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Registered 2005 SLK350
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189 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,
I was interested to know what attracted you good folk to buy an SLK?

For me, it was a case of wanting a 'mid-life crisis' car. Something I could afford to have before I retire. I first got interested in Mercedes, when I watched a you tube clip from 'Harry's Garage' about his Mercedes SL600 R129. Sorry in advance if the link doesn't work!


I was going to go for a later SL320 for a balance of performance and practicality. The problem for me with the R129 was where to store the separate hard top when using the soft top. Also, was put off the later R230 as it was a bit big for the driveway and the possible rust and reliability issues on the early models. I was tempted too by the early shape Audi TT, but wanted something with a nice engine note, but was put off the 3.2 engine by reliability worries. So I then noticed the R170 & R171 SLK with it's folding steel roof, and as the car has to live outside all year, I didn't want an older soft top car that was likely to start letting in water.
So in the finish I found a nice low mileage, one owner SLK350. Plus with the SLK you get the chance to be part of this great forum. It has been a great source of information about the car.

By the way, favourite soundtrack for driving with top down or up is Matt Munro 'Days like these' from 'The Italian Job'.

Andy
 

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Registered 2005 SLK55 AMG
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868 Posts
ashamed to admit it but half the reason for buying an SLK55 was that a 2011/12 Mustang GT was too expensive (as was a 392 Challenger) - that being said I didn't take a whole lot of persuading as Mrs W's 250 SLK really had me hooked lol. Now that I'm here I have to be honest and say I like it!

For me it had to be a V8 though - I know that in the real world the 350 is pretty much as quick but I still haven't outgrown the whole thuggish V8 phase...
 

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Super Moderator UK SLK 55 AMG 2007
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26,068 Posts
Subject has been covered before but...


Got a 230 R170 as a fun/weekend third car.
Then fought over the keys daily.
First up got the 230.


Eventually, we ended up having two R171's to save household discord (a 55 and a facelift 350).
Neither of us can imagine life without our SLKs.


TTs were 10 a penny and wasn't too keen.
Liked some aspects of the beemers,
but, regardless of age, the SLKs look right.


The everyday makes just don't really do much for either of us when it comes to convertibles.
We looked at the SL as a second car when looking at the 350.
It's ok, but the extra price and size didn't add anything except a little extra storage.
 

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Premium Member 2001 SLK320
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1,032 Posts
Easy,
Had to be a two seat, folding metal hardtop, with big boot, towbar available (CURT hitches), modern safety standards, look good and feel special. Drive every day.
SLK R170 was THE only option.

MX-5 - small boot, no tow bar
BMW 3-series, Volvo C70,- 4 seats and not really special, roof looked fragile.
R171,172 - towbar not available
 

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Super Moderator UK 2002 SLK320 Blue
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2,844 Posts
I've wanted a convertible for many many moons, but four children, a house and finances really put the kybosh on any thoughts of that... Until the children all grew up and left home. Daughter bought a 4-seater convertible which was great and re-awoke my dream, but it was not what I wanted. Then with some good fortune I was able to save enough to start looking.

I wanted a reasonably practical car but no soft tops so that meant the SLK or the Z4. As I could only afford a small amount and objected to paying out a lot of road tax per year it had to be the SLK. After lurking here a bit and trying more than a few SLKs I found Silkie and have never looked back.
 

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Registered 2002 SLK32 AMG
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233 Posts
I was used to driving oversized American muscle cars, so the size of the SLK32 drew me in. It also handles tons better, is faster than most, and has a usable trunk. The Vario Roof also won't leak, same can't be said for T-Tops or canvas tops found on others.

Now that I have it, I'll never be without it. It's a forever car.
 

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Super Moderator 06 SLK 280
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10,492 Posts
I spent my youth in 2 door muscle cars. As mentioned before, got married,got wagons and spent almost my entire working life driving company cars. So when I retired early, I told myself "Self you worked damn hard for a long long time,you deserve something fun. Far be it for me to argue with someone as smart as me. So I went on a search. Mustang,nope. Camaro,nope,been there done that. BMW Z3M yeah nice,but soft tops are an easy target. Then I saw a Metallic Red 350 SLK and feel in love. Living in a small Northern California town choices were normally 2 to 300 miles away. I drove down and checked out the 350 but the prior owner was either a spoiled brat or a total idiot because the car was trashed. Finally found "Mine" on the other side of the mountains in Redding at a dealership. Two prior owners, one who lived in Beverly Hills and babied the car ,the second, the chief of police in Hoopa,CA who owned in for two months and realized that it was not the kind of car to have in the mountains when it snows. So he traded it for a 4x4 Dodge Ram
 

