Tag Archives: Mercedes Roadster

Dave Knows Cars Road Trip Video! 2012 Mercedes Benz SL550 Trip to The Dells, WI – Driver Impressions – Ya Mon!


On Wednesday of this week I drove 3 1/2 hours from Minneapolis to The Dells, WI… about the halfway point between Minneapolis and Chicago, to meet the new owner of this lightly used (just over 5,000 miles) 2012 model Mercedes Benz SL550. It’s the longest single stint I’ve put in behind the wheel of an R230 series Mercedes-Benz SL (2003 – 2012). The 2012 model is the last of that series, the most highly evolved of that series, and an absolute joy to drive. Click the YouTube screenshot above or think link to watch the Road Trip Video! (commentary begins at about second 20).

The car in the Sears Imports photo booth a few days before my road trip. AMG 19″ wheel package, black exterior, Nappa Leather Interior.

Despite what some people say, what might be printed in the marketing material, these aren’t really ‘sports’ cars in the true sense of the word, not like a Porsche 911 is a sports car or a Ferrari 360 Modena is a ‘sports’ car… sports cars are brutal, uncomfortable things, impractical for every day use, but absolute perfection on a race track. The Mercedes-Benz SL is a grand touring car… it handles beautifully and has plenty of power, but it’s a much more civilized machine. You can get in this car and tool around town at 25 – 35 mph comfortably or you can get on the highway and cruise at 75 mph all day in complete comfort.

You can adjust the Active Body Control suspension to be extremely tight and responsive if you want to really take to the twisties, you can use the steering wheel mounted shifter paddles if you want to decide when to shift gears (even though you’ll never be as quick or smooth as the computer controlled automatic transmission in Sport mode). This is a car to throw an overnight bag in the back of and cruise to a vineyard, the lake house or wherever else you might want to go.. the further away, the better.

The 3 1/2 hours I had behind the wheel of this car were comfortable and fun. I tried to find excuses to get off the highway, just to have another chance to apply the gas, liberally, as I cruised up the on ramp to re-join traffic. I kept the cruise control set at 74mph the whole time, a brisk pace, but I certainly wasn’t the driving faster than everyone on the highway. As I would cruise up on someone going slower, in the fast lane, they would see this low slung, black car with huge the huge three pointed star in the grille, bi-xenon headlamps on and immediately get over in the right lane… even though I was only going a couple of miles per hour faster, I think the car is perceived by other drivers to be going a lot faster than it really is. It is certainly capable of a lot faster… it just looks fast when you see it, but it’s the smoothness of the car that’s so amazing. Heavy and steady as you cruise down the highway.

Starting with the 2009 model year, SL class cars got all the latest electronics from Mercedes-Benz along with a cosmetic refresh. Sitting in the driver’s seat of a 2009 and newer you can’t help but notice the bulges in the aluminum hood, they do add a mystique to the view out the front windshield, and, I suppose, do something for the airflow over the hood, as Mercedes-Benz engineers never do anything without a real functional purpose behind it.

Interior enhancements for 2009 and newer cars include the hard drive based system that runs the navigation, music register, iPod connector, voice control… all the latest stuff, so, I hooked up my iPod, put on some Bob Marley, activated the Harmon/Kardon Logic7 Surround Sound system and daydreamed about green little Caribbean islands, I just watched  a great documentary on PBS about the history of Reggae in Jamaica, so I have been on a bit of a Marley kick the past few weeks.

Nappa leather interior… a great combination with the black exterior.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about this SL road trip was that I was easily achieving just shy of 25mpg with the cruise control set at 74mph. The 382HP engine was much more fuel efficient than I expected in real life. The EPA window sticker says you’ll get considerably less than 25mpg on the highway in this car. While going through a couple of construction zones I reset the cruise control to 60mph… average fuel economy went to 26.2 mpg at that point… so decent gas mileage is certainly possible.

Notice the 74mph cruise control setting on the left side, 24.8mpg average on the right, 62mph average (due to some exits and on ramps).

