Tag Archives: Dave Knows Cars

Mercedes SL 550 silver arrow

2009 Mercedes Silver Arrow SL550 Special Edition – Only 550 Made – Lightly Used and For Sale at Sears Imports!

Mercedes SL 550 silver arrow

Update! – Dateline: November 20, 2015. Three years on, I received a question about the market potential and values of these 2009 Silver Arrow Edition SLs.

Arguably, no SLs from this very modern era are ‘collectible’ at this point. They are still depreciating, at the usual, alarming rate. BUT… if any R230 series SL is going to be a collectible, or eventually increase in value, the special edition cars will be the ones to lead the pack. We’re already seeing this with R129 series SLs. Now that they’re almost 20 years old, price premiums are being put on the 1997 Anniversary edition SL 320 and SL 500 models (see an article I wrote for the SL Market Letter about an SL 320 40th Anniversary edition that sold at Barrett Jackson in 2013 here). A slight premium is also being paid for the best 2002 SL 500 and SL 600 Silver Arrow Edition cars. Only the most original, low mile cars are being sought by collectors interested in putting them away, driving them very little, hoping that they may end up with a car that’s worth more than they paid, eventually.

It cannot be overstated: the lowest mile, original paint, unmolested, excellent service history cars with as few owners as possible are likely to lead the ‘collectible’ pack in the future. Realistically… the R230 series SLs, the 2009 Silver Arrow Editions, will probably continue to depreciate for the next 15 years. If, at that time, you still have a nice one, that you’ve driven very little, it may begin to climb up in value, but chances are it will be many years, if ever, before a future value eclipses its original MSRP of $112,000+. My suggestion, buy one, drive it on nice days and enjoy it. Your grandchildren might end up with a car that’s worth something, but these cars may never, truly, compare to earlier SLs of the 50s, 60s and 70s in terms of outright collectibility.

Here is my original post about this particular SL 550 Silver Arrow, back when I worked at Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz from the Summer of 2012. >

Sears Imports Mercedes Benz just acquired this perfect 2009 Mercedes Benz SL550 Silver Arrow from its only owner. In 2009 the 5th generation R230 Mercedes-Benz SL got a facelift, it’s first since the 5th generation SL was introduced in 2003. In 2009 we saw significant visual changes to the outside of the car. Most prominent were new headlights, much more chiseled and angular that the previous cars. A new front end treatment was included as well as a completely new hood with aggressive looking raised ‘arrows’.

It was also in 2009 when they decided to commemorate the classic racing victories of the Mercedes-Benz racing cars of the 1930s, known as the ‘silver arrows’ due to their silver color. In fact, Mercedes-Benz engineers left the factory racing cars unpainted, to save precious weight. As result, the aluminum body work of the cars shone bright silver giving rise to the name, ‘Silver Arrows’.

2009 Mercedes Silver Arrow SL550

Just 26,389 original, one owner miles on this car!

This car is one of just 550 Limited ‘Silver Arrow Edition’ SL550s produced in 2009. As you can see on the original option list below, the ‘Silver Arrow Package’ was an almost $14,000 option package that was one these 550 cars. All the usual options were included, all of them were painted the same shade of ‘Silver Arrow’ with Red Premium Leather interior along with special ‘Silver Arrow’ badging.
2009-Mercedes-Silver-Arrow values

This particular car is a one owner vehicle from Iowa. It was driven seasonally and has never seen a Winter. It has just 26,389 original miles, it has a clean, no stories Carfax. This is being sold as a Certified Pre Owned car, so you get the balance of the factory, new car warranty. Once that warranty expires, the Certified Pre Owned Warranty begins which is one more year, or up to 100,000 miles. An additional two years of Certified Pre Owned Warranty is available from Mercedes-Benz when you buy the car.

2009 Mercedes SL550 Silver arrow differences

The new front end of the 2009 Mercedes SL550, new lights, grille and front air dam… great looking new AMG sport wheel option too!

Essentially a perfect car, this is Sears Imports Stock# 20431 and is seriously for sale today for $67,900. There are more photos below.. of this particular car and some of the Mercedes-Benz racing Silver Arrows of the 1930s. If you’re going to own a Silver Arrow Edition SL, you better know the rich history behind the name.