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Resident Nerd
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185 Posts
Mine was totally spur of the moment. I set an appointment to see an E350 at the dealer in the middle of winter. I got there and it was already outside, warmed up and ready for the test drive. I went in to give them my license and my SLK was sitting on the showroom floor and I, literally, took one look at it and told the salesperson "how hard is it to get that outside, I don't want the E350 anymore". A few hours later I owned it. It was love at first sight and, to this day, every time I look at the beautiful lines on that car I fall in love all over again. Today's MB's are nice cars but they don't have those same lines, man I love those curves. ❤
 

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Premium Member 2012 SLK55 AMG
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5,807 Posts
I promised myself that when I turned 60 years old that I would treat myself and buy a Porsche Boxster S. It was something that I did not need but something that I wanted. My wife however, whilst not trying to deprive me of treating myself had other ideas and said she did not like the thought of a car with a soft top. She said that she had seen a Mercedes which turned out to be an SLK that had a more substantial roof and which she preferred. That said, she got me thinking and just before my 62nd birthday I bought my SLK350. I have to say she was right and the car has been a joy and pleasure to own and I am glad that she pointed me in the right direction. I am now looking forward to owning an SLK55 which is the next step for me. I will be sorry to see the SLK350 go and if I had enough space in the garage I would keep her. Hopefully her next owner, whoever that may be will enjoy her as much I have.


PS: Hopefully they are already or will become SLKWorld members.
 

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Registered
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191 Posts
Always wanted a two-seater sports car of one type or another when I was a teenager. Just couldn't get the funds together: cost of purchase, fuel costs, etc. But most of all the insurance was waaaay to much.

Bought a Toyota (sorry) which was a very nice, safe car. But boring. Then I realized that I didn't want a 'nice' car any more – I wanted a FUN car.

Went through a bit of a tough time for a while (illness) and went on medication. THAT DID IT! Bought my first 2-seater – a Toyota MR2 Mk III. Had loads of fun for a year then started looking seriously what else was out there. Saw my first SLK and was hooked.

Found the right car in the right colour and altogether perfect for me. Bought it and never looked back (or at any other cars).

Job done.
 

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Super Moderator CA 2012 SLK55 AMG w/P30
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12,423 Posts
I wasn't looking for an SLK. Just a sports car/convertible.

Choices came down to a Jag XK, TT, Boxster, Z4 or a 380Z--all convertibles. Pretty sure I didn't want a soft top though (unless the price was right :wink:) .

I even considered an M3 (but only because it had seating for 4-->my wife wanted to be able to carry the two grand kids if we needed to :surprise: .

Can you imagine? Buying a car so you can carry the grand kids in <gives his head a shake> ?

I don't know why but MB was not on the radar.

I then found a 2008 Aston Martin Vantage :surprise: in my price range. The only reason I discounted this one was servicing was an hour away (regular or emergency). Scratch this one off the list.

I expanded my search criteria, found Schwarzie on Autotrader and the rest is history :grin:
 

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Premium member 2018 SLC43
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645 Posts
A friend, both a BMW and Mercedes fan, turned over a few cars, wound up with three. Meanwhile, I still had only one car (usually had 2-3 in the past). I was looking for a project car to keep occupied. I told my friend, what's that little retractable hardtop I see silver-haired 50ish ladies driving? It's so cute and the top goes down. He wasn't sure. I was still considering another 1955 T-bird or an old Cadillac or Lincoln. Then I saw a nice 2000 R170 on the TV machine at the Barrett-Jackson auction, must have been spring 2015. That was the car! Only $11,000 American! I had that on me. I decided against the R170 because it looked like more project and less driving after some study. So to his shock, we looked at a like-nu 2009 SLK 300. Salesman let us walk out $150 apart. Duh. Too slow, though, and it was a stripper. Started to go to a local T-bird house that day but didn't. Started comparing features and moved up to R172s - never liked the R171's nose (sorry). Looked around, most were of dubious (or no) history. Lucked into a one owner, loaded, local car with only 15,000 miles. Been on the lot one day. Drove it home before some undeserving person got it. Compared to other crap local inventory, would not have lasted till Monday. Any other discouraged shopper would have nabbed for the same reason I did. Discounting collector cars, best car I've ever had, I'd say. Actually, I bought the top and the car came with it. :) Only problem is, nothing to work on!
 

