19,200, but did not meet its reserve, so it’s been listed again. The high bidder didn’t have the funds to even purchase the car at his high bid price of $19,200… so, it was re-listed on eBay yesterday.

They don’t get much nicer that this! This car is owned by a local Minneapolis Mercedes-Benz Club member. He is the third owner of this rare 500SL Euro model. It was imported to the U.S. in the late 1980s and retained its small bumpers and original European headlamps, both of these items give the Euro cars a much cleaner, more sleek look than the cars that were officially imported to the U.S. with huge bumpers and four sealed beam round head lamps. CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE THE NEW eBay AUCTION AND 120 PHOTOS OF THIS CAR!

The 500SL is the highest horsepower R107 chassis SL ever built by Mercedes-Benz, it’s also the fastest, and it’s lighter than similar U.S. models. While the U.S market got the 560SL, they were strangled with lots of horsepower killing emissions equipment and additional weight of large DOT bumpers. There is little doubt that the 500SL is the most sought after and collectible of all the R107 chassis SLs built between 1972 and 1989.

This particular car is completely original and in excellent condition with just 41,000 original miles. The soft top is original as is the saddle leather interior.

Dave Knows Cars Road Trip to Texas! Keels and Wheels Vintage Car and Boat Show, Seabrook, Texas

I went on a roadtrip over the past week, to the Keels and Wheels Concours d’Elegance for vintage cars and boats held at the Seabrook Yacht Club in Seabrook, TX each year. My friend from the Mercedes-Benz Club, Dave Bortner, owner of Freedom Boat Service, a company that restores, maintains and brokers the sale of vintage wood boats, invited me to go along with him.

The trip started Wednesday afternoon April 27th. It was a 20 hour drive from Minneapolis to Seabrook, just South-East of Houston on the gulf coast. We towed Dave’s 1961 21′ Century Coronado “Endangered Species” the whole way… we had one flat tire on the boat trailer along the way, in Oklahoma (see photo of where we changed the flat far below) other than that, it was a long, but uneventful drive.

The show itself was wonderful, the weather was warm and sunny most of the time. The quality of the cars and boats on display was extremely good. The cars and boats on display were there from all over the country, but mainly from the South and Southwest. The food was good, the company was better. We met some new friends and had an exceptional time. There were plenty of Mercedes about, only a couple in the show surprisingly, but a handful in the World Wide Group’s collector car auction held on Saturday afternoon.

I was happy to have met and spoken with the publisher of my all time favorite collector car magazine, Keith Martin, of Sports Car Market Magazine and host of the HD Theater show “What’s My Car Worth?.” We had a nice chat as he walked briskly to the auction tent where he was to act as Master of Ceremonies for the distribution of the awards to the car show winners. A nice, gracious guy and a car guy through and through.

It was a great time. I must thank my friend Dave Bortner for asking me to go along, I logged more hours behind the wheel of a vehicle towing a boat than ever before in my life, I eventually go used to it, a 3/4 ton Suburban with Quadrasteer is a great tow vehicle. If you’re even remotely interested in nice things… cars, boats, people, etc. I suggest you put this event on the calendar! While it was 39 degrees and rainy in Minneapolis, we enjoyed sunny weather in the high 80s on the Gulf Coast, a great place to escape for a few days during the early Spring in the North. Enjoy the photos below!

A beautiful Aston Martin DB4 from Mexico.
Dave Tobin relaxing in 'Endangered Species' 1961 Century Coronado.
Dave Bortner driving 'Endangered Species'
Keels and Wheels Seabrook, TX vintage boats in the water, cars on the shore.
Bortner in the Coronado.

This Mercedes-Benz 250SL won "Best Mercedes".
Interior of a 1971 Mercedes Benz 280SE Cabriolet.
The Mercedes 280SE Cabriolet, a very nice example.
1961 Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster from the "Driver Source" in Houston.
Inside the World Wide Group auction tent. Pierce Arrow, Mercedes 190, Jaguar XKE, some nice cars.
Captain Dave Bortner with his Century Coronado at Keels and Wheels Seabrook, TX 2011
We changed a flat trailer tire in the shade at this defunct gas station in Oklahoma.

1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster For Sale On the Lawn at Seabrook Keels and Wheels

This ’61 300SL roadster is on display at the Keels and Wheels concours d’Elegance at the Seabrook Yacht Club in Seabrook, TX this weekend.

It was brought to the show for display by Drivers Source of Houston, a classic and collector car dealer. The car looks to have been restored fairly recently but moderate wear leads on to believe that it has travelled some miles since the restoration.

An original detachable hard top is included with the car. It has apprise card in the window asking $619,000. While the 300SL market is hot and all 300SLs are moving up in value, without Rudge wheels, luggage or some other options to make it extra desirable 619,000 seems a bit strong to me.

Unless a full and comprehensive inspection found something exceptionally good or exceptionally bad inside or underneath I would think this is a $550,000 – $575,000 car. It looks great in the black / red color combo.

Another Pristine Lake Country Classics Restored Mercedes 280SL Roadster in Minneapolis for Sale on eBay, Local Minneapolis Mercedes Benz Club Member Car

This Mercedes Benz 280SL Roadster is currently for sale on eBay. Owned by a member of the local Twin Cities Section of the Mercedes Benz Club of America. This is a pristine example of a W113 Pagoda SL in the rare Moss Green Metallic color with an even more rare green top, the interior is Bamboo leather. Have a look at the eBay auction HERE.

The car was completely restored over a period of about seven years between 2002 and 2009 under the direction of Bruce Kelly at Lake Country Classics in Minneapolis. It is as pristine inside and underneath as it is from the outside. You could eat off the engine, it is an incredible example. There are more than 100 photos included in the eBay auction, I’ve posted several of them below.