(English) Mercedes R107 Buyer’s Guide

(English) What to pay attention to when buying a Mercedes 450SL, 280SL, 380SL or 560SL?

(English) The Mercedes-Benz R107 SL-series is nicknamed 'der Pantzerwagen', the tank. Sticking this label on a sporty open two-seater, at the time the most frivolous thing Das Haus had to offer, is telling for its legendary quality. Especially because the letters SL stand for Sport Light. With an empty weight of more than 1500 kilos and a driving behaviour geared towards comfort, the R107 is more of a grand tourer than a real sports car. Introduced in 1971, the car remained in production until the end of the 80s. With a continuous production time of 18 years this is the second longest produced Mercedes of all time. The undisputed number 1 is the G-Class Geländewagen, which is still on the price lists today.

For years, the R107 series was considered to be the unloved child of the Mercedes classic scene. As with so many old prestige class cars, the image of a car is often based on the kinds of people who drive around with it just before the car reaches its lowest point in value. Or rather, the prejudice that sticks to these people. With third generation SL's, these were more often than average moustached men wearing a golden wristwatch, accompanied by a substantial bag of cash and a blonde lady dressed in panther print. Not exactly the types the average god-fearing Mercedes owner wants to associate with. With the passing of time, the R107 SL has fortunately shaken off its moustachian image and the car is now being judged on its merits. One piece of German solidity, wrapped in a chic jacket with a sober elegance. But is the R107 still as indestructible as its legendary image after 40 years? Now that the car has come of age as an emerging classic, we take a closer look at the most popular versions.

(English) Mercedes 350SL and 450SL purchase tips

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In recent years, the 450SL has been widely imported from the United States. Americans bought these large eight-cylinder two-seaters in great numbers, despite their substantial new price. In the US, the open Mercedes initially came on the market as 350SL, but the engine was considered to be too light in power. Soon the engine capacity for the American market was increased to 4.5 litres. After a year the type designation was also changed to 450SL. Initially the 350SL could still be ordered with a four-speed manual gearbox, but soon the much more popular automatic transmission became the only available transmission. A V8 SL with manual transmission is very rare and therefore also sought-after by collectors. The 450SL V8 engines are wonderfully smooth, credit to their high torque (286 - 325 Nm).

(English) Mercedes 380SL and 420SL

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The 380SL succeeded the 450SL in 1980. For the American market the power was drastically reduced, to about 155 hp and 260 Nm of torque. This makes it the least powerful of the V8 R107 versions and therefore also the least valuable. However, the build quality and reliability improved considerably compared to the previous SL's. So it will be easier to find a good 380SL. In 1985 the 380 was succeeded by the 420SL, with a slightly larger and stronger engine.

(English) Mercedes 560SL and 500SL

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Only supplied in the US, Australia and Japan and equipped with a monstrously large 5.6 liter V8. With 227 hp this car is less quick than its displacement suggests. The earliest 450SL's (pre-emission) with 225 hp come very close. The European markets got a slightly smaller top model: the 500SL. With 240 hp and more than 400 Nm of torque, this is the most powerful R107 Mercedes.

 

Mercedes 280SL and 300SL

The R107 SL with 6 cylinder in-line engine. Lighter and more economical than the V8 versions and not so much slower. These versions were especially popular in European markets. Due to grey imports, a few 280SL's ended up in the US. The latest version of the six cylinder is by far the most popular, not in the least because of the legendary type name: 300SL.

Technical issues

Mercedesses from these years of construction are generally considered indestructible. The youngest 107's have passed the age of 30 and the first versions are approaching the age of 50. So it is logical that the ravages of time can cause a number of problems, even with well maintained examples. Usually these are common age-related problems: leaking gaskets, oil seals and dried out rubber hoses are common, both at high and low mileage. Vehicles with low mileage (longer periods of inactivity) regularly suffer from a clogged injection system. In the worst case this means that the tank must be cleaned, with replacement of hoses, fuel filter, fuel pump, new or cleaned injectors and a rebuild of the fuel distributor. Problems are manifested by poor starting, irregular idling and incorrect fuel pressure values. Technical wear and tear parts are not overly expensive, although the elimination of a lot of overdue maintenance can be very costly.