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Premium Member 2004 SLK32 AMG
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5,172 Posts
I was used to driving oversized American muscle cars, so the size of the SLK32 drew me in. It also handles tons better, is faster than most, and has a usable trunk. The Vario Roof also won't leak, same can't be said for T-Tops or canvas tops found on others.

Now that I have it, I'll never be without it. It's a forever car.
Yep! A forever car! 😈😈😈. 😈😈
 

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Registered
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125 Posts
I had been investigating the purchase of a "weekend fun" car and was VERY eager to test drive a Porsche 968 Cabriolet. Being a vehicle that is no longer in production, it's not that often that I come across a low-mileage, well maintained example at a reasonably low price (good examples go for $25K ~ $30k). When I finally DID test drive one, I realized that I would need to spend money maintaining it due to very demanding maintenance requirements. I would also need to modify the car to incorporate amenities such as a decent Bluetooth-enabled radio and GPS Navigation. The soft-top did an OK job at keeping out the water, but did very little to keep the outside noises down.

Someone suggested that I should consider a hard-top convertible, and so I looked at Infinity G35 / G37, BMW 3-Series and even a Mazda MX-5 Miata.... and then I saw the SLK. I'm pretty sure that it was lust at first sight, and then I drove one.... It was all over! I knew what I wanted, and it wasn't a Porsche, nor any of the other brands.
 

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Registered
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79 Posts
started my sports car ownership with the MG Midget, 3 of them over 5 years, great fun which made me learn spanner work.
much later we fell for a yellow SLK 200, then we moved on to a newer silver 200 that had been owned by a Merc mechanic who had kept it in top condition.
Changed to a BMW Z3 - noisy and harsh but looked good in red.
Back to an SLK, but a much more expensive 171, lovely looker, great silver blue, 200 engine, but the seats were hard, and ride was a little harsh on country roads.
Changed to a SL350, yes the SL, super luxury,started to use it for work as it was so smooth and fast, but my fun rides on a Sunday were not fun, the SL was too wide, to big, quite scary on the small country roads that were good fun when we had the smaller sports cars, we quickly changed to a new MX5 folding top which turned out to be too small, to harsh, very noisy + poor fuel consumption for such a small car, but as it fitted so well into my garage we kept it for nearly a year.
bought a new SLK 172 200, loved it so much we put near 20k miles on it in just over a year.
Traded it in for a 250 SLK, better pull from the engine but the exhaust noise was disappointing, undaunted we changed to a new SLC 250, we loved its new looks and new technology,but soon after we wanted a bit more from the exhaust, we missed the pops bangs and roar from high rev gear changes, booked a test in and Audi TT, super disappointed!! rev hungry and noisy boy racer car.
Booked a test ride in the new SLC 300.
WOW! Reborn feeling, the noise from the engine and exhaust is awesome,and in sports+ mode it is flipping embarrassing if we forget to turn Sports+ off before we get to our house.
Yes, we bought one with all the extra options, and now fight over the keys. miles are adding up so fast, we head out at the crack of dawn most Sundays for a breakfast ride which sometimes add 300 miles to the clock, but average 250.
All the bits missing from the old SLK are on the new SLC,(I do like my Tech toys) reverse camera, distronic, command, wifi, Led intelligent lights,5 driving modes with individual setting, and all the other bits which take the car into the Porsche price range, and 5k dearer that my new GLC 250 which has most of the option list with Air Suspension, command, key-less, electric everything, but at the end of the day we still argue over the keys for the sports car, the car that makes us smile even if the sun lets us us down.
We now live the dream!
 

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Registered
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2,027 Posts
One of my best and most respected friends grew up with the Mercedes brand. His father used to punish him by making him change filters, brakes, etc. They buried that man with a MB emblem on his chest. My friend hates MB. For years I listened to him preach against them. I moved far away. Met my would-be spouse who owned a 320. I've owned dozens of cars in my half century, but driving that 320 changed my outlook on MB. A deer killed my Miata and since I can't be without a weekend/sunny day/vacation car I set about looking. Had no idea SLKs even existed.
 

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Registered 2005 SLK350
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189 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Hi Everyone,
Thanks for some very interesting replies so far. Apologies for resurrecting topic that's been covered already, but I did do a search, maybe it was too specific.
The convertible hardtop seems to be a popular reason for choosing an SLK as well as being a great looking car anyway!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it was Mercedes that really pioneered the convertible hardtop car when they brought out the R170. I think Mercedes really do make great convertibles which ever variant you go for.

By the way, the nearest I've ever been to owning a 'muscle car' was a Ford Capri 2.8 injection (I can hear the laughter now...).
 
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