BODY & CHASSIS
Benz bodies were well-protected but panel repairs, exposure to salt and neglect will allow rust to get a hold. Most significant and likely to write off a cheap car will be rot around the rear sub-frame mounts which needs to be checked on a hoist. More obvious will be bubbling to the wheel-arches and sills, around the windscreen and sunroof aperture. Ensure that the electric top on Cabriolets operates without shuddering and that it can be secured to the windscreen without excessive force. New body panels are still available but second-hand when refurbishing a low-value car is best. A used grille costs less than $250. Look hard at headlights for deterioration to reflectors. These might skate through a roadworthy inspection but leave the buyer with a $1000 bill for two new light units.