(English) Bodywork inspection

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Although less dramatic than many cars from the 70s and 80s, Mercedes SLs, expecially the early versions, can rust heavily. Weak spots are the front fenders above the headlights and on the ribbed underside behind the wheels, sills and the rear fenders on the underside in front of the wheels. Floor panels are other common areas for rust through damage, as are the corners of the boot floor, parts of the chassis beam and crossmembers and the boxed section in the front wheel arches. Repair panels are available in abundance, at reasonable prices. Welding skills and time are a must if you intend to fix a rusty SL.

(English) Interior

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Many SLs are imported from the sunshine states of the US. Although a dry climate is good for preserving the bodywork, it is often disastrous for the interior. Typical SL ailments are cracked dashboards (for which repair panels are available), dried out and torn seat upholstery and dried out rubbers. Keep this in mind in the purchase budget and determine whether this outweighs the price of a car with an interior in good condition.

(English) Restoring your own Mercedes R107 SL?

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Because prices of the R107 have been on the upswing in recent years, it can be interesting for enthusiasts to buy a restoration project. The price difference between project cars and SL's in perfect condition gets bigger every year. If you are not planning to work on a project during weekends and evenings, it is wise to buy the best possible car you can afford, without any cosmetic work or overdue maintenance. When this work has to be outsourced, the costs soon exceed the value of the car, something that does not bother the skilled hobbyist. At Dandy Classics we regularly import Mercedes SL's from the US, both as a restoration project and in a good roadworthy condition. Check out the current offers here.

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(English) 10 tips for selling your classic car

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There may be many reasons why you plan on selling your classic car. The most common reasons for sales include lack of space, lack of time, not using the car enough or financial difficulties. Whatever your reason, the sale of a classic car is not an everyday affair. From my experience with selling classics, I have formulated a couple of tips. Hopefully, these will help you to successfully sell your oldtimer car.

1. Prepare the car for sale

Wash your car. Too often I encounter cars under a layer of dust, tucked away in a corner of a shed with an interior full of junk. Not particularly attractive for a potential buyer. So start off by giving your car a thorough cleaning. Although most classic car enthousiasts know that there is always something to improve on an old car, it helps to fix small defects in advance. In particular, the general state of maintenance, fine tuning of the engine and proper functioning of brakes, steering and suspension are important. Also consider collecting and organising documentation. A stack of invoices for maintenance, parts, valuation reports and manuals make an oldtimer more attractive for enthusiasts.

2. Take good photos

Photograph your car in a clear way, in daylight and with a neutral background. Keep a certain chronological order. Start with the 4 corners of the car, front and rear, then the interior, mileage, engine compartment, boot area and any maintenance history and extra parts. Also add clear close ups of defects. A dent, scratch, rust bubbles or crack in the glass will not be noticed from a distance, especially on photos. You are helping potential buyers by offering your car as transparent as possible.

 

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3. Be honest and transparent in the description

This serves two purposes. It informs the buyer and helps you answer apparently simple questions. So be honest about what you offer. Has the engine ever been replaced? Does the car whine in third gear? Does the interior come from another car? Is there any rust or past repair work? Mention this clearly in your advertisements. It prevents disappointments and wasting each other's time.

4. Apply a realistic asking price

Pricing your car correctly and market-compatibly is not easy. Owners often have an unrealistic view of their car's value, especially when a lot has been invested. However annoying this may sound, the value of a car is mostly unrelated to the amount of money that has been put in. Supply and demand determine value. To be more precise because, the value of you car is based on its attractiveness to potential buyers,  compared to other cars on the market. Some vintage cars are simply not very popular. It can sometimes take years before a certain make or type is 'in fashion' again. Certain models are fortunate to take part in a popularity trend, which benefits the price. For example, a Peugeot 205 GTi that was purchased 10 years for a meagre € 1000 can fetch more than an MGB that was bought at the same time for € 10,000. Even when that MG comes with a large stack of recent specialist invoices of € 8,000. This observation can hurt, but it helps if you adjust your expectations to the market situation. Make a good estimate of the value in advance and check where comparable cars are being offered for.

5. Answer questions from interested parties with patience

If all goes well, you have already given most of the information in your ad tekst. Also, a substantial number of clear photos have been posted. Despite your careful preparation, you will notice that questions may arise that can cause irritation. Often, for example, the (lowest, last, trade, ...) price is requested. Many people also ask questions for which the answer can already be derived from your text or photos. Especially with e-mail traffic, there is often miscommunication. Keep in mind that most people, despite their lack of communication skills, have sincere intentions. So stay patient and polite and try to answer every question seriously.

