For Sale Sold!
380 SL, 1982. $3200
or telephone: (509) 926-7801
Why Did I Buy This?
For the price, I couldn't pass up this sadly neglected (at the time)
example. Though it needed a lot of work and had to be dragged home on
the end of a rope it was actually not too far from running condition.
I thought I could get it working and then drive it for fun while I
worked on all of its non-critical needs. (Which were legion.) I also
thought it would be fun to have a 380 SL for awhile, to
complement our (now-sold) 450 SL and the his and hers 560 SL's. (A
107 SL hat trick?)
There's just no way to justify keeping three SL's long-term,
it's hard enough to justify having two. Once the car was fixed up to
a driveable condition that's just what I started to do, and the fixing
somehow largely stopped. After more than enough time with the
unfinished bits hanging over my head it was time to send it on its
way. This car turned out to be more of a project than I'd anticipated
(there's a shock!), but more significantly, other, more important
projects prevented me from giving it the attention it deserved. While
I'd hoped to have fun fixing it up to a needs-nothing condition,
quickly, then selling it and hopefully not losing any money in the
process, that was not to be. (That was the deal I'd made with my wife
when I got it!) This was fun to drive while I was repairing it, I'd
already determined that it was pointless to do this on a purely
for-profit basis with a 240D I'd repaired and
sold in the past, it just takes too much time invested for the return
you can get. No, it was mostly for fun. And when the fun stopped...
The good part is that you get a car that I treated as my own personal
ride, as there was no way to know exactly how long we were going to
keep it, after all. (The laundry list of what it needed to be
driveable was quite long.) In fact I drove it for just about five
years (but not in the winters), about four and a half years longer
Driveable. Everything works, even the AC and the cruise control.
(See repair list.) Not rusty. Not perfect,
however, see below.
1982 model is exempt from smog testing in WA, yet has the reliable
CIS-E fuel injection, hydraulic valve lifters, and has the relatively
reliable VDO Automatic Climate Control system, not the trouble-prone
and expensive Chrysler system of earlier models.
3.8 liter engine uses regular gasoline, unlike later cars which require
Engine has been converted to the desirable longer-lasting double-row
Engine has had the top end serviced. (Prior to my ownership. I'm not
sure just what this entailed, I was never able to dig paperwork out
of the PO.)
Added lamp-test for the low-fuel light, like later MB's have.
Added auxiliary turn-signal clacker for better top-down feedback.
Panasonic CD player, with rear deck speakers.
Rear center seat belt, works great for tying down a small child in a
booster seat in the back. This actually works pretty well, and so far
we've had no problems going on family outings in any of our SL's (all
of which have this feature courtesy of the junkyard). The belt
normally hides under the rear deck, and is a Kangol magnet belt from a
1968 280 SE. It wouldn't be terribly good for a full-size (!)
passenger, but that's more due to its center location and the nature
of the rear deck. This car, like all 107 SL's, can have a real
jumpseat system installed in it for a 2+2 configuration.
New sunvisors. (Priced those, lately?)
New seat upholstery. (Priced that, lately?) In MB-Tex, not leather,
so it'll last a lot longer and with less upkeep. Often mistaken for
New chromed plastic seat hinge covers. (Priced those, lately?)
Replacement (used) soft top.
R12 compatible refrigerant. Works better and lasts longer than R134a
conversions. (Less corrosive, and lubricates the compressor better.
I have heard too many disturbing reports of early failure of converted
systems.) Other compatible replacements are available, if you don't
want to continue with R12. (I recommend against a R134a conversion,
primarily because of the oil problem. Also, R134a is less effective:
it's inherently less efficient; designed-for-R134a systems are larger
as a result.)
Most of the paint looks very good, some is excellent. There are some
tired spots however, and peeling of the clear coat on the hood, so it
isn't perfect. Overall impression is that it looks very good, see the
pictures. Drive it as-is for an economical price, or paint it
properly and transform it into a very nice example. Or,
use a paint guy I found that does reasonably good painting for a
very economical price, he fixed the peeling trunk, door, and
hood. Oh, the choices!
The car burns some oil. Spark plug #7 fouls. Once fouled the car
loses power and doesn't run like it should, but is still quite
driveable. A new (or cleaned) plug cures the rough running. It takes
less time to change that one plug than it takes to fill the gas tank
on the car.
The rear window defroster doesn't all work. Only about half of the
vertical strips will clear. Usually not much of an issue on a
AC has a slow leak at the receiver/drier.
The extras, that is! Some extra parts/items can go with the car, if
the new owner wants them. (I would always want such items, but
as my wife so cruelly points out, not everybody is like me!)
Touch-up paint. The remainder of the paint used to repair the peeling
trunk lid, and two rattle-cans of McParts paint (Torreador Red) that
work very well for rocker-panel touch-up, and anywhere that a merely
close color match is good enough.
Bootleg copy of the factory manual on CD. Notably difficult for the
novice mechanic to use, these were designed for use by experienced MB
mechanics who only needed to know peculiar details about any given
job. Even so they are, of course, invaluable. This one's designed to
work on slightly older PC's, but can be used quite successfully on a
Mac running OSX after a little bit of tweaking. (Copy the files to HD
and run a patch script to fix up the linkages. Ultimately it's just a
batch of PDF files that are scans of their discontinued paper manual,
it's the indexing system that is so sensitive. I believe the same
patches will also allow use on a Linux-based system. There are also
alternate indexes of this data that have been created by other people
that were dissatisfied with the stock indexing system.) Of the
aftermarket manuals out there I've seen, I particularly like the
Haynes, you might want to get yourself one of those.
The add-on third brake lamp from the trunk. This didn't belong on
a 1982 model (it was from the '86–87 models) and was poorly
installed so that water leaked into the trunk. I removed it and
welded the holes shut before the trunk was repainted. If you want to
reinstall it (properly!) you can have it. It will need repainting, at
the very least.
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