So, I met my customer from Highland Park, IL at a McDonald’s restaurant in The Dells, WI where he bought me a cup of coffee and I laid out the paperwork for the transaction. He signed everything, gave me his check and the keys to the 2009 Mercedes-Benz GL450 he was trading in… this was my ride back home to Minneapolis. The GL450 is certainly a comfortable ride, safe, great visibility… but it’s quite a change from teh fighter plane like handling and low seating position of the SL…. it took some getting used to on the return trip.

We have already seen the first of the R230 cars fall below the $30,000 mark on the used car market. Since the 2013 models have already been release, the new body style, we will soon see the R230s drop in price even further from where they are today. They are very modern cars, light years ahead of the R107 models and much more advanced than even the R129 series SLs from the 1990s and early 2000s. As my customer and new found friend from Highland Park left the McDonald’s parking lot with a wave and a smile I thought… everyone ought to own a Mercedes-Benz SL at some point in their lives… and if you’re going to get one… the R230 series are some of the best.

What’s ‘Special’ about this 2004 Mercedes Benz SLK Special Edition Besides its 36,009 Miles and Excellent Condition?

2004 Mercedes SLK-special-Edition

2004 SLK230 Kompressor Special Edition with low, low 36,009 miles just traded in at Sears Imports in Minnetonka! This is an extremely clean car, a perfect roadster to enjoy this season, but what’s different about this 2004 Special Edition?
Mercedes SLK-special-Edition

2004 was the last year for this first generation SLK body style, released in 1997 and the retractable hard top convertible which started the shift, by all manufacturers, towards that feature (I mean, even the Chrysler Sebring has a retractable hard top now). They came out with this SLK Special Edition knowing it was the last hurrah for the body style.
Mercedes SLK-special-Edition

The 17″ wheels are unique to this model so too is the rear deck spoiler and the color coded, silver, front grille. The exterior also sports ‘SLK Special Edition’ badging. The inside, to me, is what really sets this apart from normal SLKs. The interior of this car is has sport seats covered in Mercedes’ highest end Nappa Leather as well as leather wrapped roll bars. The dash is unique to this car with silver rimmed gauges, the shift knob is chrome capped, adding a high end look and feel which finishes things off nicely.
Mercedes Nappa Leather

The interior of this car is so nice, it feels more like the interior of its larger, more expensive stable mate of the era, the SL500. I have never seen seats like this before in an SLK, they’re very supportive, comfortable and they look great. The seats in this car show very, very little wear, the bolsters aren’t all creased and worn out like you might see on so many BMW Z4s, Porsche Boxsters or other SLKs of this vintage. This car is tip top, inside and out.
Mercedes SLK-special-Edition Nappa Leather

This is a local, two owner Minnesota car with low mile for the age of the vehicle, it just turned over 36,000 miles. It has a clean, no stories Carfax vehicle history report and is ready to roll today. It was sold here at Sears Imports when it was new and has been serviced exclusively at our dealership throughout its life. It was a trade in here last week, it’s Sears Imports’ stock# 19875C. Priced right at just $16,900.
Mercedes SLK-special-Edition for sale

Mercedes Benz Club Twin Cities Section Attends the 2012 InterMarque Spring Kick Off Car Show in Downtown Osseo, MN!

Osseo Car Show Mercedes 300SL
Members of the Twin Cities Section of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America gathered early Saturday morning, May 12, 2012 at the new Mercedes-Benz dealership in Minnetonka, Sears Imports, to form up and drive North to Osseo, MN for one of the upper Midwest’s largest vintage, foreign car shows… the InterMarque Spring Kick Off Car Show. About 12 cars showed up at Sears Imports to make the 25 minute drive North to Osseo, another 3 or 4 member cars met the group at the show. The mix, and quality of the cars in attendance was spectacular. From the oldest car in attendance, new (only because his membership expired some time ago!) club member David Steingas’ 1951 220s to one of the newest, Matt Jurcich’s super clean 1999 ‘large and in charge’ S500 Grand Edition, the cars looked great and everyone was eager to check out the Intermarque’s new car show venue. For some time the Intermarque Spring Kick off Car Show was held at St. Paul’s Como Park, this was the first year for the show in Osseo.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Sears Imports
Twin Cities Mercedes Club members meet at Sears Imports to head up to Osseo.

