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
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.
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.