Mercedes SL550 silver arrow

The Red Premium Leather, a classic Mercedes-Benz interior color.

Mercedes SL550 Airscarf

Another shot of the interior, notice the AIRSCARF vents in the back of the head rests.

2009 Mercedes SL550 silver arrow badge

Here is the interior badge showing that this is 1 of 550 2009 SL550 Silver Arrow Edition cars built. This isn’t car #1, it is just one of the 550 made… they weren’t numbered 1 of 550, 2 of 550, etc. All of them have this same badge. I’ve had two different owners tell me they have car number one… and I hate to break the bad news to them, that ‘everyone has car #1’ and then I explain the badging to them.

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Mercedes-Benz first racing outing of the 1937 season was at the Grand Prix in Tripoli, Libya.

mercedes-benz-1937-silver-arrow

Cutting edge for 1937… just a couple of years later everything would end for the factory backed Mercedes-Benz racing teams with Hitler’s invasion of Poland. It would be many years before Mercedes-Benz was back on the race track.

1971-BMW-2002-Cabriolet-Bauer

Gooding and Co. Sells 1971 BMW 2002 Cabriolet by Bauer for $68,200 at Amelia Island

DaveKnowsCars-BMW-2002-Bauer-Convertible-Gooding-and-Co
Gooding and Co. is offering a number of desirable and classic BMWs at their Amelia Island sale today. One of the most unusual and desirable (for my taste) is this 1971 2002 Cabriolet by Bauer. These are rare cars, especially here in the U.S. and they don’t come onto the market very often.

Charlie Ross hammered this car sold today for $62,000, total sale price was $68,200 with buyer’s premium.

This is a manual transmission example (as most 2002s were) that was restored to factory specs at some point pre 1990, as they mention the restoration was ‘freshened during the late 1990s’ so today could be considered ‘an older restoration. Regardless, the car presents well in red and will surely garner looks and admiration at the next BMW CCA car show.

The auction is being streamed live online at Gooding & Co.’s website.

1993-Bentley-R-Type-Continental-Barrett-Jackson-3

Barrett Jackson 2014 – Best Buy! 1993 Bentley Continental R Coupe just $33,000

1993-Bentley-R-Type-Continental-Barrett-Jackson

Late Saturday night, at about 10:30, this very nice looking 1993 Bentley Continental R Coupe rolled over the block at Barrett Jackson’s Scottsdale Auction with no reserve and sold for just $33,000 including buyer’s premium. These early 90s Continental Coupes were made in small numbers, about 1,300 total and were horrendously expensive when new, the auction catalog claims a base price of $268,000. As with so many late model ‘just used car’ exotics heavy depreciation has taken its toll on this stately Bentley, but given its relatively low miles and well above average condition it looks like a lot of car for the money to me.

1993-Bentley-R-Type-Continental-Barrett-Jackson

It still looks modern today.

I always liked the rakish coupe design of this particular car, and with a 6.75 liter turbo charged V8 it’s the ultimate ‘gentleman’s express’ built for the open road. Everyone will question the cost of ownership and the big Bentley turbo maintenance costs, but at this price what’s the harm? I wouldn’t expect any sort of appreciation in the near future as it is still viewed as ‘just a used car’ today… while not a true collectible, it has wonderful presence and would still probably garner a front spot when you valet the car at the fancy steak joint Saturday night.

I call it a lot of car for $33,000, enjoy it for a few years and sell it for what you paid… or maybe a few thousand more.

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Saddle leather interior was in excellent condition showing very little wear.

Photos courtesy of Barrett Jackson.

Mercedes W126 Chassic Limousine Limo

‘Miami Vice Style’ 1984 Mercedes 500SEL Limousine For Sale in South Florida

Mercedes Limousine Limo

This 1984 Mercedes Benz 500SEL Limousine may or may not have been used on the style making 80s cop show “Miami Vice” but it certainly would have looked at home on the small screen if it had.

