Tag Archives: Dave Knows Cars

Mercedes E350 and C300 Sedans

A Very Merry Christmas! Local Father / Son Duo Pick Up Their New Mercedes Benz C and E Classes in Time For Christmas!

Mercedes E350 and C300 Sedans

It was a good day for these guys on Thursday! This is a local father and son that I met very early this year on the show room floor here at Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz. Alan (the father) purchased this Palladium Silver E350 while his son, Austin, went with this black C300 4matic Sport (Mercedes-Benz demographic engineers are right again… dad gets an E, son gets a C!).

Austin had been looking at brand new cars recently to replace the car that got him through college… and he almost pulled the trigger on a new Volkswagen Passat with front wheel drive when he figured he could get an almost new, Certified Pre Owned C300 4matic all wheel drive car for about the same money.

He wanted a 2012, he wanted a lot of options… the stars aligned and this black car happened to come in to Sears Imports as a one owner lease return. It’s a P1 Package car with Keyless Go and the Multi media package. Austin is one guy who will actually use all the features and options in that Multi Media Package. Congratulations Austin, you weighed your options and made an informed decision. I would imagine this young man has a very bright future indeed!

Alan, Austin’s father, had been watching lightly pre owned E350 4matic inventories for months. A car came in a few months ago that checked every box on his wish list… but he couldn’t live with the interior color. Another potential contender showed up not too much later, but he was set on a silver car (Iridium, Palladium, maybe Steel Grey) so the search continued. He was looking for a highly optioned Certified Pre Owned E class with low miles with a clean history, plenty of warranty left at a fair price. What just about everybody wants, right? If I could have called the ‘Used Car Factory” I would have.

In the end Alan had the patience and diligence to find the right car. He knew it was what he wanted, and he was able to take advantage of aggressive 1.99% APR interest rates for up to 66 months on the purchase. His car is equipped with the P2 Package (Premium 2 Package), the wheel Package which give him those great looking AMG wheels, PARKTRONIC, and a Panorama sunroof among other options.

Alan’s wife Sherri and daughter Ariel (Austin’s mother and sister of course) came down with them to pick up the cars, it was a real family adventure, just in time for the holidays. Thank you gentlemen, it’s been great getting to know you, I hope the whole family enjoys the cars… and I hope we can do it again some time.
dave-tobin-mercedes-customers

Mercedes Benz Club Turns Out for Oktoberfest German Car Show at the Auto Motor Plex in Chanhassen

Despite cold temperatures and heavy fog and cloud cover a couple of hundred German cars showed up for the Oktoberfest German Car Show at the AutoMotorPlex in Chanhassen. Porsche and Mercedes-Benz were the marques with the most cars on display. Many members of the Mercedes Benz Club of America Twin Cities Section were in attendance. There were a couple of nice BMWs, including two 1980s vintage 6 series cars. Volkswagen fans turned out with a handful of beetles an early ’70s Westfalia camper and a handful of other models including a couple of square backs, I even saw a late 70s / early 80s Scirocco! Many Porsche 911s from all years were in attendance, along with a 944, 928 and 914 sprinkled around. Mercedes-Benz cars were very well represented. Click this LINK for 100 photos of the Oktoberfest show on my Dave Knows Cars Flickr page.
Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Quite a few members of “The Pagoda Pack” were in attendance with the W113 ‘Pagoda’ SLs, including “Pagoda Pack’ ring leader Ken Garelick. Club members were in attendance with a 190SL, a W111 chassis 280SE sedan, several R107 SLs a an R129 SL, a couple of R230s, David Steingas was there with his always pretty 1951 220S Cabriolet. Two of the rarest Mercedes in attendance were the 600 Limousine and the 1955 300SL Gullwing. It was a real treat to see both of those cars as they don’t make appearances very often.
Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show
Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz was one of the event sponsors and sponsored the 35 piece German Band, ‘The Bavarian Muzikmeisters’ to give the event just the right true German flavor. The Chanhassen American Legion made brats and kraut available along with some real German beer.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show
The Mercedes-Benz Club board is talking about bringing back their annual show, held in June for the past 17 years in a row, except this year… hopefully the club can pull together a German Car Fest during the warmer Summer months as in years past to get German car fans out in greater numbers.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