 

6. Be wary of scammers and bunglers

Should we specifically address payment via Western Union or an intermediary proposed by the buyer? Often these are foreign buyers, people who are too busy to inspect the car in person and are the least critical about the car you offer. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. As long as the car stays where it is until payment is received, there seems to be little to worry about. Everything that deviates from this is, to put it mildly, dubious.

Of course there are also people whose hobby it is to browse through car ads, contacting many sellers to try and make 'a deal'. These people are not interested in buying a nice classic, but get a kick out of the buying process itself (which will never be followed up, even if an agreement is reached below rock-bottom price). It is my prejudiced suspicion that many people with mental illnesses, detainees and minors respond to car ads. I do not like putting a label on people, but this is typically a case of personal frustration. Classic cars are a dream for many, but only accessible to the few. My advice: do not get carried away by irritations. Keep communicating politely and be clear about what is and is not possible.

 

7. Beware of cash transactions

In the car trade it is not unusual when (a part of) the purchase price is paid in cash. Buyers and sellers are naturally suspicious and can consider this a safe payment option. However, this does increase the risk for the seller, as there may be counterfeit banknotes in that big stack of cash. On the other hand, a buyer may be suspicious of transferring a considerable sum of money by bank. Do you doubt the authenticity of the money? Suggest to go to a deposit machine with the buyer, or use a device with which authenticity features can be distinguished. A check is unusual in the Netherlands, but is still widely used in Belgium and France. This also involves a risk, when the check is not covered.

 

8. Patience is rewarded

Has your car still not sold after two weeks? Don't panic. The sale of a classic car usually takes longer than in the case of a modern car, for which there is a much bigger pool of buyers. From personal experience, a number of months usually pass before a serious buyer shows up. A sale period of more than a year is not uncommon either. In the latter case, there is a fair chance that your asking price is unrealistic, or that your car is of an undesirable type, colour or specification.

 

9. Fast cash = less revenue

If you do not have that time, concessions will have to be made to the price. Traders can often buy on a short term, but offer considerably less than private buyers. When selling via online or offline auctions, there is a risk that there are too few serious bidders to raise the price to a realistic market value. And when setting a too high reserve price, the car can remain unsold, while fixed fees have been charged.

 

10. Sell by yourself or through a specialist?

Selling your classic by yourself brings a few disadvantages and risks. Don't like the prospect of answering many phone calls and e-mails, having strangers at the door and disappointments due to deals not falling through? Maybe it's a better idea to sell the car on consignment by a classic car specialist. In the Netherlands and Belgium there are several specialist dealers who sell cars on behalf of their customers. Also at Dandy Classics we like to help our customers with consignment sales. Curious about how this works? Read more on our purchase and consignment page.

Maybe you want to wait a little longer and put the car in storage for a while? Continue reading our article with storage tips for your classic car.

 

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(Nederlands) Hoe monteer je kurken pakkingen bij oldtimers?

Kurken pakkingen komen veelvuldig voor in klassieke auto's. De toepassing van kurk klinkt misschien als iets ouderwets en achterhaald. Toch is dit natuurproduct een goede oplossing voor het lekvrij afdichten van technische onderdelen. Mits je je houdt aan een aantal basisregels voor montage.

Hoe wordt een kurken pakking gemaakt?

Kurk is een natuurproduct. Net als fleskurken wordt dit pakkingmateriaal gewonnen uit de schors van de kurkeik. Elke 8-12 jaar kan deze boomschors geoogst worden. Hierna heeft de boom tijd nodig om te herstellen. Aangezien dit proces de boom niet aantast is kurk een milieuvriendelijk materiaal. De meeste kurkproductie vindt plaats in Zuid-Europa, vanwege het gunstige klimaat.

 

Hoe werken kurken pakkingen?

Kurk heeft als materiaal uitstekende absorberende eigenschappen. Hierdoor wordt de olie uit de motor door het kurk opgenomen. Dit laat de pakking uitzetten, waardoor een perfecte afdichting ontstaat. Omdat hier wat tijd overheen gaat zal een nieuwe kurken pakking in het begin altijd iets lekken. Met name bij een kleppendeksel of carter moet het materiaal vaak nog wat uitzetten. Een andere eigenschap is dat het kurk oneffenheden prima kan opvullen en afsluiten. Kurken pakkingen zijn dan ook vaak wat dikker dan andere pakkingmaterialen.

