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    DAVE KINNEY’S CAR OF THE MONTH

    1971-Mercedes-Benz-280-SL Gooding & Co, Amelia Island, USA 9 March / #1971-Mercedes-Benz-280SL-W113 / #1971 / #Mercedes-Benz-280SL / #Mercedes-Benz-280SL-W113 / #Mercedes-Benz-W113 / #Mercedes-Benz-SL / #Mercedes-Benz /

    It’s dark red with Cognac MB-Tex vinyl, a hardtop and a new soft top. It has the desirable four-speed manual ’box and Becker Mexico radio. The body was restored ten years ago, the interior was refreshed more recently. It looks to be a solid example and a good driver. So, what is it worth? We’ve seen this phenomenon before, the sudden price spike followed by a settling-down in value, and it’s been happening a lot with the W113 ‘ #Mercedes-Benz-Pagoda ’ SLs built from 1963 to 1971. The spike usually happens at a high-profile auction, where lots of potential bidders see it and it takes hold, for a while. Great examples of the SL reliably sold in the $50,000-60,000 range for years, then suddenly they were making over $100,000. One year later, they were back at $60,000-80,000, less for 230s and 250s, more for 280s. What has happened?

    Simple economics. It’s a supply-and-demand issue. Higher prices not only bring more attention to the make and model, they also bring more cars to market. The car that was not for sale when it was worth ‘only’ $50,000 might just be for sale when the seller is reasonably expecting twice that price. More examples will also get restored as it becomes more financially viable. Supply goes up but demand remains the same – or edges up, at best.

    Right now we are in that second part of the sales cycle. A large number of W113s are on the market so values are a bit down, especially for examples less than pristine. It’s time to take advantage of the market and buy on the dip. As for our Cognac SL, it sold for a good-value $66,000. Point proved.

    Dave Kinney is an auction analyst, an expert on the US market scene and publishes the Hagerty Price Guide / BRIAN HENNIKER
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    Adam Towler
    Adam Towler joined the group Mercedes-Benz W113 SL Pagoda Club
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    Adam Towler
    Adam Towler joined the group Porsche 928 Club
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    / #1978-Citroen-GS-X2 / #1978 / #Citroen-GS-X2 / #Citroen-GS / #Citroen

    / vs #1980-Alfa-Romeo-Alfasud-1.5 / #Alfa-Romeo-Alfasud / #Alfa-Romeo / #1980

    Appetizer

    They are cute! In today's traffic, these small formats with such vivid colors denote seriously: you can not drive more than 100 meters without looking away. It is also surprising to note the similarities between these two autos issued almost at the same time. A mix of taut lines and curves, the GS has a much more elaborate style that quickly demolishes its competitors (Simca 1100, Renault 12 ...) with, for example, shaped headlights and curved glass. The Frenchwoman can also claim a Cx absolutely remarkable, otherwise better than that of the ... Citroën CX! With its black bumpers, specific rims and anti-fog, the little lemon plays the card of sportsmanship now obsolete. Alfasud seems more fun to watch thanks to its more compact dimensions, a line that seems more dated and a serious dose of exoticism in our country. In any case, we appreciate these round bubbles, these tires so narrow and these amounts so fine.
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    Adam Towler
    Adam Towler joined the group Citroen GS and GSA Club
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    CAR: #Porsche-911-993 / #Porsche-911-Turbo / #Porsche-911-Turbo-993 / #Porsche-993 / #Porsche-911-Turbo-993 / #1995-Porsche-911-Turbo-993 / #Porsche / #1995

    Year of manufacture 1995
    Recorded mileage 65,195
    Asking price £125,000
    Vendor Avantgarde Cars, Fazeley, Staffs; tel: 01827 288177; www.avantgardecars.co.uk

    WHEN IT WAS NEW
    Price £93,950
    Max power 402bhp / DIN
    Max torque 398lb ft / DIN
    0-60mph 4.5 secs
    Top speed 180mph
    Mpg 18


    The seller also has a mint turbo S at £340k, but we couldn’t help noticing this last-of-the-air-cooled turbos, with S aero kit, at almost a third of the price. It has a huge history file, which includes a £20k engine rebuild in ’2005, 10,000 miles ago, 15 service stamps and six brake-fluid change stamps.

    The Arena Red paint is almost spotless, earlier rust bubbles under the ’screen having been dealt with, and the front bumper and wheels recently refurbished. All we could find is one small touched-in chip at the back of the driver’s door, and a small nick out of the tread plate finisher. The brake calipers were overhauled in 2014, discs and pads look new and tyres are well-treaded Contis all round, 2013 front and 2011 rear. The space-saver spare has never been used; also present are the tyre compressor, jack and unopened first-aid kit. The paint/option code stickers remain: one on the service book, one in the right door shut and one under the front lid. Inside, it’s very well kept, with only mild creasing to the Sport front seats, unused rears, and good carpets and dashboard moulding.

    The motor seems tidy, not that you can see much of it, but it has Tech-Art stainless exhausts. The most recent service stamp was with Ninemeister at 63,972 miles in 2015 (£2161), although the Porsche will have a fluid-change service before it leaves Avantgarde.

    It starts easily despite having stood for a couple of months. The clutch is quite sharp, and the steering heavier than earlier air-cooled Porsches, a result of the all-wheel drive, but the wheel still squirms and writhes in your hands like a proper 911. Oil pressure was hard against the 5 bar stop all the time we were moving, only dropping back on tickover to 2.75 bar, warm, and the oil temperature hardly budged. It is, of course, blindingly fast, the massive torque delivered with no appreciable turbo lag and strong synchros on all six gears. The brakes are great: smooth, powerful and straight. The ventilation system moans and groans to itself periodically (they all do that, guv), but the air-con blows cold. The MoT lasts until April.

    SUMMARY

    EXTERIOR One small touch-in; usual areas refinished, but otherwise mint
    INTERIOR All good; seats lightly aged
    MECHANICALS Has wanted for nothing; 10k miles on rebuilt motor

    VALUE 8/10

    For Ticks all the boxes
    Against Its enthusiasm can be infectious, so be warned

    SHOULD I BUY IT?

    Must be one of the nicest, no-stories turbos around, in a good colour, and with a cast-iron history
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