1998-2003 - Collector Cars? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

SLK R170 General Discussion SLK 200, SLK 230K, SLK 320, SLK32 AMG

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#1 Old 05-07-2012
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1998-2003 - Collector Cars?

Hi All,

My mechanic and I were talking about the new SLKs and I told him my wife really likes the 2011 SLK 350. He told me that if I ever sold my 2001 SLK 320 that he would buy it. We aren't looking to sell or trade ours in, but it got me thinking... Does anyone on the forum think that these cars will be collector cars in the future? I know a lot depends on features, interior/exterior colors, etc., but in general I wanted to know what your thoughts were. You always hear about stories of someone selling their vintage car only to find out 30 years later that it would have been worth $100,000.

I look forward to your comments ,

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#2 Old 05-07-2012
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I'm sure the cars will be collectable in 25 years, especially the 32AMG.
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#3 Old 05-07-2012
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Originally Posted by AceSpadre View Post
...I look forward to your comments ...
Maybe not.

To me, the collector fetishists have destroyed the automobile hobby by inflating prices on interesting older cars to ridiculous levels that bar any sensible person from being interested in them. And takes them out of the range of what younger folks can afford. And keeps those older machines off the road and hidden away such that no one ever sees or hears them being driven anymore, all in the name of "preserving their value." The collection fetish has generally ruined the fun that I and my friends used to have with old cars when I was young.

Once upon a time you could find a nice if slightly beat up BMW, Merc, Jag or even Ferrari at a price that was approachable, fix it up and enjoy it a bit, sell it off and go on to the next project without having a six digit bankroll backing you. Every so often, that lovely old XK-E coupe would roar by, a big Merc sedan or BMW 500 series roadster would pass, and you'd enjoy the sight, the sound and the fantasy of owning one to enjoy. Nowadays, the only place you get to see interesting cars is at club meets and track days. And only those with a huge amount of money get to play with them. Most of these "classic collectibles" are never really run anymore and, to me, that means their value is lost.

Cars were meant to be driven and have no purpose in being collected. I was so delighted when I went to the Goodwood anniversary racing event a decade and some back to see the classic Mercedes, Ferraris, Maseratis, etc all being thrashed around the track just the way they were designed to be in the first place. I had the joy of meeting Stirling Moss and was there when someone turned to him and said, "Mr. Moss, isn't the fact that that car is a priceless collectible a bit of a damper on driving it?"

"It's a race car. I don't care what it's worth," spoke Mr. Moss.

I sincerely hope these SLKs remain at an approachable price point so that generations of younger drivers following us will have the opportunity to buy one, shape it up, and understand why they were considered wonderful cars. And so that my descendants get to enjoy seeing one zipping past now and then, just as I do now. A pox on the collectors and their fetish!

G
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#4 Old 05-07-2012
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You are kidding, right?
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#5 Old 05-07-2012
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#6 Old 05-08-2012
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Originally Posted by glen Arbor MB View Post
You are kidding, right?
Nope. I have no love for auto collectors. They've ruined the enjoyment of neat old cars by all but a wealthy elite.
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#7 Old 05-08-2012
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Originally Posted by AceSpadre View Post
Hi All,

Does anyone on the forum think that these cars will be collector cars in the future?
Here is may be the beginning of a answer.

Google Traduction

I like in the article the German disregard for the T-Bird and its trunk folding roof. By the way the first folding roof was made by Peugeot with the 601 in the 30's. That was a pretty luxurious car at the time, same category as a Bugatti (so absolutely not forgettable)

http://photo-voiture.motorlegend.com...ipse-59112.jpg

To come back on the R170 my guess is that it is a future classic just like the first Audi TT. I won't hold my breath regarding the future values; at least in the EU as both cars are very common in Europe.
In France R170 are "finished" by young drivers as they are pretty cheap sport cars.