Kurken pakkingmateriaal kan op rol gekocht worden en dient dan op maat te worden gesneden. Wij hebben diverse pasvorm pakkingen voor Engelse oldtimers, zoals Triumph, MG en Jaguar. Deze zijn te bestellen in onze webshop.

Kurk in carburateurs

Bij veel Britse klassiekers wordt kurk gebruikt als afdichting in carburateurs. O.a. SU en Zenith carburateurs hebben kurken afdichtingen. Wanneer deze carburateurs gereviseerd worden moeten de kurken pakkingen eerst 24 uur in schone motorolie gelegd worden. Hierdoor zet het materiaal uit en dicht het beter af.

Montage kurken pakking bij oldtimers

Maak allereerst het pasvlak aan beide kanten goed schoon. Een vlak schraapmes komt hierbij goed van pas. Let op dat je geen krassen maakt. Dit vergroot de kans op lekkage. Zorg bij de montage dat de pakking niet klem komt te zitten. Een knik, deuk of scheur betekent dat deze niet meer goed kan afdichten. Bij het aandraaien van bouten moet de kracht gelijkmatig verdeeld worden. Draai bouten of moeren dus stapsgewijs kruislings aan. Gebruik geen vloeibare pakking.

Zelf kurken pakkingen maken

Voor veel Engelse sportwagens leveren wij de meest voorkomende pakkingen, o.a. voor kleppendeksels, carters, distributiedeksels en carburateurs. Deze zijn eenvoudig te bestellen in onze webshop. Is de onderdelensituatie voor jouw merk en type auto op z'n zachtst gezegd problematisch? Geen nood, kurken pakkingen kunnen ook zelf nagemaakt worden. De betere automaterialenzaak kan dit pakkingmateriaal op rol leveren. Hiermee kunnen de meest uiteenlopende pakkingen zelf gemaakt worden. Teken het pasvlak af (of gebruik wat vet) en snijd de vorm secuur uit met een scherp mes en lineaal.  Voilà, weer een stapje dichterbij een lekvrij motorblok.

Geen zin om zelf aan de slag te gaan? In onze werkplaats helpen we graag met het oplossen van lekkages.

Op zoek naar een projectauto om te restaureren? Meerdere interessante restauratieobjecten zijn te vinden in onze collectie.

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(English) Why the Jaguar XJS gets better with age – and why now is the time to get one

Désolé, cet article est seulement disponible en Anglais Américain et Néerlandais. Pour le confort de l’utilisateur, le contenu est affiché ci-dessous dans la langue par défaut du site. Vous pouvez cliquer l’un des liens pour changer la langue du site en une autre langue disponible.

The Jaguar XJ-S (later renamed XJS) is a car you either love or hate. At the time of its introduction in 1975, its styling was considered too forward-looking, while at the end of its lifecycle in 1996 it was already considered a classic. At the time of writing, even the youngest XJS is more than 20 years old, while the older XJ-S models are over 40. With many different versions around there are substantial differences in character, although they all share a level of smoothness and sophistication that is matched by very few other cars. Having evolved from the Jaguar E-type and having served as a blueprint for the Jaguar XK8 and Aston Martin DB7, the XJS is often misunderstood. It is about time to give it some extra credit.

Jaguar's launch poster was not quite modest

 

Different car, different styling.

For a long time, the XJ-S stood in the shadow of its legendary predecessor, the E-type. It is wrongly considered to be the E-type's successor. Instead, it was more of a GT, an evolution that was started when the Series 3 E-type received its silky smooth V12. Except for its drivetrain, the XJ-S did not look like anything close to an E-type. It lacks the dramatic elegance of the earlier Jaguar sports cars and does not have the classical looks of the Jaguar XJ sedans, that the public came to associate with Jaguar's distinctive image. Whereas the XJ-S's styling was definitely  brave and forward-looking, the design of the later XK8 was clearly inspired by the curvy lines of the E-type. This was an era where retroism dominated the design of many sports and luxury cars. As the XK8 aged, potential buyers of modern classics have overlooked the XJS and chose the retro XK8. With modern Jaguars having finally taken on a more radically different styling, the distinctively different XJS is on the up.