A big thanks needs to go to Bruno Silikowski at the Auto Motor Plex in Chanhassen for hosting the event, to Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz and BMW of Minnetonka for sponsoring the event and all the volunteers from the different German car clubs that helped out with the organization and parking cars.
Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

600 Limo.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Very rare, over the top, DP motorsport 911 slant nose turbo.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

David Tobin

The first show appearance for my newly acquired Porsche 911 and the first time I’ve taken anything but a Mercedes-Benz to a German car show!

 

2004 Mercedes SL500

$95k+ New, Now Just $31,900! Low Mile 2004 SL500 Just Arrived as Sears Imports Mercedes Benz!

2004 Mercedes SL500

I always love it when we get low mile Mercedes SLs into our inventory, I like it even better when they’re a few years old because they become very affordable and the market is opened up to lots of buyers. This is a Diamond Silver SL500 with just 36,289 miles on its odometer. It has had several local owners, it was originally purchased here at Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz and has been serviced here throughout its life.
2004 Mercedes SL500

Diamond SIlver with Charcoal Leather interior, PARKTRONIC, Multi Contour seats, Wood wheel and shift knob, Bi-Xenon headlamps and KEYLESS GO among other options (see original option list and window sticker below). The car rides on tasteful upgraded wheels from Rial.
Mercedes SL500 prices

As cliche as it is for me to say it.. this one just won’t last very long. This car is seriously for sale today for just $31,900. Once these cars get to about the $30k range they last a couple of days in inventory. Take advantage of the last few weeks of Fall to enjoy this beautiful SL on the open road. It would be a perfect car to take on the Twin Cities Mercedes-Benz Club’s Fall Color Tour on October 20th!

Used Mercedes SL500 Prices

2006 Mercedes Benz SL500 Local Two Owner Car – Iridium Silver w/ Black Leather Just 14,510 Original Miles!

Used Mercedes SL500 Prices

This 2006 SL500 was just traded in here at Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz. This is an Iridium Silver example with black leather interior, heated  and ventilated seats, navigation all the usual amenities you’d expect from a Mercedes-Benz SL.

This car was purchased new here at Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz, it was then traded in by its only owner when their new 2013 SL550 arrived from Germany. Another one of our customers purchased the car just days before it was traded in back in May… he just traded it in this week. So, why, you ask, would someone buy a car in May and trade it in in August… Was there something wrong with it? Didn’t they like the car?
Used Mercedes SL500 Prices

The gentleman who purchased it in May and traded it in last week got it as a ‘tide me over’ car… his 2013 SL550 was on order and hadn’t arrived yet, so, he wanted a Mercedes-Benz Roadster for the Summer. This car fit the bill, so he bought it. His new R231 body style car arrived here last week, so he traded the 2006 back in… super low miles, Just over 14,500.

Sears Imports Stock# 66414A, priced right to sell today at less than half its original MSRP… your today for just $41,900.

Ultra Rare Mercedes SLK55 AMG F1 Safety Car Spec – One Owner, Special Order, Just 1,400 Original Miles – FOR SALE!

2006 Mercedes F1 Safety cal

This is an extremely rare opportunity to own a Mercedes Benz spec F1 Safety car. A friend of mine in the Mercedes-Benz club introduced me to a gentleman who told me he had an F1 Safety car, that he had special ordered from Mercedes-Benz in Germany. Frankly, I didn’t believe him… until I saw the car yesterday and drove it myself. He has asked me to find a buyer for it… so, it will be posted here, on Dave Knows Cars first, then on eBay, for the world market.
Mercedes SLK55-AMG-F1-Safety-Car

A little history… the FIA uses a ‘very fast’ street car as their ‘Pace Car’ and ‘Safety Car’ during Formula 1 races around the world. There is normally a professional race driver driving and a doctor in the passenger’s seat, so, in  the event of a bad accident, the car can take to the track and keep up with F1 car traffic while arriving quickly at the accident scene with a doctor. A variety of Mercedes-Benz vehicles have been used for this purpose over the years. For the 2004 Formula 1 season the FIA used a factory modified SLK55 AMG roadster as the Safety / Medical car during Formula 1 races. Mercedes built a handful of these cars for FIA use and offered them, on an extremely limited basis in subsequent years, to VIP customers around the world.

