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Which Mercedes-Benz to replace my modern classic?

I have recently purchased a 1986 R107 Mercedes-Benz SL. Unfortunately I have come to realise that I have made a mistake in buying such an old design, and would prefer something which I could reasonably use almost every day. I am still very keen to have an open-topped car, and would prefer one which has done most of its depreciating.

I am inevitably drawn to more recent Mercedes-Benz models such as the W124 Cabriolet and the newer SL models (R129 and R230) but I don't want to spend much more than £10,000. I would appreciate your views on my choices.

Asked on 8 November 2012 by CW, Poulton-le-Fylde

Answered by Honest John
Of these, a late 3.0-litre V6 R129 SL is the one to go for. R129 SLs have very complex electrics, so the older the car is the more likely these are to be flaky due to moisture ingress and the breaking down of insulation. It's best to buy as late as possible.

Early R230s had problems with the electric folding hard-top roofs and with the fuel tank (which requires removal of the roof mechanism to access). If you do go for an R230, then it has to be the 2006 - 2008 version with the upgraded power output. More here: www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/mercedes-benz/merc.../
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