2020 has presented an array of challenges, from the obvious (that we won’t discuss here) to adverse weather and a changing political and economical landscape.
In our June market review we discussed the increase in car sales, focusing on the different factors that impacted the classic Mercedes-Benz market.
As we write this a number of months down the line; the uncertainty might not be over but the sales momentum is very much present.
Since April this year the flow of cars into and out of our showroom has been relentless. Cars are coming and going almost faster than we can cope, not just R107s but R129s, W113 Pagodas and newer models from a wide range of price points.
Bruce continues to curate the showroom, offering a variety of models, colours, specifications and prices to suit every driveway. From Pine Green to Midnight Blue to Icon Gold and almost everything in between, our quest to source the very best Mercedes-Benz SLs is never ending. It’s not just the choice of cars that bring customers to SLSHOP, the preparation that goes into our cars, the expertise and the knowledge of our team both in the workshops and service department means we are seeing many new customers buying their first SL with confidence.
Our position as Europe’s leading SL specialist gives us access to the very finest SLs. On more than one occasion we have re-homed cars that other dealers have struggled to place, proving the strength of our reputation and the dependability of an SLSHOP warranty.
Bruce continues to curate our showroom offering a range of models, colours, specifications and price points to suit every driveway. From Pine Green to Midnight Blue to Icon Gold and almost everything in between, our quest to source the very best Mercedes-Benz SLs is never ending.
We’ve written extensively about what has been driving this increase in sales activity, but it goes without saying that there is a direct correlation between the increase in social restrictions, the decrease in interest rates and the speed at which cars are changing hands.
The Classic Mercedes-Benz Market in detail – Pagoda, R107 and R129
Still at the top of the classic Mercedes-Benz desirability tree sits the 280SL Automatic Pagoda, and this hasn’t changed.
We have sold more Pagodas in 2020 than ever before, with many cars being secured just days after appearing on the website. As a usable classic car a Pagoda makes the perfect classic companion. The fact that it might just be one of the finest looking cars of all time contributes to demand, and prices are nudged northwards accordingly.
Expect to pay six figures for a good quality, ready to use car, with that budget rising sharply as provenance, condition and specification increases.
Another factor impacting the price of a good Pagoda is the restoration cost – buyers shouldn’t expect much change from £300,000 for a complete nut and bolt ‘perfection’ restoration, making that superb £160,000 car suddenly look rather good value.
The Mercedes-Benz R107 SL isn’t quite nibbling at the heels of the Pagoda in terms of values, but the very best cars are creeping towards the six-figure point.
Expect to pay close to this for very low mileage (less than 20,000) collector grade cars with superb provenance and ‘as new’ with even smaller figures listed on the odometer. These cars are few and far between, and are highly sought after by collectors and connoisseurs.
As always, the market is dictated by demand and the demand is for excellent cars with ‘sensible’ mileage. We are proud to say the large proportion of SLs that we sell are bought to be used and enjoyed – perfectly illustrated recently when we spotted an SLSHOP car at Waitrose with the roof down. Having less than 10,000 miles on the clock hasn’t put the new owner off driving it!
The Mercedes-Benz R129 SL continues to grow in popularity as a new generation of buyers reaches financial maturity – we are seeing an increase in interest from younger buyers. Late cars with all the toys are still the most desirable, but early models in great condition also feature regularly in our showroom. We adore them both equally, and get just as excited about a 1990 SL500 as we do about a 2000 SL320. Buy the right one and you’ll enjoy it – many are finding just that.
So far 2020 has given us challenge after challenge, which we are extremely proud to say we have met and vanquished. With an excellent team, a great reputation and a position in the market as a leading light, we have weathered the storm and excelled. Through winter of this year we will continue to refine what we do, offering the very best classic Mercedes-Benz sports cars from an iconic era of motoring.
The showroom will remain vibrant and active, with new cars being prepared for sale even as we type.
If you are looking to secure the SL you’ve always wanted, there has never been a better time to reach out and speak with Bruce.