Mercedes SLK55-AMG-F1-Safety-Car

Original, one owner miles.

Enter my new friend from Wisconsin… back in 2004 and 2005, when he heard of these cars, he went to the three Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the Twin Cities, Sears Imports, Feldmann Imports and Maplewood Imports, asking if he could order an SLK55 AMG F1 Safety car. Apparently, all three dealers said, “Sorry, we can’t get one of those for you, they aren’t for sale for the North American market”. He finally went to a Mercedes-Benz dealer in Wisconsin who said he’d ‘see what he could do’. After some phone calls to MBUSA, and the buyer mentioning ‘I thought you could get anything from Mercedes-Benz, as long as you were willing to pay for it’… after all, if you’re a sultan or sheik, you can get your Mercedes cars gold plated. He was eventually told they could get one for him, but he would have to provide documentation that he had professional race driving credentials. (Did they do this expecting him to fold and go away? Whoops!)

Mercedes SLK55-AMG-F1-Safety-Car

Three piece wheels, HUGE drilled, ventilated brake discs.

It just so happens that this gentleman holds several North American competition drivers licenses for several different racing organizations. He raced professionally in Formula 2 in Europe for a number of years in the 1970s and competed in the SCCA National Champion Run Offs in a number of open wheeled classes throughout the 1980s and has been vintage racing ever since. These days he races a very rare and very fast 1970 D sports prototype in vintage races around the country.

Long story short, they built a Formula 1 Safety car for him, he was able to choose the colors and some options… The factory modifications of a normal, run of the mill SLK55 AMG include the following, among other items… 19″ 3 piece AMG wheels, HUGE upgraded brakes on all four corners, I forget how big they really are, the ‘Nurburgring’ suspension package, top speed limited to 186 MPH, the car sits on FACTORY lowering springs, it is considerably lower than a normal SLK55 AMG. It also has an aluminum hood among other components which replaced heavier steel in series production cars. Beyond the performance enhancements, it has carbon fiber interior trim, alcantara trimmed seats and steering wheel… spare tire delete and a number of other unique options, but still has comfort options such as heated seats, the AIRSCARF feature and a 6 disc CD changer in the glove box.

Mercedes SLK55-AMG-F1-Safety-Car

Flawless interior condition.

The car was brought into the country with a standard U.S. spec SLK5 AMG VIN, if you pull the window sticker through the Mercedes-Benz Netstar system it will show up as a regular, run of the mill 2006 SLK55 AMG. The owner’s supporting correspondence and documentation with Mercedes-Benz tells the real story.

Amazingly, the car only has 1,453 miles on its odometer. The owner bought the car, drove it around a little, but never tracked the car. He originally purchased it for track use but decided it was ‘just too nice to take to the track’ and he has other race cars for that anyway. It has seen occasional dry weather use over the past 6 years.

Mercedes SLK55-AMG-F1-Safety-Car

Alcantara trimmed seats are perfect.

I witnessed an all new level of true fanaticism when taking photos of this car with its owner. Of course, it sits in a climate controlled garage, heated in the Winter, air conditioned in the Summer. When he washes this car he puts wheel and tire covers from his race cars over the wheels as not to get water on the brake calipers, causing oxidation. He brushes his feet off before getting into the driver’s seat. When we got in to go for a drive he put on driving gloves, not for grip or because he was going to thrash the car, but because he ‘doesn’t like to get oil from his hands on the alcantara trimmed steering wheel’! Way over the top…!

Mercedes SLK55-AMG-F1-Safety-Car

Essentially new… no creasing, no wear…

The car is essentially PERFECT in every way. The exterior is absolutely flawless, the silver paint shines like brand new. The interior shows absolutely ZERO wear, look at the close up photos of the driver’s seat, the carpet, the buttons, everything is perfect in every way.

