Author Topic: Value of having a pagoda's history vs a "new" fully restored example  (Read 303 times)

gstork

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Hi everyone,

Over the past several months, while trying to find new ways to pass time during the prolonged pandemic, I have been mildly obsessing over finding a solid pagoda example, one that isn't in need of too much work to make it a safe and presentable driver for myself. In other words, not really looking for car show quality.

I've seen more than a few of these beauties in person, tried to vet a couple that weren't local (and revealed that neither were properly represented by their ad listings), and also discovered two that were relatively close to me in CA that seemed like the perfect combination only to find they had been spoken for by the time I reached the owner. Suffice it to say, I have a new found respect for the effort and determination it takes to find "the one."

Recently, I came across one that was fully restored within the past few years, and looks and drives every bit as though it rolled out of the factory a short time ago. Numbers match and it all seems as though the restoration was done as well as one might hope. The one thing that is bothering me more than I would have expected is that there is little known about the car's history prior to the restoration (as in not a single service record pre-dating the restoration).

I'm curious to hear how important other members feel it is to know something about their pagoda's history, how it made its way to the US (especially if it's a Euro version), how many owners' hands it passed through, etc. If I do decide to move forward, I will have a proper pre-purchase inspection done of course.

I appreciate any thoughts on the above, as I assume I am not the first to encounter this as a point of hesitation.

Cheers!

Cees Klumper

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Re: Value of having a pagoda's history vs a "new" fully restored example
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2021, 03:45:00 »
Having bought my fair share of older cars, I can say that having some idea of the history, particularly long-time previous owners, is sort of nice, but not really that important. After all, it's your car now, and demands your attention for who she is now. You will create your own memories and history together, as you take care of her. Like a new girlfriend - do you really want to know who she dated before you, where they lived and so on? The car is here with you now, so enjoy it and look forward.
Cees Klumper
1969 Mercedes 280 SL automatic white
1972 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1.3 rosso corsa
1968 Triumph Spitfire MK3 1.3 canary yellow
1973 Datsun 240Z (son's daily driver)
1990 Ford Bronco II 2WD colonial white

JamesL

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Re: Value of having a pagoda's history vs a "new" fully restored example
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2021, 08:39:25 »
Without wishing to delve deeper into Cees’ analogy....

Knowing that she had bodywork done in 1985 means nothing of you know that the most recent resto has been done properly. Similarly, a good service in 2005 means nothing if your engine has subsequently been completely rebuilt with new ancillaries, ground crank, rebore or whatever by someone who knows their CSV from their WRD
It’d kind of be nice to know a little of the history, and be nice to think the car was looked after and cherished by a little old lady in SoCal rather than thrashed by some boy racer type then neglected in a field in Maine. But... you don’t. What you do have to do is trust the resto... did they put shiny new seat covers on rotten pads and springs? 
James L
RHD 280 in DB906 with cognac leather

MikeSimon

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Re: Value of having a pagoda's history vs a "new" fully restored example
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2021, 12:46:19 »
I have the exact car that you are describing. I know all the previous owners and how long each of them owned them. It has all the relevant documents including owners manual and data cards. It is in unrestored and 90% original condition. Definitely not a show car. I know how it came to the U.S. ( I brought it here)
Needless to say, this is my preference! 8) ;D
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

doitwright

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Re: Value of having a pagoda's history vs a "new" fully restored example
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2021, 15:35:59 »
Based on my experience with selling a W111 2 years ago, that was a 2 owner with every record back to the original owners acknowledgement from Daimler regarding the buyers purchase,  I would say having records means less than one might expect. The records even included the bill of lading showing where the car was received into the US. Despite the great records, every speculative buyer asked about the current condition and several asked if it was a 3.5. Something they should have known was not possible since it was a 1965. I finally sold the car after 6 months of marketing.
Frank Koronkiewicz
Willowbrook, Illinois

1970 280SL Originally Light Ivory - Now Anthracite Gray Metallic

Peter

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Re: Value of having a pagoda's history vs a "new" fully restored example
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2021, 19:34:37 »
You will create your own memories and history together, as you take care of her. Like a new girlfriend - do you really want to know who she dated before you, where they lived and so on?

Brilliant, very good analogy.

^Peter

Merc_Girl

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Re: Value of having a pagoda's history vs a "new" fully restored example
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2021, 20:07:05 »
Without wishing to delve deeper into Cees’ analogy....


It’d kind of be nice to know a little of the history, and be nice to think the car was looked after and cherished by a little old lady in SoCal rather than thrashed by some boy racer type then neglected in a field in Maine. But... you don’t. What you do have to do is trust the resto... did they put shiny new seat covers on rotten pads and springs?

Or alternatively, check she isn’t a psycho!! 🤣🤣🤣
230SL

mdsalemi

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Re: Value of having a pagoda's history vs a "new" fully restored example
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2021, 21:11:07 »
...I would have expected is that there is little known about the car's history prior to the restoration (as in not a single service record pre-dating the restoration)

OK, in the restoration, they rebuilt the brake calipers, changed the pads, replaced the flexible lines, replaced the calipers, replaced the master cylinder, and just for fun, replaced the brake booster too.

Now, of what possible use would a service record from 1983, indicating "brake pad change" and the same for 1989 indicating a fluid change mean? Just fun information. Once you undergo a restoration, what had been done in the past, technically, becomes pretty much irrelevant.

For fun, go and read the information on Metric Motors (Canoga Park, CA) and how they rebuild a Mercedes-Benz motor and compare that to some local machine shop or your favorite mechanic. The latter may want to know, or ask, "was it burning oil? did you do a compression or leak-down test?" or any number of pointed questions. Metric Motors doesn't care. They take it apart, assess the condition of every part in the engine, and follow a pretty strict protocol on rebuilding. The past history of the motor won't help them. The past history of a car that has undergone a restoration is merely fun history.

In other parts of the collector car world, certain things mean a lot. A "matching numbers" car is very important on some American iron. It's less important on our cars; you just want to see the correct engine. In some parts of the car world, rarity is a direct indicator of value. The rarest of our cars, the 250SL has not seen price appreciation or value because of its rarity.
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2019 Ford Flex SEL
2019 Ford Edge SEL