1989 Mercedes 560SL 560 SL Grey/Grey Very Good Condition, Lots of Recent Service
- Make: Mercedes-Benz
- Model: SL-Class
- Type: Roaster with soft top and removable hard top
- Year: 1989
- Mileage: 146,800
- VIN: WDBBA48D1KA100964
- Color: Gray
- Engine size: 5.6 Liter V8
- Number of cylinders: 8
- Power options: Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Power Locks, Power Windows
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: Automatic
- Drive type: RWD
- Interior color: Gray
- Safety options: Anti-Lock Brakes, Driver Airbag
- Options: CD Player, Convertible, Leather Seats
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1989 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
For sale is my personal car which I have owned since 2012. It is a 1989 Mercedes 560 SL, VIN (WDBBA48D1KA100964) with approximately 146,800 miles on the odometer (which may increase slightly due to continued use). Mileage is actual.
Based on its license plate number (California tags are issued sequentially), it was first registered in California when new in 1989 and has remained registered in California since that time. I purchased it in Los Angeles and the person from whom I purchased it told me he bought it from Northern California. I have no further information about the history of the car prior to my ownership except that it is clear that it has had no accidents as all original VIN stamped body panels are present.
I unfortunately no longer have time to enjoy the car with a young child and another one due to arrive later this year. This was my daily driver (between my garage and the garage at my office) until approximately one year ago when my child started attending daycare and needed a back seat to get there in.
I am providing a detailed description based on personal knowledge to assist a discerning buyer in evaluating the car. Having purchased two of these cars in the past, I know firsthand that limited descriptions can hide a lot of problems that can be very expensive to repair. Although my description is intended to be exhaustive, it is not possible to describe every detail and defect of a car that is 27 years old and has travelled more than 146,000 miles. Please view all photos carefully. I encourage pre-purchase inspections and can provide reasonable assistance in arranging through one of the several vintage Mercedes mechanics in my area. I am happy to promptly answer any questions.
The overall condition of the car is very good considering its age and mileage. While buyers should assume that the paint is not original (I can neither confirm nor disconfirm), it has excellent shine and uniform color/appearance except where there are chips, dings, and other defects. The worst of this is on the back deck (trunk lid and surrounding areas, including at the base of the antenna and next to the hardtop roof pin receiver), which has some scratches, burn through, and amateur clear-coat touch-up. The car has very light scratches on the sides, a small scratch with a very slight metal deformation directly behind the grille surround, and a very light (I didn’t notice until long after I bought it) indentation on the driver’s side rear quarter panel above the wrap-around bumper. This list of defects is not exhaustive but includes the most significant body defects that I am aware of. As the pictures show, these defects do little to detract from the overall excellent appearance of the car.
Trim and rubber is overall good, indicating a life lived mostly in Northern California and in garages. Chrome is bright but has light surface scratching (not pitting, peeling, or rust). All glass is original, with some pitting in the windscreen. Canvas top is original in overall good shape with no rips or tears. Plastic windows on canvas top have some hazing/discoloration but are very serviceable. Weather stripping is generally good with a small chunk missing from the passenger-side a-pillar window seal (still seals completely), and the convertible top lid surround was replaced with a Mercedes replacement part but was not seated perfectly straight when installed. The floorboards are completely solid, the trunk is dry and clean—overall, the body condition entirely consistent with being a California car.
Wiper arms and frames are original Bosch stainless steel parts.
The hardtop is in good condition. I have not used since bringing the car home in 2012.
Lights are all in very good condition. The standard sealed beam headlights have been replaced with H1/H4 light setup.
On close inspection the chrome wheels show some wear and minor bubbling in the chrome. Michelin tires are nearly brand new with fewer than 500miles on them.
The interior is in largely original condition with minimal wear for the age and mileage. Non-smoker car. The dashboard is completely free of cracks, the original leather seats remain fairly supple and have only one significant wear area, i.e., on the driver’s seat outside bolster. Carpets and OEM floor mats are in very good condition. The gauges and instrumentation lights all work properly and the paint on the gauges/needles is still orange (these turn yellow eventually with sun exposure). The sun visors are completely intact and mirror lights work. The aluminum header above the windshield has some dents around the top receiver holes, but not as bad as others I’ve seen. The burl wood is in good condition, though the shift surround has been refinished and has slightly different hue than the rest of it (as well as evidence of cracks that were repaired), and a second accessory socket was added to this surround to allow phone charging without opening the ashtray. Wiring of the accessory plug and the aftermarket radio was accomplished without cutting any of the factory wiring harness. Speakers are replacement as well, and, again, were installed with proper adaptors to avoid cutting the factory wiring harness.
Automatic climate control functions as intended (including center vents, which are notorious for failing on these cars and very expensive to fix) except that the recirculation function does not appear to work. Electric windows and passenger mirror (driver’s is manual) are functional. Power antenna is functional, though occasionally needs lubricating to return to down position.
Spare tire appears to never have been mounted. Original jack and tools are included.
Car includes accessory aftermarket seatbelt guides under the headrests (keep the seatbelts from getting lost behind the seats) and a flip-up windscreen (makes a pig difference at highway speeds). Aftermarket keyless entry installed without cutting the factory wiring harness. Included are the original red-dot key and one non-original duplicate key and one keyless entry fob.
I have no records from prior to my purchase. Since that time the following repairs have been performed (records included with car):
August 2013 ($4,000) Engine replacement with engine from donor car with approximately 13k fewer miles. In connection with engine replacement, various consumables were replaced, including the timing chain, its tensioners and guides, engine mounts, water pump, thermostat, valve cover gaskets, cam oilers, hoses, filters, plugs, seals, vacuum lines, accessory belts, and more. I have not observed any oil consumption in the nearly three years since this work and the car leaves the floor of my garage completely dry. It runs excellent and pulls hard. (Note that the record for this work is an informal list provided by the mechanic and not a formal invoice.)
October 2013 ($2,334) Transmission completely rebuilt and idler arm bushings replaced.
March 2013 ($1,784) Replace catalytic converter and ECU with good original used parts.
February 2014 ($1,044) Rebuild power steering pump; replace lower control arm bushings; replace front brake pads and sensors.
July 2014 ($1,810) Replace air conditioning compressor, dryer, hoses, etc.; fill with R134A.
March 2015 ($676) Replace alternator with rebuilt; replace door vacuum element.
July 2012 ($696) Replace muffler.
April 2012 ($1,920) Rebuild steering box and related steering components.
There have been other repairs during my ownership which I do not have records for, including replacement of all brake rotors and replacement of pushbutton climate control unit with a remanufactured unit.
I am not aware of any pressing mechanical needs. The steering in the car, despite all of the work on it, remains vague, but this is something that is a criticism of these cars, generally. There is a clunk going over big bumps that sounds like it is coming from inside the passenger door. Otherwise, it accelerates well, shifts well, brakes well, and does not smoke or leak. I am happy to facilitate a pre-purchase inspection with a Mercedes mechanic in my immediate area.
Deposit of $1,000 via PayPal within 24 hours of purchase. Balance by cashier’s check within 14 days. Title released only upon full payment. I will deliver to the DAS (auto shipper) terminal in Gardena, CA or a terminal of another shipper closer to 90029. Local pickup is also welcome. I hold the car’s title free of any liens.