So… what is a car like this worth? Good question… it was in the low $80,000s when new. I found a similar 2006 F1 Safety Car online, in Japan, with the F1 safety car graphics and yellow light bar for over $100,000. This gentleman wanted to talk to me about selling his car because he’d like to buy another racing car, something he will use more often, something he car race competitively, wheel to wheel with other cars.

Given the rarity and condition of the car, we’re thinking a fair price today is something in the neighborhood of $60,000.

Seriously interested? Please give me a call, I’d be happy to discuss the car with you.

Mercedes S class discounts 2012 diesel

Best New Mercedes S class Deal! 2012 Mercedes S350 BlueTEC Diesel Last 2012 Model S class In Stock… $12,000 OFF MSRP, Your Today for Just $85,000

Mercedes S class discounts 2012 diesel

This is a 2012 Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTEC diesel, the last 2012 model S class in our inventory here at Sears Imports. We are offering this car at a HUGE savings today… as we need to make room for our 2013 models, this S350 BlueTEC diesel, good for over 30mpg, can be yours today for the low, low price of just $85,000… a $12,000+ discount off of it’s original MSRP of $97,055.

This 2012 S350 BlueTEC is Palladium Silver in color with a black leather interior. It is equipped with the Premium II Package which includes options such as PARKTRONIC with Parking Guidance, Rear View Camera, KEYLESS GO, Active multi contour seats with massage feature as well as comfort type head restraints with adjustable side wings.

As I always say, “The S class is the choice of Captains of Industry and Royalty Worldwide”.. put yourself in one today for just $85,000.

Mercedes-August-2012-Sales report

Mercedes Benz Sales Report August 2012! Record Setting Year-to-Date Total of 168,462 New Vehicles Sold to Customers, up 13.5% over 2011!

Mercedes-August-2012-Sales report
(click sales chart to enlarge)

The Mercedes sales report for August was released earlier this week… it looks like August was a good month, in fact, a record setting month for new Mercedes-Benz sales. The official Press Release from MBUSA is below.

New cars at Sears Imports were strong, as the 2012 model year car supply is dwindling, the 2013 models are arriving. Deals on C, E and GLK class vehicles were especially good in August (and continue to be good in September) as large incentives are available on these cars, especially for current Mercedes-Benz Financial customers… whether you’re in a lease or purchase contract, deals on the last of the 2012s are incredible!

New 2013 GLK and C class models are arriving at dealerships everyday, we just got a shipment of new 2013 cars today, including a facelifted 2013 G550! (see official August Sales Report from Mercedes-Benz USA below).

MERCEDES-BENZ SALES REPORT: AUGUST 2010 –  20,557 Units Sold!

Total MBUSA Posts Record Month at 23,439 up 13.1%, smart up 85.9%, Sprinter up 15.3% for the Month

MONTVALE, N.J. – Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) today reported August sales of 20,557 for its
Mercedes-Benz models, delivering a record year-to-date total of 168,462 new vehicles to
customers, up 13.5%.

Combined sales of Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles, smart and Sprinter for the month totaled a record of 23,439, up 13.1% bringing the MBUSA year-to-date total to a record 188,351, up 17.9% .

“With an all-time record setting year so far and now with exciting product in the pipeline, including the all-new GL-Class currently on its way to dealers across the country, we plan to build on this momentum through the end of the year,” stated Steve Cannon, president and CEO,
MBUSA.

Mercedes-Benz sales for the month of August were led by the C-, E- and GLK-Class model lines. The sporty C-Class – the gateway to the Mercedes-Benz brand on the car side for younger and first-time Mercedes-Benz buyers – took the lead with sales of 6,519, up 37.9%.  The 9th generation E-Class followed with sales of 4,515 and MBUSA’s restyled compact SUV, the GLK-Class, rounded out the top three with sales of t 2,775, up 43.6%. Additionally, the sporty SLK roadster sold 373 vehicles for the month, up 174.3%.