The description from the seller claims ‘redone interior’ with ‘excellent champagne paint’ on the exterior. The wheels are from a late 1990s vintage Mercedes E class which muddles the style a bit in my opinion and I’d pry off those ugly chrome fender trim pieces. The ‘landau’ top is very ‘South Florida’ but just another thing that makes me question the taste of the owner / builder of this rare W126 chassis limousine. There is no mention of the company that performed the limousine conversion or when it was converted.
Mercedes W126 Limousine Limo

Mechanically Mercedes W126 chassis cars can be costly to maintain, this car has a stated 172,000 miles and the owner says it has a new exhaust system and drive shaft.

If you’re looking for a limo like this, there aren’t many out there, but when they do appear, they usually have fewer miles than this example. This car probably had a real life as a working limousine, so many others just sit in the garage of their wealthy private owner.

Mercedes W126 Limousine Limo

Interior looks like a custom layout, not the classic look of a period Mercedes limo.

It’s for sale on Craigslist near Orlando, FL for $9,000. Even with the new paint, interior and recent mechanical work, I don’t why anyone should pay more than about $6,000 for this drug lord chariot… and that’s on the very high side.
Mercedes W126 Chassic Limousine Limo

 

Alfa-Romeo-Montreal-For-Sale

Rare 1974 Alfa Romeo Montreal For Sale

Alfa-Romeo-Montreal-For-Sale

During my regular ’rounds around the web searching for my next great collector car find I stumbled across this rare 1974 Alfa Romeo Montreal on Craigslist in Atlanta.

It’s described as a recent import from France where the same gentleman owned it for 27 years. You can see the amber yellow headlight lenses peeking out from the front brows. Apparently the silver paint is fresh and a new cream colored leather interior was just installed. It’s said to have been well maintained and it runs beautifully, the asking price is $59,000.

While the car’s chassis and running gear was borrowed from the Alfa GTV, the Montreal’s exotic Bertone body and low production numbers (just under 4,000 total units built between 1972 and 1975) will always set it apart from other modern Alfas. $59,000 is no steal, but considering a similar 1973 model sold for $99,000 (well above the auction company’s estimate of $55,000 – $75,000) at Gooding and Company’s Pebble Beach Auction in August, chances are Montreal prices will continue to increase.
Alfa Romeo Montreal For Sale

Alfa Romeo Montreal For Sale

Still sporting its French license plates.

Mercedes-GLK250-BlueTEC-diesel

Mercedes Benz GLK250 BlueTEC Diesel Video! Great Gas Mileage and Long Engine Life… Classic Mercedes Diesel

Click on the 2013 Mercedes Benz GLK250 BlueTEC diesel video above to see a walk around of the new diesel GLK . These¬† long awaited GLK diesels have started to arrive at dealer showrooms! While they have just 200 horsepower they pack a whopping 369 ft./Lbs. of torque… all from a miserly turbo charged inline 4 cylinder engine capable of well over 30mpg on the highway.

Mercedes-GLK250-BlueTEC-diesel
How do those horsepower and torque numbers match up, what do they mean? Consider the fact that a 2013 Mercedes E350 produces 302 horsepower, but has just 273 Ft./Lbs. of torque… with

The EPA estimates printed on the window sticker show 24mpg city 33mpg highway with a combined number of 28mpg. Chances are you’ll get closer to 40mpg with cruise control on the highway.

This particular car is Pebble Grey with a black interior and very well equipped. It has the P1 Package (Premium 1 Package), Multimedia Package, Lighting Package, Lane Tracking Package as well as KEYLESS GO and a number of other stand alone options.

The response to these vehicles has been great so far… hopefully supply will keep up with demand.

Have a look at the engine detail video I took just a few minutes after this one, it will give you a look under the hood at the 4 cylinder inline, turbo charged engine. Link to that video on Youtube here.

Mercedes-Premium-1-Package

Difference Between the Mercedes Benz Premium 1 Package (P01 Package) and Premium 2 Package (P02 Package) Contents Explained

Mercedes-P2-Package-keyless-go

A 2013 E350 4matic equipped with the P2 Package, note the KEYLESS-GO button, heated seats and rear window sunshade buttons.