The R171 and R172 are too plain to become icons. The R170 on the other hand has a pretty neat design. The double bumps on the hood as reminder of the 300 SL is pure genius. Just like Ford with the '64 Mustang the R170 is unlikely to be matched again by Mercedes.
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#8 Old 05-12-2012
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Not one bit... Whats special about these things? the only ones which will be worth a dime are the AMGs. Theres nothing really unique or special about them like there was with most of the classics, and OF the classics theres normally something behind them- the right year for a car everyone wanted (for example, a 2010 camaro will be a collectors item in 2040, I can just about guarantee it, because look how many 10-25 year old kids drool when the drive by. these kids LOVE them, so in 30 years when they have a million bucks saved up they will want the car they've always wanted- Unfortunately, this car, which is AWESOME by the way (or I wouldnt own one) doesnt have a drool factor. Its a toss up between the SLK and the boxster for most people, but theres no drool factor, great story behind it, great rarity, etc. (remember also that the 60's car preserved their "value" because the 70s/80s car were LESS powerful due to the environmental and fuel standards. The drool factor and this is one of the reasons for the collectibility of the 60s.

I'd say a SLK will be about the same as any generic 30s-40s car in the year 2100- any car which is simple that OLD will have collectibility, but nothing will set it apart.
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#9 Old 05-12-2012
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Order of Collectability

If these were to be collectors in the future, I am guessing this would become the order of interest.
#1 collector = SLK 32 AMG
#2 collector = SLK 230 KOMPRESSOR SPORT (Partial AMG) like mine
#3 collector = SLK 230 KOMPRESSOR
#4 collector = SLK 320
#5 collector = SLK 200

Am I forgetting a model?
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#10 Old 05-13-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krazymaan View Post
If these were to be collectors in the future, I am guessing this would become the order of interest.
#1 collector = SLK 32 AMG
#2 collector = SLK 230 KOMPRESSOR SPORT (Partial AMG) like mine
#3 collector = SLK 230 KOMPRESSOR
#4 collector = SLK 320
#5 collector = SLK 200

Am I forgetting a model?
What's the basis??

And your missing the 320 sport with all the amg goodies minus the forced air... Anyway, the 320 will be number 2... Not sure why its number 4. Why? Because currently its the 2nd most expensive car. If its more in demand now, it'll be more in demand in the future.. plus its rarer. 320s run about $12000 here while 230 kompressors are about 9k, and 200s are about 7.5k

I guess its a moot point though because the 200, 230, and 320 will all be about thed same with a big gap to the amg.
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#11 Old 05-13-2012
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Didn't know there was a 320 sport. I'd probably place that at the #2 position then. Even though it doesn't come with a supercharger. When it comes to collectability A car with a supercharger or turbo charger is generally more collectible than a non forced induction car. But being its got factory AMG goodies on it, it would rank up there.
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#12 Old 05-13-2012
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Originally Posted by krazymaan View Post
Didn't know there was a 320 sport. I'd probably place that at the #2 position then. Even though it doesn't come with a supercharger. When it comes to collectability A car with a supercharger or turbo charger is generally more collectible than a non forced induction car. But being its got factory AMG goodies on it, it would rank up there.
And I never knew there was a 230 sport... haha. I thought it was only the 320 which had the sport package... I guess you learn something every day!

You can see here: http://www.automobilemag.com/am/99/2002/mercedes_benz/slk_class/slk320_roadster/1400/packages_options.html the $4,220 Sport package which had the AMG bumper, side skirts, wheels, tires, logos, and stainless roll hoop.

I'm a curious type of person, not trying to "argue" or anything, but can you tell me what other cars have seen the forced air versions being more valuable than the non-forced air version with more horsepower?

The only time I personally have experienced turbo/supercharged cars worth more is when they have better performance. On cars like the audis, where the 4 cyl TT is less powerful than the V6 options, the V6 option is the one that is considered more valuable, while cars like the 3000GT, where there IS no "bigger" engine than the TT see's the value in the TT optioned VR4. I use the same basis of rationalization for the SLKs to suggest the 320 will be worth more than the 230 kompressor, just like it is right now. I dont think its the forced air mechanism that is "valuable", its the performance numbers.