At the high end, the all-new iconic sixth generation 2013 SL roadster – which debuted in showrooms this past spring – posted sales of 604 yielding an increase of 705.3% and the SLS AMG supercar retailed at 51 for the month, up 59.4% over the same period last year.

On a year-to-date basis, top performers were the C-Class with 49,868, the E-Class with 39,970 and the M-Class with 24,659.

Monthly sales of the high-performance AMG models were 637, up 55.7% versus August 2011 (409) and up 52.1% year to date.

Sales of the company’s BlueTEC diesel models were up 38.9% for the year at 10,717 compared to the 7,717 diesels sold over the same period last year.

The company’s smart brand continued ten consecutive months of sales increases with August sales of 753, an 85.9% jump for the month (compared to the 405 vehicles sold in August 2011) bringing the year-to-date volume to 6,281, up 758.1% when compared to the 732 vehicles
sold by MBUSA last year. When compared to the combined Penske and MBUSA sales year-todate last year (3,288), sales are up 91% .

On the van side, Sprinter sold 2,129 vehicles in August – up 15.3% over last year and up 27.5% on a year-to-date basis.

Separately, through the Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned (MBCPO) program, MBUSA sold 6,921 vehicles in August; an increase of 17.3% when compared to August 2011 (sales of 5,901 vehicles). On a year-to-date basis, MBCPO sold 52,859 vehicles, an increase of 2.3% over the
comparable period (with sales of 51,651 vehicles).

About Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 14
model lines ranging from the sporty C-Class to the flagship S-Class sedans and the SLS AMG supercar.
MBUSA is also responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans and smart in the US. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com, www.mbsprinterusa.com and www.smartusa.com

BMW 330ci manual transmission

Sears Imports Employee Looking to Sell His Car… 2004 BMW 330ci – 6 Speed Manual – 78k miles, Two Sets Wheels and Tires – Just $13k

BMW 330ci manual transmission

This is a 2004 BMW 33ci with a 6 speed manual transmission that one of my friends who works here at Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz is interested in selling. It is metallic grey exterior with black leather interior, non smoker, car is in very good condition, inside and out with 78,232 original miles.
BMW 330ci 6 speed manual
This car was traded in by one of my customers for a Mercedes-Benz E class Coupe back in March. One of my friends here at work saw it and bought it… after about 5 months he’s realized that the monthly payment is a little more than he is comfortable paying, so he’s looking to sell it to a good home.
BMW 330ci 6 speed manual

My friend here at work is just the second owner of the car, it is a local, two owner vehicle with a clean Carfax vehicle history report. The car comes with two sets of wheels and tires. The Summer tires are and wheels are on the car now, there is a set of other wheels with mounted snow tires that will go with the car so this rear wheel drive BMW will be a good car this Winter.

He’s asking just $13,000… which I would guess is negotiable within reason.

If you’re interested in the car or if you’d like to make an appointment to come in to look at it I will set you up directly with the owner.He is at Sears Imports just about everyday. Call or email me from the “Contact Dave” page of the blog here to set up a showing. More pics below…
BMW 330ci 6 speed

BMW 330ci 6 speed

Chasing Classic Cars Porsche

Porsche Porsche 911 Barn Find Update! Extraction Completed with the Help of Freedom Boat Service Professional Dave Bortner

Chasing Classic Cars Porsche

UPDATE: The ‘Chasing Classic Cars’ style rescue of this Porsche 911 from a barn in rural Minnesota is complete! If you missed the first posting on Dave Knows Cars about how my brother found this car on Craigslist, from the comfort of his home in Sweden, and how I went to check it out and made a deal to buy it, please visit that blog post on Dave Knows Cars by following this link.

Cahsing Classic Cars Porsche 911

Dave Bortner sets up the come-a-long so we can crank the Porsche up onto the trailer.

Best trailer hitch

What can’t you tow when you have a hitch like this?