Evolution of the Jaguar XJ-S and Jaguar car design

The XJ-S stayed in production for more than 20 years, seeing the company evolve through its most difficult period. At the time of introduction, it was built in an antiquated factory that still mostly relied on tooling from the 1950's. Reliability issues and a heavy thirst almost led to its discontinuation at the end of the 1970's, but the introduction of the modified High Efficiency engine attracted buyers again in the early 1980's. It wasn't until Ford Motor Company invested heavilly in modernisation and quality improvements that a more refined 3rd version of the XJS (note the different spelling) came into existence. Quality wise, the car had now overcome most (if not all) of its earlier issues. Rust prevention was also on a much higher level, while the electrics had finally become reliable. For a long time, these were the best Jaguars ever built.

The design of Jaguar cars however, got neglected under the umbrella of Ford. One could say that Jaguar's design department had lacked sheer courage for a very long time, basically eversince the XJ-S was introduced. The XJ's basic design was still inspired by the XJ6 Series 1 from the late 1960's. Not a bad source of inspiration, just not really worthy of a company like Jaguar, of which all of its classics had a forward looking design philosophy. Worst of all, the newly introduced X-type and S-type shared a platform and many technical components with the Ford Mondeo and Lincoln LS. So much for a distinctive character, Jaguar was now spitting out badge-engineered McMotors.

This came to an end when the first new cars under design director Ian Callum introduced a radically modern look. The new XK and XF came out shortly before Tata Motors took over, marking the beginning of a whole new era in Jaguar's history. In hindsight, the XJ-S had been the last truly brave and forward-looking design that came out of Coventry for a long time.

The XJS as an appreciating classic

Many enthusiasts agree that the XJS gets better with age, confirmed by recent increases in market value. In our opinion, the Jaguar XJS is still underpriced though and we expect values to keep rising as more and more people are getting used to Jaguar's more modern design philosophy. It will never be as desirable as an XK 120 or E-type, but it has finally stepped out of the shadows and is now appreciated for its differentness and significance in Jaguar's history.

 

Looking for a Jaguar XJS to buy?

Dandy Classics specialises in british sports and GT cars, like the Jaguar XJS. Take a look at our current stock, by going to our collection page.

 

Read more about the Jaguar XJS:

Recent article by Bring a Trailer: https://bringatrailer.com/2018/02/20/why-we-love-them-jaguar-xj-s/

Some thoughts on market values, by Classic Car Auction Results: https://www.classiccarauctionresults.co.uk/jaguar-xjs-next-e-type/

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(English) Jaguar E-type V12 FHC restoration: on the road to Santiago

Désolé, cet article est seulement disponible en Anglais Américain et Néerlandais. Pour le confort de l’utilisateur, le contenu est affiché ci-dessous dans la langue par défaut du site. Vous pouvez cliquer l’un des liens pour changer la langue du site en une autre langue disponible.

Every restoration is a callenge of its own. The level of dedication and perseverance required can make it somewhat of a spiritual journey for its owner (if not for the ones around him). In the case of this E-type Jaguar, it was the car itself that went on a pilgrimage on the Camino Real.

The 1973 Jaguar E-type S3 V12 2+2 coupé featured here was not really in a bad condition. Having been sold new in the USA, it became part of a multi-car collection after being imported to the Netherlands. For over 20 years, the big cat was kept indoors, only to be taken out for a yearly 'spin-around-town' on dealer plates. With 75.000 mls, it had never been restored and was in running and driving condition. Time had left its marks though; the body had several flaws and the Jaguar needed to be brought back to a state of preventive maintenance.

 

1973 Jaguar E-type V12 2+2

The e-type in unrestored condition. Sold by Dandy Classics, to a new Spanish owner.

 

We sold the E-type to a new caretaker from Galicia, Spain. With a thorough approach and with respect to originality, a restoration was started. The body was taken down to bare metal, before being refinished in its original silver colour. Mechanically, the car has been freshened up, with complete rebuilds of front and rear suspension, carburettors and cooling system. The interior was kept original, preserving the leather seats rather than reupholstering them.

 

The new owner can be proud of his achievement of turning this monumental car into a stunningly beautiful and reliable driver. It must be a treat to drive a car like this on winding Spanish coastal roads. If you ever visit Galicia, watch out for this big cat leaping up from behind.

Need inspiration for your next holiday destination? The 'Caribbean beach' in Galicia heads the list of top 10 beaches of the world. Read this article from the Guardian…

Did this article inspire you to take on a restoration project by yourself? Take a look at our collection and see what's in store.

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