Mercedes Benz, like many other automobile manufacturers bundle common options for their vehicles into packages. Mercedes-Benz has used their Premium Package line up over the last 5 years or so as their container for large bundles of various options, rather than being a set of options for a specific purpose.

Some manufacturers have a ‘Sport Package’ with specific options like tuned suspension and bigger wheels or a ‘Winter Package’ with a heated steering wheel and heated seats and exterior mirrors. Mercedes has similar packages, but their most common option packages are the Premium Packages.

Mercedes-Benz Premium Packages bundle common amenities that have historically high ‘take rates’ by buyers, things most people want in their cars. Mercedes Benz offers a Premium 1 Package, Premium 2 Package and in some cases, a Premium 3 Package. They’re generally abbreviated as P1 Package, P2 Package and P3 Package. For this article we will be exploring the contents of the P1 and P2 Packages on the 2013 model year Mercedes-Benz E350 Sedan.

Mercedes-Premium-1-Package

Window sticker of a moderately equipped 2013 E350 4matic sedan with the P01 Package (Premium 1 Package).

It’s important to realize that Premium Package contents vary by vehicle class with Mercedes-Benz, and even within body style within class. The E class sedan’s P1 Package is different than the E class wagon’s P1 Package and the E class Cabriolet’s Package is different than both of those. To further complicate things, the P1 Package often changes slightly on each class and model every single year, so there is a lot to keep track of, especially if you’re considering a Certified Pre Owned vehicle… the 2010 will have a different P1 Package than the 2011.

2013 Mercedes Benz E class Premium 1 Package (P01 Package):

  • COMAND with hard-drive-based navigation, 3D maps, 10GB Music Register and MB Apps compatibility
  • harman/kardon LOGIC7 surround-sound system with Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Gracenote media databaseand iPod / MP3 media interface
  • SiriusXM Radio, SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Weather (with 6 mo service)
  • Enhanced Voice Control for audio, phone and navigation
  • Rearview camera
  • Active multicontour driver seat (E63 only)
  • Heated and Active Ventilated front seats (heated seats standard on E550; package adds Active Ventilated front seats)
  • Heated front seats (E350 and E400 only)
  • Power rear window sunshade

What does the Premium 1 Package cost?
E350 / E400 Hybrid: $4,000
E550: $4,450
E63 AMG: Standard

One interesting piece of information that most people are surprised by when I tell them… I have probably seen hundreds of 2013 E classes, I have NEVER seen one without the Premium 1 Package. Some people say they don’t need or want navigation, I don’t need the upgraded sound system, I want a ‘base E class’ (usually in order to keep the price of the car down, in the end, it’s always about money). They simply don’t exist… or at least they don’t exist in very large numbers because very few people want such a basic car. If you do want a non P1 Package car, your best bet is to place a factory order for it, build it as you want it and hope you never have to trade it in or sell it as a used car because it will be a tough sell indeed.

As far as the Premium 2 Package goes… the P02 package always includes everything in the P01 Package plus some other things.

2013 Mercedes Benz E class Premium 2 Package (P02 Package):

  • Bi-Xenon headlamps with Active Curve Illumination, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, headlamp washing system and corner-illuminating front lamps
  • KEYLESS-GO
  • Electronic-trunk closer

 

P02 Package Cost:
E350 / E400 Hybrid: $6,450
E550: $6,900
E63 AMG: Standard

There are the packages, but what if you want the KEYLESS-GO option but you don’t need the entire P02 Package? Some options are available as stand alone options, KEYLESS-GO for the 2013 E class happens to be one of them, so it is possible to get a P01 Package car with KEYLESS-GO as a stand alone option, it save you about $1,500. There are other such examples of stand alone options that come bundled in other Premium Packages, some classes offer a special Lighting Package which will give you Bi-Xenon head lamps, unrelated to the P02 Package. Again, there are always exceptions and if you dig all the way into it, things can get complicated quickly.

P1-back-up-camera

The rear view camera peeks out from under the trunk lip near the rear license plate on this 2013 E350 4matic sedan, another component to the P01 Package.