The other night I went out to actually pick up the Porsche… I could have never pulled it off by myself, seeing how I don’t have a trailer or a tow vehicle. I called up a friend of mine who is probably THE GUY if you have a project like this. Dave Bortner, founder of Freedom Boat Service in Mound, MN is a real car guy, he’s also a real boat guy… his company restores, services and maintains vintage wooden boats. He has extensive towing experience (Perhaps you remember the blog post last year from our epic 20 hour drive, towing a vintage boat, to the Keels and Wheels show at the Seabrook Yacht Club near Houston, TX.).

Porsche Barn Find

Bortner set the trailer up just right, we didn’t even scrape the front spoiler of the 911.

Dave has a couple of tow vehicles, the vehicle we drove out to get the Porsche in was a Chevy Tahoe Quadrasteer (4 wheel steering) with a big car trailer hook up to the back. To make a long story short, Dave backed the trailer right up to the barn entrance, which was a little tricky, as there were fences to dodge as well as an old derelict tractor right by the entrance. Dave masterfully maneuvered the Tahoe and trailer into place while the cars’ owner and I watched… along with some horses and about 20 cats.

farm cats

Just some of the cats watching over us while we pulled the car out of the barn.

farm cat

I can’t tell if this one approves of what we’re doing or not.

Porsche 911 horse

Straining to get a last look at the yellow Porsche before it’s hauled away.

Dave had all the necessary straps, hooks and gear to get the job done. We used a ‘come-a-long’ to ratchet the car up onto the trailer, once in place we strapped it down with the two hooks in the front and suspension components in the back. We finished up just as the sun went down and headed back to the storage facility Dave has been gracious enough to give me a little space in to store the car until my brother comes over from Sweden to see the car and arrange shipping.

David Tobin Porsche 911

Bortner did most of the work, I just jumped in for this photo so it LOOKED like I was really doing something.

These sorts of adventures are a lot of fun… I guess they’re a lot of work, but it seems fun if you’re doing it with the right people. Thanks Dave!

Dave Bortner Freedom Boat Service

Dave Bortner of Freedom Boat Service, Porsche on the trailer, ready to go!

vintage Porsche 911 project

Dave Goes ‘Chasing Classic Cars’ 1976 Porsche 911 Barn Find! Tobin Brothers Team Up and Drag this Vintage 911 from Long Slumber

vintage Porsche 911 project

If you’ve read very much of DaveKnowsCars you know I’m always combing the classifieds on Craigslist, AutoTrader Classics, Hemmings and all the other spots I might come across an old vintage car with potential. I Tivo every episode of Chasing Classic Cars and would really like to be Wayne Carini when I  ‘grow up’.

I was surprised to get an email from my brother last week about this 1976 Porsche 911S model that he found on Craigslist about an hour Southwest of the Twin Cities. Remember now, my brother, Sean, lives in Sweden. He’s planning a trip to come over to Minneapolis with his family to visit, so, like any good car guy, he’s combing the classifieds here to see what he might find that’s worth taking home to Sweden.

Sean emailed me with a link to a Craigslist ad for this 1976 Porsche 911. It was in rural Minnesota, parked in a barn (with a concrete floor) for the past 5 years. According to the Craigslist ad the car “ran when parked, 5 years ago”. Sean talked to the owner, long distance from Sweden and scheduled a time for me to go out and inspect the car for him.

The general thinking was, that if the car is in good cosmetic condition, most importantly, if it’s a dry, rust free, original car, it would be well worth the asking price. Sean has some experience working on 911s of this vintage. He has a 1978 911 SC model and a good friend of his has a 1976 S model, like this one,t hat they are just putting back together after a fairly serious mechanical freshening.

If we could strike a deal with the owner, I could haul it out of his barn and put it in a friends warehouse for a while until Sean comes over to visit with his family. Then we could arrange shipping in an ocean freight container back to Sweden where Sean could work on the car, get it back in running order and have a great looking vintage 911.

So last Wednesday morning I drove out to the owner’s farm near Arlington, MN, not knowing exactly what I’d find. As I pulled into the gravel driveway I saw an early 1970s Mercedes-Benz 450SL sitting outside with grass growing up around it… It was clear, even from a distance, that it was rusted out in all the usual places, not much more than a parts car today.

