I purchase a 1999 SL500 from Star Car International that the had listed on ebay.
I'll start by saying in spite of their deceptive business practices, I still like the car, I just wouldn't have paid the price I did had they been honest about the condition of the car.
Yes, I realize it's a 13 year old car with nearly 90,000 miles on it, but that does not give anyone a license to misrepresent a vehicle or to flagrantly lie when asked direct questions about specific items. Telling me that there were no leaks in the hydralic top system when the whole front header is full of oil is criminal. Selling the car with a poorly painted hardtop from a different car with the wrong color interior is shameful.
I Asked: This model car has 11 hydraulic cylinders to operate the top. If they are leaking, it's an expensive repair. I asked about the top condition and if there were any leaks.
They said: The soft top is in excellent condition, with no rips or tears or flaws. And it works perfectly with no hydraulic leaks of any kind.
Reality: Both front cylinder leak like crazy, dripping oil onto the seats or your lap. The top has 2 tears, not all the way through, but it won't be long. Plastic window is fair at best, and the leaking front cylinders probably mean the other 9 are on their way out too. Cylinder replacement at the dealer is a $6,000.00 job.
I asked: After seeing a broken antennae, A brake light out, and the interior cover inside the side mirror off, I asked if these items were being repaired.
They Said: Yes we are fixing the antenna and brake lights and mirror. The substance under the hood is the glue from the heat shield.
Reality: The Antennae is a cheap $29 version that looks silly retracting down into the oversized well. I don't blame them for not spending $300 on the real one, but they could have done a lot better for $20 about more. Only one brake light worked. The middle one needed rewiring. Also out, both cornering lights, trunk light, a fog light and a turn signal. I replaced the turn signal bulb, socket and lens when it flew off the car on the highway. The mirror is stuck in auto dim night mode, and the triangular trim piece inside doesn't stay on with the piece of velcro they installed.
Here is their description of the car from ebay:
"Stunning black/tan 1999 Mercedes SL500 AMG Sport Package."
YES from a slight distance
"Fully loaded with cd-changer, xenon lights, heated seats, hard and soft top"
YES, except the soft top leaks oil on you while you drive, and the hard top belonged to a different car, and was painted black and has a grey interior that is falling off. The car has tan interior.
"Garage kept with 86k miles. Well maintained with no warning lights. Runs and drives like new" uhhh....NO. Drives like an older car that needs work. A lot of work.
"The interior is very clean and was never smoked in."
NO the interior was filthy, and after 3 steam cleans the carpet if starting to look fair. Leather seats are cracked and hydraulic oil is NOT a good leather conditioner. Broken plastic pieces everywhere.
"The paint and body are near flawless with no dings or dents."
While the car finish is generally good, there are at least a dozen dents and dings, and a palm sized spot of cracking paint on the hood.
"Must see to appreciate."
I wish I had. I only wish I had.