Well, how about more comments from people who use the cars? How did you use your 300 SL? and what did you replace it with? I drove a late 80s 500 SL from Seattle to San Diego back in 1998. There were no problems and excessive power, to be sure. I subsequently test drove a 1990 Jaguar XJ-S V-12 Classic Collection which was and is vastly superior in all driving conditions. Any purchase of such a sophisticated vehicle should include a first year careful set up period with a great mechanic and sophisticated parts. A Jag sent to the US might have soft rubber bushings and a detuned engine with parts chosen for reliability not performance. It takes many hours and careful technique to change to tougher bushings, but crisp cornering and high speed control result. The wondrous V12 engine is world famous, often for grand touring, but also for high speed capabilities. I found a mechanic who worked for the Jag race team who rebalanced the engine components. After that the engine runs first click every time and acceleration is crisp and confident. When these cars were built finding a capable transmission for so much power was a major challenge. The big farm equipment GM transmission needed minor adaptations to do the job. There are many good reasons why most sports cars favor light weight and smaller engines. Bottom line: I still own and use this 30 year old beauty. The buyer backstory is confusing. Nobody in the family's younger generations wants a classic car. Yet, the would be buyer claims to be concerned about value retention. If the buyer leans toward a Cobra, well, hey! Get a modern Corvette for weekend track use. Ford doesn't support its classic cars, Mercedes and GM and Jaguar do. Better yet, user groups, local hobbyists should be checked. These cars can require tending. That means know your local support options and consider where you might move. Google support info. The Jaguar model above was in production for over 15 years, so there are many owners with real experience using and maintaining real examples. Mercedes makes yearly changes, complex, sometimes baffling changes, and all the examples are worth owning and driving. If a collector wants a vehicle that can be used on a whim out on common roads, examples a bit newer than from the 50s are more likely to please. If a collector just wants to take bridge guests out to the garage for a look around, well either Blue Chipper will astound. If the owner will drive it, then the Cobra disqualifies most people over 40 and anybody whose physical condition is challenged by injury, weight or endurance. I loved a 1976 Maseratti Merak, mid engine, very light, amazingly capable in the corners, no clearance underneath, so watch out for gas station tank filler caps. And be an expert in several languages and fluid dynamics. Why would someone in Seattle want such an exotic machine? Not many did, so the local price was depressed, affordable. Check out sourcing of parts and information. Oh, the world HQ for Maserati is east across Lake Washington, in a warehouse near the train tracks near Overlake Hospital. They stock the complete manuals for the Merak. It uses hydraulics from the Citroen ownership, so that part is in French. The body components manuals are in Italian. Some braking issues are described in German. There is an elegant summary manual in English to loan to friends, you won't miss it. I mention this because I think purchasing a Cobra might have similar challenges to purchasing a Merak. When I was under 50 and still sailing old wooden boats and wind surfing across Lake Margaret, the Merak was just another daily challenge. My body changed. Has yours? One day you might also be 77, or even older. As to ten years from now ... oh come on, don't rush it.
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