1972 Mercedes 450SL Project

The 1972 Mercedes-Benz 450SL, I hoped the 911 was better taken care of, after all, it was stored inside.

When I got of my car the owner greeted me, like every Craigslist transaction, you’re never quite sure what to expect. Was I lured to the next Ed Gein compound where I would end up in the freezer only to be found years later once the police caught on? Thankfully, the guy who met me was perfectly normal… as perfectly normal as an old Porsche aficionado could be anyway.

He mentioned that he had just sold his vintage Porsche 912 to his mailman and he recently purchased the BMW Z4 that was sitting next to the house. It was time to clear out some of his old cars. I walked into the concrete floored steel building, the whole rear corner was stacked to the ceiling with bales of hay, for their horses. There, in the middle of the room was the lemon yellow Porsche 911 Targa.
1976 Porsche 911S Targa For Sale

As soon as I saw it I decided it looked better than I expected. It is a completely stock vehicle, except for the period BBS wheels, which I rather like, and the added fiberglass whale tail. The paint is of exceptional quality and looks to be original, all the way around, I opened the doors and hood, engine compartment, I looked everywhere and I couldn’t find any tape marks, over spray or any evident of body or paintwork.

1976 Porsche 911S Targa For Sale

Solid and great looking, all the way around. No evidence of paintwork… fun, funky 1970s Porsche color.

I took out my flashlight, the most important tool you could have for a job like this. It’s important to look in all the hard to reach places to look for rust or evidence of accident damage or poor repairs performed many years ago. The engine compartment was dirty and full of cobwebs, but everything looked to be there. There was some oil under the engine, but that is to be expected, as seals dry up and crack allowing the fluids inside to leak out over time. There were enough very old cobwebs going from the bottom of the car to the floor to convince me that this car probably had been sitting in this same spot for 5 years  as the seller claimed.

1976 Porsche 911S Targa For Sale

Underside of the car shows original paint… NO rust, but lots of cobwebs and dust.

1976 Porsche 911S Barn Find Project

Engine compartment… dirty and dusty, but all the original stickers and equipment is in place.

One of my big concerns was pest damage… it’s not uncommon for a car like this to house multiple generations of mice, especially when stored in a barn like this for so long. While inspecting the interior I noticed some very old evidence of mice… just some droppings and seed shells under the carpet on the passenger’s side. I would have been surprised not to have found something like that, but that seemed to be the extent of the infestation. I looked long and hard in the front trunk compartment and in the vent tubes for mouse nests, but found nothing.

I was very pleased to see completely original, solid floors on both sides of the car when I lifted up the interior carpets… rusty floors on vintage 911s are very typical and would have been a deal breaker. You can fix mechanical things.. engine, transmission, etc. easily, but body work is just so expensive and time consuming, and never as good as the original, you have to just walk away from rusty cars.

1976 Porsche 911S Barn Find Project

Great looking original floors underneath the carpets.

After my long inspection I texted my brother and asked him to give me a call… I had seen the car. He called me right back and we chatted… no rust, floors look good, the paint, amazingly, looks original, no serious rodent infestation, largely original, etc. etc.

I handed the phone to the owner so Sean could talk to him and let him know how we’d be putting the deal together. I would leave a deposit on the spot until Sean could send me a wire transfer with the balance of the purchase price, once I had the money I would return in a few days with a trailer and tow vehicle to haul the Porsche away and take it to a storage facility until we can ship the car to Sean in Sweden.

So, that was that… As I was leaving the farm I wondered how many other cars like this are hidden away… it’s not like this is a rare car, it’s not… but how many other interesting cars are sitting in barns and sheds in these rural areas that won’t see the light of day for many years? When there is no lack of space somewhere, when people can just park another car outside next to the barn (like the Mercedes) they often stack up, the sad part is, that unless the cars are inside, like this Porsche was, they will quickly deteriorate to something only fit for the scrap heap.

I imagine this will be a great car for my brother, I hope it is… and I wish I could be there when his daughter, my niece, sees it for the first time. She absolutely loves his red 1978 911… what will she think when a bright yellow one shows up?