Although I still stick to the fact that this is semi-useless banter because the value difference between a 320 and a 230 in either case won't be more than a few bucks. Its almost like saying whats more valuable in a 50s car, one with single or dual tone seats or something. Unless its the "best", its just one of the rest. (32 AMG vs. the "rest")
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#13 Old 05-13-2012
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My wife and I do collect and trade old cars, though not in the sense of the current trends you guys are talking about. Rather, we own what most would refer to as 'driver quality' cars. In other words, just classic used or old cars that look and drive very nice- cars that have had some restoration, but not to the point of warranting a trailer to take them to shows. I have seen the trends lately move towards these type of cars, as they are more affordable, more available, and hold their value as good as higher quality investments. I believe more folks want to use and enjoy them in this respect. We intend to drive and enjoy the cars we own, not trailer them around with "DO NOT TOUCH" signs on them. I will not own a car that is "too nice to drive" as there is no such thing in my world. As an example- I can assure you that a ride and drive in a 1974 Trans Am with the factory stock 400 (about $15k for a really nice driver) is very, very close to the ride and drive of a 1974 with the "Super Duty 455" engine package- nearing the $100k mark currently. They look identical except for the shaker decals, and performance is close enough for anyone. Folks are scared to drive the SD455 car because "it's worth too much", or "they only made a couple hundred". I drive my '74 400 car like I stole it. Who cares- who would I be saving it for? Besides, our S55 AMG cost more than the Super Duty 455's cost, and it gets used as a regular car, daily, left in parking lots, etc..

I understand the investment angle of a very low production 'special' car and respect that automobile being 'saved' for shows because of it's historical significance. But for us, the only beauty is in driving these cars. The sounds, the smells - the whole experience would be wasted if they were locked under covers only until they were pushed into a trailer once a year for a concourse showing. Get in and drive!!!
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#14 Old 05-13-2012
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Have you guys seen The best vintage and classic cars for sale online | Bring a Trailer - Barn finds, rally cars, and needles in the haystack. If you are interested in collectors. Seems to be prices from all ranges.
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#15 Old 07-30-2012
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I was at the dealer this weekend and the owner happened to be there (he's a collector). It was interesting becasue his general thought is that 'at least one variant' of the R170 will be a 'classic'. His guess is one the V6 with a manual transmission.

His basic point is that the roof itself set it apart from everything else but the early 4 bangers were just considered too 'underpowered' to become a classic. Plus manual transmission roadsters are what fits the tradition and are a lot more 'rare' for Mercedes. His take is that if you fast forward 30 yeas or so from now (long-time I know), that even a manual 230 will be more of a desired car by collectors than an auto AMG. He also thinks that in 10 years or so from now the most sought after R170s for people who want to do mods etc, will be the 320's because a) they are already higher performance than the 230, and b) they can be supercharged to have a much higher cieling for performance. c) they will initially be cheaper than the more expensive AMG's that don't have as many 'easy' modifications to be done.

He also believes that as long as it's manual and not auto there will be much larger appeal, and that 'shifting' setting in the automatic AMG's doesn't/won't satisfy collectors or enthusiast nearly as well as an 'actual' stick.

This is one persons opinion obviously and per his own admission there is no telling what will/won't be a true collectors item several years out. He says he just drives his cars and sometimes keeps them and sometimes doesn't and if something he keeps becomes a real collector, then great. If it doesn't then he still has a car he enjoys. That makes since to me as well.

Whatever the case may be, drive your car and enjoy it!

By the way, he drives a manual 320, and that's the way we got on the discussion. So he may be biased. I never thought about the car be a classic one way or the other until our conversation and then today seeing this post (I know I'm late chiming in). But thought I'd share his take.
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#16 Old 09-11-2012
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The SLK as a future classic

