CASE STUDY 1 –
Colin, 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SL in Diamond Blue with 86,000 miles.
Colin purchased the car in 2015, when it had covered just 60,000 miles. It was a good car at the time, although it wasn’t purchased from SLSHOP. In 2018 Colin and his SL first arrived at SLSHOP, after the SL presented an MOT advisory sheet that was slightly more involved than Colin had hoped. Our Health Check showed that the steering rack needed adjustment, and the subframe bushes were long past their prime. Having owned the car for two years and enjoyed his time with it, Colin decided to push ahead with the improvements and a large amount of work was completed in late 2018.
Now that the major issues have been dealt with, Colin has the confidence that with SLSHOP caring for the car, each annual MOT is unlikely to present any unexpected maladies. Colin now contributes £70 per month to his CARE membership, using the funds to cover basic servicing. As the car didn’t need a large service, by late 2019 Colin’s account was in credit to the tune of almost £800. When the car came back to us for the annual MOT, Colin used his 8% discount from the parts department to replace the side mouldings and chrome strips on both sides of the car… something he’d noticed were deteriorating.
“The CARE Membership Plan arrived at the right time for me. I knew I had a good car in 2016, but after two years and 15,000 miles it was inevitable that the big bills would start appearing. After the big spend we undertook with the subframe bushes, SLSHOP told me about CARE. The way I see it, with a classic car, there’s always going to be a surprising bill somewhere down the line, if not in year 1, 2 or 3 then it’ll come in year 4…! This is way to invest on account, to plan around the service costs and I’ve got to say, since we started the plan, I’ve not yet had to top it up, quite the opposite. I think it helps that I bought the right car in the first place, but even so, the next big job is going to be tackling some rust that’s beginning to do more than just bubble – it will be useful to have a fund already built up with SLSHOP to mitigate the inevitable bodywork task”
CASE STUDY 2 –
Sandra, 1980 Mercedes-Benz 380SL in Astral Silver with 132,000 miles.
Sandra has owned this car since 2018, although it was her husband’s pride and joy for almost two decades. When Clive passed away, Sandra didn’t want to part with the car, but she also didn’t really know exactly what to do with it. Sandra got in touch with SLSHOP after a Google search. For Sandra, it’s important the car stays in good working order so it can be used by her children when they visit in the summer – but there are no plans to restore the car, as Sandra says, “That will be up to the children, when this car becomes theirs, I’m sure they’ll decide what to do!”
For the moment, Sandra pays £60 per month into here CARE membership account to cover basic service and maintenance. It last attended SLSHOP for a C Service, and Sandra is hoping to get more use out of the car now that the grand children are getting older.
“I don’t really have to think about it, and that is what I wanted. The money is there to look after the car, Oil looks after the servicing and it means the car is always ready when my two boys want to take it out for a day. Clive loved this car and he always wanted to use it for any special occasion, so we like to keep that going – it’s a little part of him that we take with us, when we go somewhere in the SL. It’s getting on a bit now, but it still drives just fine and we enjoy it, that’s what matters.”
CASE STUDY 3 –
Jason and Daniel, 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC in Silver Blue, Rally Car
Jason and Daniel are a little more extreme than most SL owners we know, being the custodians of a car we understand very well indeed – we helped to build it. Their monstrous 450SLC is a highly customised but fully road legal rally car, prepared for international events. This car has competed across the world, in all climates and on all surfaces. On average it is used for 3 large events and 4 smaller events each year.
“SLSHOP helped to complete the car, so they do know it pretty well. Our working relationship is a good one, sometimes we go to them and say ‘for the next event the car needs this that and the other’, and sometimes they come to us and say ‘look whilst it’s with us you’re going to need to replace x, y and z’. For what we do and what we need the car for, it’s important that things are done right. We have a budget set aside for maintenance on the car relative to the events that we have planned – this is what we love to do. We pay in £300 per month, but we push the team hard to get the best for our money! We did once drop the car in and ask for it to be ready within 7 days so we could ship it to Asia, and the guys worked diligently to make it happen. Once you’ve found a good specialist that you can trust to do the right thing by you and by your car, it’s a no brainer.”.