A short, in person visit to a dealership with a row of new E classes to look at will make your life easier. If you don’t want to be ‘bothered’ by a salesperson, visit a dealership after hours. If you just walk down a row of new cars, look at the window stickers, see how the cars are actually built and optioned, the smoke will clear for you very quickly. You can spend forever on mbusa.com building your ideal car, but you’ll be disappointed when you call a dealer only to find that you’ve built a unicorn that doesn’t exist in any dealer inventory. This is extremely common, people submit the exact car they’ve built online to me via email and, in most cases, there is an easier, better or cheaper way to get what they want on a car without having to also pay for a bunch of stuff they don’t really want.

I’ve never cared for ‘base price’ advertising with cars… you can say an E class ‘starts at $53,500 (per the window sticker above), but if I’ve never seen an E class without the $4,000 P01 Package, and they all get the ‘destination and delivery’ charge added to them… any E class you’d actually want to own is $58,000+ in 2013.

In the end, it depends upon each potential owner… what do you, the guy who’s about to buy a $60,000+ car want? Are you looking for the best deal (read, cheapest car), do you want what you want, exactly how you want it? Maybe a factory order is best for you then. Try a European delivery if you want. If you want a nicely equipped car that makes sense, you can usually find it in your local dealer’s inventory. If they don’t have what you want, they can probably perform a ‘locate’ or ‘dealer trade’, they can find what you want and truck it in for you, but remember, the ‘best deal’ is always on what’s in stock… Mercedes-Benz will make you a pink E class with gold plated wheels if you want them to, with money, you can buy anything… but for most of us, a P01 Package E class is all the car we’ll ever need.

I am beginning to compile a comprehensive list of all the Premium 1  and Premium 2 Package contents for the most common Mercedes-Benz vehicle classes starting with the 2008 model year. I will add them to the blog soon.

 

Mercedes-Benz-Hearse-Sears-Imports

Sears Imported Autos to Enter Lucrative Mercedes-Benz Funeral Coach Market Segment

Mercedes-Benz-Hearse-Sears-Imports

As luxury auto sales hit record numbers during the first quarter of 2013, the sales race between Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus is heating up. Dealerships are looking for new ways to differentiate themselves and offer their customers something new and innovative. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van sales are brisk across the U.S. Mercedes-Benz trucks and commercial vehicles are the norm in Europe. Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz in Minnetonka, a family owned car dealership for more than 40 years, continues to innovate with their announcement of a business expansion in to the lucrative Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles market, specifically, the funeral coach market, hearses based on the Mercedes-Benz E class.

It’s this type of innovation that has kept Sears Imported Autos in Minnetonka, MN at the forefront of Mercedes-Benz sales and customer service over the years. To say Sears a full service dealership is an understatement, they take care of their customer’s vehicle needs throughout their lives, and now, beyond.

“Sears is a unique company in that we’re willing to take calculated risks to enter a new market if we think it can work” says Mike Roeder, General Sales Manager at Sears Imported Autos about their foray into the funeral coach market.

“The baby boomers aren’t getting any younger,” says Gary Emfield, new Mercedes-Benz manager at sears Imports, “after polling a number of local funeral homes regarding their transportation needs it became clear that a high end option for funeral coaches was grossly lacking, we’re simply offering an alternative to the typical Cadillac or Lincoln hearse.” Emfiled is optimistic about the new segment “Our first three units are already spoken for, due to be delivered to local funeral homes later this month.”
mercedes-hearses-sears-imports

It’s true, Europeans have been taking their ‘last rides’ in Mercedes-Benz hearses for more than 50 years. Sears Imports believes their clients who drove Mercedes-Benz vehicles throughout their lives, will appreciate taking their ‘last ride’ with dignity in a Mercedes-Benz.

Teaming up with the German firm Huiskamp Carrosserie, makers of specialty vehicles for over three decades in Germany, Sear Imports hopes to deliver between 100 and 125 units throughout the United States during 2013. “We are the exclusive Huiskamp representatives in the United States” reports Roeder, “We’re making the investment, we knew we wanted an exclusive deal with Huiskamp, it’s the only way we would have done it.”

