Mercedes-Benz 280-560SL & SLC: The Essential Buyer's Guide


This book gives you a "warts and all" introduction to what Mercedes-Benz 280-560SL or SLC are like to own, drive and maintain, plus a step-by-step guide to how to evaluate any example you might be considering. It includes 100 photos of what to look for - and what to avoid - plus a realistic assessment of running and restoration costs, as well as market values. This includes servicing and spare parts prices, and the relative values of the various models, specifications and vehicle conditions you are likely to ...
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This book gives you a "warts and all" introduction to what Mercedes-Benz 280-560SL or SLC are like to own, drive and maintain, plus a step-by-step guide to how to evaluate any example you might be considering. It includes 100 photos of what to look for - and what to avoid - plus a realistic assessment of running and restoration costs, as well as market values. This includes servicing and spare parts prices, and the relative values of the various models, specifications and vehicle conditions you are likely to encounter. Written by the editor of the Mercedes-Benz Club Gazette, it draws on the experiences of the late Roger Edwards – a former Mercedes-Benz apprentice who spent his life working on and enjoying these cars, and includes input from Roger’s colleagues, who continue to run his company, a leading source of expertise on Mercedes. The book also benefits from the author’s 30 years of owning, restoring and enjoying old cars and his contacts in the world of Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts. The latest in a series of buyer’s guides published by Veloce, it uses a well-established evaluation system, developed to enable potential buyers to assess any car they view, and builds on all the lessons learned in the preparation of earlier titles. It is written in an easy to follow, jargon-free style and will equip you with all you need to know when buying a Mercedes – whether you want to get your own hands dirty or just need to know what is necessary to supervise others working on your behalf.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Review by Mark J. McCourt for Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car, October 2007

- US magazine

Mercedes-Benz's 107-chassis SL cars, and to a lesser extent, their SL-based SLC coupé siblings, were considered modern classics even before production ended in 1989. With a production run that spanned 18 of Mercedes' most highly engineered, build quality-focused years, these SLs were carefully crafted automobiles that continue to look regal and drive smartly at any age.

Veloce Publishing Ltd of Great Britain has added another title to their exhaustive 'The Essential Buyer's Guide' series, this one covering the aforementioned 107 chassis roadsters and coupés. As with the other titles, 'Mercedes-Benz 280-560 SL & SLC' is written by an expert on the marque, here Chris Bass, the long-standing editor of the Mercedes-Benz (MB) Club Gazette, with assistance from renowned SL authority Roger Edwards. Filled with written and color photographic inspection pointers ranging from corrosion spots, mechanical issues and trim to historical information, evaluation guides and even auction purchasing advice, this compact 64-page book is a valuable resource for buyers hoping to pick up the best SL/SLC that their money can buy.

Because this book is written with the UK market in mind, some of the trim shown differs from that on US-spec models (like headlamps, bumpers, emergency brake handles), and a few European models and engine choices didn't make it to our shores, although these issues don't hurt the book's overall helpfulness. Anyone considering an SL or SLC would be smart to pick up this book and take it along on all pre-purchase inspections.

Review from Old Cars Weekly, 25th October 2007 - US magazine - Circulation: 67,500

Before answering that next classified ad for your dream Mercedes-Benz, pick up the phone and order Chris Bass' Buyer's Guide for 280SL-560SL and SLC models. The author tells the vital stats, including how much space these cars take up, who can fit in it, its running costs, parts availability and investment potential; how they drive; problem areas; and areas to watch for when looking for an authentic example.

Mark Holman for

As with previous books from this series, these are 64-page soft-cover books, small enough to fit into a coat pocket and pretty well guaranteed to come in very handy if you are buying any of these cars from very different ends of the classic scale.

All follow a similar layout, starting with 'is it the right car for you?', and then going through the 15-minute quick check (walk away or not?) followed by a very detailed checklist which you can use to 'mark' the car, and what to look out for on a test drive. There are also chapters on whether you want to restore a model, paint problems, things to watch out for if the car has had little recent use, and lists of clubs and spares specialists.

The books are well-illustrated, and the advice looks really practical. They don't pretend that classic car ownership is easy, or necessary profitable in purely financial terms, yet they are clearly written by guys who are enthusiastic about the pleasure you can get from a good example of any of these cars.

While I have never been in the market for them, I would want to have one of these books if I were – definitely recommended.

New Zealand Classic Car, October 2007
NZ magazine

Mercedes Benz Club gazette, August 2007-UK

Our very own Chris Bass has written both these pocket or glovebox size guides and by his own admission has relied very heavily on the late Roger Edwards, particularly for the Pagoda volume. We are sure Roger would have been pleased with the results and for those who knew him it is easy to imagine his dulcet tones coming out with some of the phrases Chris has seen fit to use.

The objective of this series is to have a 'marque expert by your side' and each edition (not just for Mercedes) is full of advice about running costs, paperwork, important statistics and even valuation.

Conveniently divided into 17 small sections, which include technical advice, the format inevitably means there is some repetition of sections of text in each Mercedes-Benz book, and there is also great similarity between the two volumes. The content is extremely useful and would appeal to both the novice and the experienced enthusiast alike and there are many pointers that would help a potential buyer to identify whether a particular car is genuine or not. A buyer armed with one of these books might also help put off any seller that is in any way underhand.

Both volumes are well illustrated with useful photographs although the Pagoda version has more large photographs than that for the R107 and consequently some of the detail is lost. The text is clear and concise in each case and Chris Bass has obviously put considerable thought into the precise wording to avoid ambiguity. As Pagoda owners for some years, even we found some useful information so we would certainly expect these volumes to have wide appeal.

To conclude, they make interesting but light reading and are a useful library addition to anybody interested in purchasing one of these SLs or to existing owners.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845841072
  • Publisher: Veloce Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/15/2007
  • Series: The Essential Buyer's Guide Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 840,901
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.75 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Bass worked in advertising for 30 years, with a large proportion of that on or for Mercedes-Benz, covering everything from new model launches to after-sales. During this time, in 1997, he became Editor of the Mercedes-Benz Club Gazette, a role he still carries today. This award-winning journal has a strong history of technical content, and Chris has been able to draw on its many articles on SLK ownership, maintenance, and repair, in writing this book. He has driven just about every Mercedes-Benz model built since the 1980s, and maintains two of his own, with his W210 190E having covered in excess of 217,000 miles. His mechanical experience extends to restoring an Allard and a Triumph TR4A, as well as maintaining a Triumph Herald convertible and a 1930 Crossley Silver.

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Table of Contents

Introduction & thanks - the purpose of this book     3
Is it the right car for you? - marriage guidance     6
Cost considerations - affordable, or a money pit?     8
Living with a W107 SL or SLC - will you get along together?     9
Relative values - which model for you?     11
Before you view - be well informed     13
Inspection equipment - these items will really help     15
Fifteen minute evaluation - walk away or stay?     16
Key points - where to look for problems     20
Serious evaluation - 60 minutes for years of enjoyment     22
Auctions - sold! Another way to buy your dream     43
Paperwork - correct documentation is essential!     45
What's it worth to you? - let your head rule your heart!     47
Do you really want to restore? - it'll take longer and cost more than you think     49
Paint problems - bad complexion, including dimples, pimples and bubbles     50
Problems due to lack of use - just like their owners, cars need exercise!     52
The Community - key people, organisations and companies in the W107 world     54
Vital statistics - essential data at your fingertips     56
Index     64
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