Mercedes-Benz Club members, and their cars, that showed up at Sears Imports for the convoy North were:

Mark Flaten – 1971 280SL
Dave Bortner – 1969 300SEL 6.3
Dave Tobin – 1973 280C
David Steingas – 1951 220S Cabriolet
John Olson – 1959 300SL Roadster
Jack Church – 1985 500SL (euro)
Dean Nolde – 1999 SLK230
Daniel Miller – 1970 280SL
Jim Klecker – 1968 280SL
Matt Jurcich – 1999 S500 Grand Edition
Ron Burg – 1971 280SL

Dave Tobin Mercedes Club InterMarque car show Osseo
Tobin corrals Mercedes Club members at Sears and passes out maps to the show.

A couple of other members met the group in Osseo including:
Ron Scott – 1980 450SLC
Don Stephenson – 1971 280SL

(I think most of the years of the cars mentioned above are correct, a couple could be a few years off).

Any new venue creates challenges to organizers of a car show of the size and scope of the InterMarque’s Spring Kick Off. Our Mercedes-Benz Club was one of the ‘club sponsors’ of the event. We were told we could pick just 7 cars (all had to have been built prior to 1991) to show on the main street of the show. The rest of our club member cars would be pointed to peripheral parking areas, but still be allowed to park together if we arrived together. Well, once we got there, we ended up with about 9 of our cars on the main drag and and a handful of other down the street and around the corner, others, those build after 1991 were parked in an entirely different area, so we were a bit spread out. In the end, there was plenty of room on the main street, so we really all could have parked together… there was more than enough space, but organizers just weren’t sure how it was going to shake out, so they did their best, which was quite good, this first time around. I spoke with them during the show and it sounds like they’ll apply the lessons learned this year to next year’s show. I would guess we’ll all be able to park in the same area next time.

We pitched our E-Z Up tent to provide us with some shade, set up a table with club membership materials and some back issues of the Northern Star for  passers by to pick up and take with them. It was a great day with a wide variety of cars in attendance.

Mercedes Club InterMarque car show Osseo
Mercedes Benz Club tent and car display.

There were more British cars than anything, as usual, at this show… from MGs and Triumphs to Jaguars, Rolls Royces and Bentleys. There were a good number of Italian cars including a pair of Maserati Ghiblis and handful of Alfa Romeos, I could only find one Ferrari and it happens to belong to a gentleman I know fairly well, he also has two Mercedes-Benz vehicles as daily drivers… he was even wearing his Mercedes-Benz hat all day while standing next to his Ferrari, I guess he has decent taste. There were plenty of German cars as well… more Mercedes than Porsches or BMWs… thanks to our good club turn out.  I haven’t seen so many Citroens in one place since the last time I was in Paris… there seems to be a pretty active Citroen Club here in the Twin Cities.

Mercedes Club InterMarque car show Osseo
A great turn out of T series MGs and other vintage British cars.

The InterMarque group is a sort of consortium of car clubs… it is a single organization that sort of compiles information about all the different foreign car clubs in the upper Midwest, their events, website information, etc. and publishes a monthly online newsletter with car show and event information as well as articles and reports that are of interest to all sorts of car enthusiasts. They also hold regular events throughout the Spring and Summer, the group meets every Saturday morning at the Square Peg Diner in Minneapolis every Saturday morning. If you’re into old cars and want to keep up with what is happening in the Twin Cities old car scene you need to sign up to receive email updates from the InterMarque. Visit their website by clicking this link and sign up to receive InterMarque Updates, it’s FREE!

Mercedes Club InterMarque car show Osseo
Ferrari Mondial, Maserati Ghibli.

Mercedes Club InterMarque car show Osseo
Mercedes Club InterMarque car show Osseo

Mercedes Club InterMarque car show Osseo
Wheels of Italy organizer Dan Schaefer's Alfa Romeo GTV.


Mercedes Club InterMarque car show Osseo
MBCA-TC member Matt Jurcich's 1999 S500 Grand Edition.


