"The 300SL is called the only offical succesor of the legendary 1950's 300SL by reputable car magazines in Germany. It is a real collectable now and totally undervalued (see Kelley BB, does not reflect real market values. As an up to 20 year old car, this car delivers in any aspect very well even by means of todays standards. The extraordinary quality is result of the best engineering of MB in Stuttgart and perfectly executed production and quality control. Only a few modern cars - and rarley any newer model Mercedes (we have owed several) or Porsche (we have driven Porsche for over 20 years) reach this level.
Engine: ample power for driving in US, very lively engine that likes to be reved up to 7200 rpm (compare to Porsche 911 engine of the time in 964 with limit of 6500 rpm! and mechanical tappers to be adjusted every 10,000 miles by having to take the engine out??!!). Good fuel consumption, very complex intake/idle control system. Bad plastics material choice (harden over years and cause leakage in vacuum system operating everything). Replacement difficult and expensive. Parts to come from Germany, not available from US.
Transmission: slow shifter, take off in second (sluggish), shift by hand and the car moves extremly quick, especially considering the high curb weight.
Body: Bruno Sacco at its best. No flex on this car, higher body rigidity than Porsche cab. There is no other convertible on the market that delivers top down and no shatter or flex - period. Simply astonishing. Drives others and you will know right away.
Top: check for sensors, that could impact roof operation, other than that flawless. Comes up or down within one stop light phase. Very effective wind protection. Driving in winter with top down at minus 15F is no problem plus heated seats and superp heating system.
Very good air conditioning system. Unusual for MB.
Suspension: perfectly balanced for fast but also luxurios driving. Modifications could only make negative impact. So let your fingers off. Much better handling than 500/600 SL due to lighter engine = higher cornering speeds.
Brakes: not expensive to repair, use only original parts with correct material specs. Good performance and very reliable with no fade. High dusting due to performance pads.
Trunk: good size. Grocery shopping for a 4 person household can easily be down. With the top down I have transported even entire doors (new for the house).
Paint: make sure to keep the original paint in good shape. Simply extraordinary quality. New MB can not reach this level, nor can other 70 to 110K cars.
Overall: The best car I have ever owned. I should have bought one earlier despite it's high price (new: > 70K for the 300SL, equals > 100K in todays U$ 2010).
Have fun and keep her. If you sell, you will regret it quickly."
"Acquired car with 51000k, now 67000 after 3 years. This is a great, reliable and very solid feeling car. Two minor problems, accelerator linkage had to be renewed and a petrol pump hose had to be replaced.
I do not use the MB dealer but an ex Mercedes mechanic which has worked out very well and not that expensive,
The push button soft top is really a great feature and the overall interior finish is top notch. The boot takes 2 golf bags with ease."
Pros: "Timeless styling, Well built for the most part, Decent MPG,"
Cons: "Expensive to maintain, YES, NO CUP HOLDERS, Seatbelt retractors always breaking"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought New. Traded in '91 C4 Corvette Roadster for this car. My wife's idea. Shortly afterwards I decided that I'd have to start leaving her home. But, with all things considered the Benz has been a reasonably reliable car. Fuel mileage (MPG)is also decent. Drives and handles ok but not as good as the Corvette. Still gets a lot of compliments. Especially from women. I guess it's a woman's car after all. The long and the short of it is, I should have kept the 'vette."