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 from Old Cars Weekly,
25th October 2007 - US magazine -Circulation: 67,500
Stop shopping and start researching your next Mercedes-Benz 230, 250 or 280SL purchase with Chris Bass' Essential Buyer's Guide. 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. At $19.95, this book is an extremely wise investment. When ordering, ask if Veloce has an Essential Buyer's Guide for your car of interest.
Mercedes Enthusiast, July 2007-UK magazine
HELP IS AT HAND – Classic car assessment is made all the easier
Looking at buying a classic Mercedes but unsure how to sidestep the pitfalls? There are two new books that might help you if Pagodas and 107-series coupés and roadsters are your cars of choice.
Published by Veloce, 'The Essential Buyer's Guide: Mercedes-Benz 'Pagoda' 230,250 and 280SL' and 'Mercedes-Benz 280-560SL and SLC', both by Mercedes-Benz Club gazette editor Chris Bass, draw on years of accumulated experience to steer would-be owners onto the right path.
Small enough to carry around, these books give a clear, detailed and realistic account of all aspects of buying, ownership and restoration.
So at just $19.95 each they are good value for the money.
Mark Holman for New Zealand Classic Car, October 2007
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.