For more information on these new Mercedes-Benz hearses, please feel free to contact me directly… Dave Tobin, 952-512-6685, you only go around once, right?
(See date on this post below… April Fools!)

2014-Mercedes-CLA-Class-production car

2014 Mercedes Benz CLA Class Makes Appearance at Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance – Twin Cities Auto Show Just Gets ‘Empty’ Concept Car Version

2014-Mercedes-CLA-Class-production car-Amelia Island Concours

2013 CLA250 on display at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

A friend of mine emailed me this photos from the Amelia Island Concours ‘d’Elegance yesterday from beautiful Amelia Island, FL. My friend, Dave Bortner from Freedom Boat Service, has a 1930 30’ Hacker Craft Triple Cockpit Runabout, a beautiful vintage wood boat, in the RM Auctions sale being held in the area. While strolling the grounds of the Concours he took this photo, of a Mercedes-Benz display showing off some vintage Mercedes hardware from the Classic Center in Irvine, CA… along with a new production model CLA class car.

So, while at the Twin Cities Auto Show we get a cool looking concept… it is a non running (no engine, no interior, can’t even open up the doors) example. At the Amelia Island Concours they get a road ready street version.

2013-Minneapolis-Auto-Show-Mercedes-CLA-Concept-car

2013 Twin Cities Auto Show got this shell of a CLA Concept.

At the Twin Cities Auto Show yesterday, people were asking me about the door handles on the concept… there aren’t any really, just a different color silver inlay, flush to the body. I mentioned to one person that I was quite sure the door handles on the actual production car would be just like all the other door handles on the cars. Looking at this photo, that does seem to be the case. I’m not sure that I love the wheels chosen for this car, in black. The lower front bumper is a bit different than the concept, as one would expect… but keeps the same general shape. As expected, the CLA is basically a ‘baby CLS’.

I suppose there is no argument to be made as to where the ‘money is’ when it comes to reaching the most REAL potential buyers and where Mercedes-Benz would get the most bang for their marketing buck… Amelia Island is essentially the Pebble Beach of the East, held each March.

Hopefully they’ll make them fast enough to keep up with demand, my guess is that they will be in short supply for the first few months of production, it probably won’t be easy to get one.

1930-hacker-craft-freedom-boat-service

The 1930 Hack Craft Triple Cockpit Runabout consigned at RM Auctions by Freedom Boat Service from Mound, MN.

Mercedes-iPhone5 IOS 6.0.2 Upgrade

Apple iPhone 5 Unable to Pair with Mercedes Benz Bluetooth After IOS Version 6.0.2 Upgrade

Mercedes-iPhone5 IOS 6.0.2 Upgrade

12/31/2012 – Breaking News – It’s come to my attention that there is an issue with the new iPhone 5 when trying to pair to Mercedes-Benz Blue tooth equipped vehicles (which means any new Mercedes Benz).

Quite simply, if you perform the automatic ‘upgrade’ from IOS 6.0.1 to the newer IOS 6.0.2, the iPhone 5 that you had previously paired for use in your Mercedes-Benz vehicle will no longer be paired… and worse, CANNOT be paired to your Mercedes-Benz vehicle for easy Bluetooth hands free usage. Bluetooth phone capabilities, GONE, Bluetooth streaming music capabilities… SORRY, that won’t work either.

Once the IOS 6.0.2 upgrade is made to your iPhone 5, the phone cannot be paired to your Mercedes Benz vehicle.

I’ve got to believe that a fix will be made for the situation… whether it will come from Mercedes-Benz or from Apple, I don’t know. I would guess it will be an Apple upgrade or ‘fix’, as the way I understand it the same problem is cropping up in other vehicles from other manufacturers.

So, if you have an iPhone 5 and you want to talk hands free or stream music in your Mercedes-Benz, at least for now… you’ll have to hold off on the 6.0.2 upgrade or downgrade back to IOS 6.0.1 if you’ve already made the change. There is a third option… make the upgrade an go back to holding your phone up to your ear.

I’m sorry for the bad news… You’ve gotta love the accelerated speed of technology and how one compatible device jumps ahead of another.

I will try to provide an update to the situation once I learn more from either Mercedes-Benz or from Apple.