Mercedes Club InterMarque car show Osseo
Steingas' 220S followed by Olson's 300SL, Bortner's 6.3, Flaten's 280SL and on down the line.
Mercedes Club InterMarque car show Osseo
Jack Church's red 500SL, Tobin's '73 280 Coupe.

Mercedes Club InterMarque car show Osseo

Mercedes Club InterMarque car show Osseo

Mercedes Club InterMarque car show Osseo

Mercedes Club InterMarque car show Osseo

John Olson 300SL Roadster

Mercedes Club Minneapolis cars Show

Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club

Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club
Dave Bortner's 6.3.
David Tobin Dave Knows Cars Blog
Dave Tobin's 1973 280C.

Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club

Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club


Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club

Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club

Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club

Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club

Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club

Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club
Great looking Jaguar XK120.
Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club
Morgans are rare... Drophead Coupes are even rarer.
Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club
Citroen Traction Avant sedan.
Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club
Big 1925 Bentley.
Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club
1955 Porsche 550 Spyder replica painted up like one of the Carrera Panamericana cars.


Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club
More MGs than you can shake a stick at.
Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club Ferrari
Some nefarious characters were even allowed into the show... Mercedes owner Alkis Michaelides brought his newest midlife crisis... a 1992 Ferrari Mondial.
Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club
Schaefer's Alfa GTV.

Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club

Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club
Pretty MG TC.
Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club
This Mercedes-Benz 190SL showed up with a for sale sign in it... looked a bit tired for a $47,000 asking price.
Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club
Late in the day, and MG TD drives off, pipe in teh driver's mouth and all.
Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club
Show's over... Olson drives off, Flaten not far behind.
Intermarque car show Osseo Mercedes Club
Following Olson in his 300SL (trying to keep up anyway).

One of the most fun parts of the day for me was driving back home… following John Olson all the way down Plymouth Rd / Xenium Lane / Zachary Lane for about 15 miles. People might not know what he’s driving, but all eyes, through every intersection, were on that 300SL, there is just something about that car, that shape… it absolutely must be one of the all time great designs. They look good in photos, on paper, but nothing prepares you for how they look gliding over the road at speed. A special day indeed.

Spring into a Lightly Used 2009 Mercedes SLK350 Arctic White w/ Black Just 23k Miles!

2009-SLK-350-Arctic White

This is a 2009 Mercedes Benz SLK350 roadster with low miles, just turn over 23,000! This was leased when new here at Sears Imports, the car resided in Wayzata throughout its lease term, it was just returned from its lease period last week. We’ve inspected and serviced the car fully, it is now being sold as a Certified Pre Owned Mercedes Benz. The original 4 year / 50,000 mile factory warranty is in place on this car, once that expires, you get an additional year or up to 100,000 miles of extended Certified Pre Owned Warranty.

This particular car is Arctic White in color with black leather interior. I have included a scan of the original window sticker / option list below for your reference, but some of the options on this one include: the Premium I Package (P1 Package) including things like satellite radio, an iPod connector, auto dimming mirrors, rain sensing windshield wipers and a bunch of other options. It’s also got the Multimedia Package which gives you navigation, the upgraded harmon/kardon stereo system, all kinds of great music options, a music register hard drive for storing music, this one has it all.. it’s even got the heating package which includes heated seats and the AIRSCARF feature.

Used Mercedes SLK prices

If you’ve been looking for a low mile, highly optioned SLK for the Summer, look no further. Original MSRP of this car was $59,055, it can be yours today for $38,900. This is Sears Imports stock# 20225, please give me a call if you’d like to schedule a test drive or set up a viewing of this fun roadster.

Fresh From Miami Beach! Certified Pre Owned Mercedes CLK550 Convertible In Stock Now, Special CPO Financing Available!

Mercedes CLK550 Cabriolet

The CLK is a classic Mercedes-Benz Convertible and this 2009 model represents the ultimate evolution of the CLK before it was discontinued and made way for the E class convertible for the 2010 model year. This is the big V8 version of the CLK, the CLK550 cabriolet.  (see below for a copy of the original equipment list).

