Forty years ago, I started looking for my dream car — a 1955 to 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL — either a gullwing coupe or roadster, both now among the most sought-after German classics and far beyond the reach of the average classic car aficionado.
In November, 1983 I finally spotted a 1957 300SL that looked affordable at a price of $38,000. It appeared again the next spring, although now for an asking price of $42000.
Long story short, the seller backed out and I was left to look for an alternate.
In 2000 I found a 1969 Mercedes 280SL (Pagoda Euro model) in Denver, Colorado. The lady owner, Connie, had driven it for 30 years and decided to sell it and buy a new computer. She was willing to reduce her asking price of $12,000 to $10,500.
I did complete restoration, changing only the paint color to Magnetite Blue from the original Forest Green which, in my opinion, did not do justice to a classic Mercedes.
I am delighted with the outcome. The Mercedes is a work of love and is an absolute delight to drive with the Pagota top off on warm summer days and evenings. My only regret is not taking enough time to drive this beauty. Sadly it has less than 8,000 miles since restoration 12 years ago.
Lastly, it is comforting that Connie’s computer is probably worthless by now and rusting somewhere in a scrapyard or landfill.