I've interacted with "collectors" for years in the automotive and gun communities. Before I discuss my predictions for the SLK, I must share this one caveate: real, serious, collectors are, most often, pretty sick obsessed people. Someone like, say, Jay Leno who is building a major collection as a gift to the public, is very rare. Most collectors are driven by the "need" to have more, or more expensive, toys than other people. These aren't "nice" people. They are driven, and they ain't motivated by a love of engineering or driving.
With that nasty (but honest) bitterness behind us allow me to share my observations of what collectors want and what they will pay for. The first rule is that the item must be absolutely original. When you do some neat things to change your car to make it more personal, you are destroying its future value. People who understand this, and there is no way around it, are smart enough to be absolutely sure to keep all the original parts which are replaced. If you want to make major changes in the car to make it more personal or function better, then understand that if they are not reversible you have "ruined" the collector's value of the car. Since a mass produced car like our SLKs takes decades to become collectable, if you don't have a rare model like an early manual transmission or AMG model, you might as well make the mods and enjoy one of the nicest sports cars in history.
As for which models will, eventually, be collectable; I agree with the models listed in the earlier posts. Certainly, the first year's models are always good bets. I am talking about the American models since they were all super charged, and super charged production cars are very rare and by definition exotic. The baby 300SL look of the R-170s are just so neat that they are the inspiration of the latest model. That lends them authority. From my experience I'd say that they will be the most sought after. The factory hop-ups and limited runs will go up sooner, but in the long run, a clean first year model with an unscratched (that will be the rarest) red and black interior will be the hardest to find and therefore the most desirable.
After a half a century, most well kept SLKs will have some collectors' value. I base this on the rising prices of the old 190SLs. Those cars were scorned when new since they were considered no more than German T-birds. All looks and no go. The survivors have become classics. They still are pretty sorry cars, but the ones which are left are way up in value. The same thing is happening with the "Pagoda" roofed 230SLs and their later variants. Not fast, nor the easiest cars to control at high speeds, but as most of them have rotted or crashed, the survivors are growing in value. It took decades, but at least they are pretty! No one, in their production period would have predicted that they would ever excite collectors.
Just some thoughts from an experienced (read: old) guy who has dealt with collectors for decades. Again, modify and enjoy your car, but only pure originals (remember to keep all the original papers and especially the original window sticker and delivery manuals) will be "grand classics."
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#17 Old 09-11-2012
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#1 collector = SLK Brabus
#2 collector = SLK 32 AMG
#3 collector = SLK 230 KOMPRESSOR SPORT (Partial AMG) like krazymaan
#4 collector = SLK 230 KOMPRESSOR
#5 collector = SLK 320
#6 collector = SLK 200
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#18 Old 09-12-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradley61496 View Post
#1 collector = SLK Brabus
#2 collector = SLK 32 AMG
#3 collector = SLK 230 KOMPRESSOR SPORT (Partial AMG) like krazymaan
#4 collector = SLK 230 KOMPRESSOR
#5 collector = SLK 320
#6 collector = SLK 200
-What about the SLK 320 Sport (Partial AMG)?

-Also, I keep hearing people putting the 230 Kompressor above the 320- can someone point to a historical example of when a less powerful engine was more valuable than a more powerful engine just because of a supercharger or turbocharger? or some justification for why it could possibly be more valuable? (I mean even today the 230 kompressor is about 80% the value of a 320 at least in the US) Normally when someone argues that the supercharged/turbocharged versions are worth more its because that is the same engine with the SC or TC which makes it the most powerful version? (Not a rhetorical question- I'd really like to know what cars this basis is on for my own knowledge)

-What about the Auto Vs. Manual Dynamic? I know the only time the "less powerful" classic cars are worth more than the "more powerful" versions are when the "less powerful version" has a manual and the more powerful does not. Case in point a 2nd generation Camaro, the manuals with the 305 tend to fetch more than the automatic 350s even though the 350s are a bigger motor.

-Don't think the brabus is going to be a huge collectors item unfortunately unless it eventually becomes a true affiliate. Its just like hennessey for chevy or one of the many tuning companies for various manufacturers, they are awesome, they command top dollar early on, but just like Drivenorth said, when it comes down to it they are simply modified cars and the factory original versions will win out on a classic.
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#19 Old 09-12-2012
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No. 1 = Any 6 Cylinder
No. 2 = Everything else.

It has always been thus.
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I went off of krazymann, i think were talking about the desgino edition 230 than 320
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