This vehicle is being offered by Sears Imports as a Certified Pre Owned vehicle carrying extended Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre Owned warranty. The car went into service originally in July of 2009 which means the original factory new car warranty is still intact until July of 2013 or until the odometer reaches 50,000 miles. When that occurs the additional Certified Pre Owned warranty kicks in which is one more year of warranty or until the car reaches 100,000 miles, whichever happens first.

This CLK550 is very well equipped, it has a black exterior with black leather interior, it has the wood steering wheel option, heated and ventilated seats, KEYLESS GO, the Premium I Package (P1 Package) which includes things like the harmon/kardon stereo upgrade, satellite radio, and iPod kit and a host of other features that set this CLK cab apart from the more pedestrian CLK models out there.

You get what you pay for, and in this case, the value proposition is hard to deny. Originally costing more than $71,000 as a new vehicle just a few years ago, it represents an incredible value today, it’s priced at just $41,900 with a mere 21,444 original, one owner miles, it was a one owner lease from Miami Beach, FL that we just purchased from Mercedes-Benz Financial.

Special Finance Rates are available from Mercedes-Benz Financial this month on CPO CLK models, 1.99% up to 36 months, 2.99% up to 48 months and 3.99% up to 66 months. Give me a call today if you’d like more information or if you’d like to schedule a test drive.
Certified Pre Owned Mercedes CLK

Hardley Used 2008 Mercedes SLR McLaren Roadster Arrives at Sears Imports in Minneapolis, Original MSRP was $514,690, Buy It Today for Just $339,000!

Used Mercedes SLR McLaren Sears Imports

No joke… we just acquired this 2008 Mercedes McLaren SLR Roadster.. and yeah, it was dropped off in 2″ of snow by an enclosed transporter carrying all sorts of cools stuff, a new Porsche 911 Speedster a late 1960s Camaro SS and a wildly customized Porsche Panamera. It was quickly nursed across our parking lot and put inside our detail shop where it got a bath and wax. In case you didn’t know… the SLR McLaren sports 617 Horsepower, 575 lb-ft of Torque at 3,250 – 5,000 rpm. Top speed of 206 mph and 0 – 100km/h (62 mph) in just 3.8 seconds.
Mercedes McLaren for Sale

This is a one owner SLR from California with just over 800 original miles on its odometer. The original owner passed away and the car became available, we picked it up. It is a nicely equipped car (aren’t they all?) in a great color combination of Crystal Galaxite Black exterior (a metallic black) and Silver Arrow 300SL Red Leather interior it is accented inside with Semi-Aniline leather in black. The laminated original window sticker is with the vehicle as well as all of the associated books, manuals, paperwork, and SLR ephemera that will surely sell for thousands on eBay in 50 years.

Used Mercedes SLR McLaren Sears Imports
Silver Arrow 300SL Red Leather Interior Package.

The car shows as new, we are a certified Mercedes McLaren SLR service facility, we have the special lift and tools to work on these cars, it will be inspected and fully serviced at our facility before being delivered to its new owner. It has a clean, no stories Carfax vehicle history report, click here to see that.  Call me today for more info, it’s Sears Imports stock# 20159. Price is $339,000, FOB Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. We can ship worldwide.

Mercedes SLR McLaren Dave Tobin

Classic Mercedes SL Color Combo on Certified Pre Owned 2008 SL550 with Less Than 14k Miles! Black w/ Red Leather

Used Mercedes SL550

This absolutely pristine, local, one owner 2008 SL550 just arrived here at Sears Imports, it was a trade in on a new Mercedes-Benz vehicle. This is a very nicely equipped car with a black exterior and red Nappa leather interior, a classic combination often seen on classic SLs from the 50s and 60s. This example has just 13,906 original miles. It passed our Certified Pre Owned inspection and has been fully serviced… it will be sold as a Certified Pre Owned Mercedes-Benz with extended Mercedes-Benz Warranty.

This is a very well equipped SL, original MSRP was over $110,000. I have included the original window sticker with option list below for your reference, but a couple of the options on this car are the Premium 1 Package (P1 Package) which includes things like KEYLESS GO, Ventilated Seats, Bi-Xenon headlamps among other things. It is also equipped with the AMG Sport Package with AMG wheels and paddle shifters. It’s got the panorama roof and voice control as well. CLICK HERE to view more photos and see the Carfax vehicle history report on the Sears Imports Website.

This one will surely not last long, and it’s liable to be shipped off to a buyer in some other state once it hits the national auto websites. It’s priced at just $67,900, ready to sell today. It’s Sears Imports’ stock# 65029A.  Mercedes SL Prices


SOLD! 2007 Mercedes Benz SLK Roadster Perfect Car for Couple Looking for a Fun Road Tripper!!

Used Mercedes SLK

On Thursday evening a nice couple came walking in the door, arrived at my desk and said something to the affect of: “We’re just starting to look around for a fun convertible that we can take on the road, we don’t know anything about Mercedes-Benz cars, can you help us?”

This is one of my favorite kinds of customers to work with… is there anybody who is in the market for a Mercedes-Benz convertible that’s in a bad mood? Who’s just completely annoyed with the fact that they have to by a new car? No way. It’s one of the most fun things I can imagine doing.

This couple, from Walker, MN, was an absolute pleasure to work with. We looked at new and pre owned models of the Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK. They were also considering a BMW Z4 Roadster, I had a pre owned one of those to show them as well. They decided the SLK was probably the best vehicle for them… it’s got a retractable hard top, has enough room for a respectable amount of luggage, and is a lot of fun to drive… not to mention, it gets pretty good gas mileage for those long road trips.

We drove the new 2012 Mercedes SLK and a pre owned 2007 model SLK that we had to take off the showroom floor. Both SLKs are great cars, of course, the new one was about $60,000, the pre owned 2007 model with just 35,000 miles was just under $30,000. We looked at lease options on the 2012 and purchase options on the 2007… which I must say, is probably one of the nicest, most well cared for 2007 SLKs I’ve ever seen. If one looks closely at things like, the side bolsters of the seats, the door sills, condition of the trunk… all of those things can give you hints as to the care previous owners gave the car. This car had clearly been taken care of, and driven sparingly.

In the end, they chose to purchase the pre owned 2007 model… black with beige leather interior, the premium 1 Package, AIRSCARF and a number of other options that will make this a great car for the cross country road trips they’re planning in the coming years. Congratulations Sarah and Keith, and I hope you enjoy your SLK!

Original MSRP $184,000+ 2005 SL65 AMG V12 Biturbo Just Traded in by Professional Basketball Player

Wow! This 2005 SL65 AMG was just traded in here by a professional basketball player this week. This is a top of the line SL roadster packing 604 horsepower and all the options you’d expect from the black Alcantara headliner to the forged twin spoke AMG wheels. the original window sticker is below for your reference.

Of course the 6 liter V12 engine is the heart of this beast. When I got in and started it up it sounded like no other car… there is A LOT going on under the hood, from the initial ignition sequence to idle to the low rumble the car makes as you pull away. This was an extremely unique and special vehicle when it was new, it remains so today with just 36,753 original miles on the odometer.

A rare opportunity, the first SL65 AMG I’ve ever seen here in our inventory in three years. Feldmann Imports Stock# M1339, priced right at just $54,900.

Thank You, SOLD 3/29! One Owner 14k Mile Midnight Blue 2006 SL500

‘Tis the season for the SLs to come out of the wood work here in Minnesota. This Midnight Blue 2006 SL500 was traded in yesterday for a pre owned Mercedes CLK… the guy just had to have four seats in his Summer fun car. This is a no stories, one owner car with a clean history and clean Carfax vehicle history report. I have included a copy of the original window sticker below for your reference, it was $100k+ when new. You can own it for less than half that number today.

The car is nicely optioned and with the rare Midnight Blue color, it’s a non metallic blue that’s almost black, the interior is stone (light tan). It’s got drive dynamic seating as well as heated and cooled seating surfaces. Satellite radio, Keyless Go and a bunch of other features. Stock# M1123B has been assigned to this vehicle. Buy it today for $42,998.

Don’t keep waiting… get one of these early Spring season super low mile trade ins before everyone is thinking about them.