II have loved sports cars since I was a teenager and rebuilt many. The first was a MG TD, then Triumphs and more MGs, an Austin Healy 100, Honda S600 coupe and a string of Mazda RX7s, but the one car that just blew my socks off was the Mercedes SLK. I'll never forget the first time I saw one and the dream started.
It was parked across the street from my apartment and I walked around it several times drooling and lusting after it. Never thought I could ever own one.
As the years went by and I drove the Subaru GT wagon I needed for my business, kind of a practical sports car, but I wanted a Mercedes.
A friend told me he was making a living importing cars from Japan and suggested I look into it. I was fascinated at the prospects and started searching the sites. Of course the first car I searched for was the Merc... there it was, hundreds of the little beauties... and the prices ... WOW, but the steering wheels were all on the wrong side.
I examined every one, then I noticed an anomaly... This one had a steering wheel on the left???
I contacted the seller and he told me that he looked for the left hand steering cars and would work with me.
The car was a dull red in the pictures and the interior was bad... VERY BAD but he gave me a good price so I ordered it.
Took about 3 weeks before it arrived and I learned a lot about importing car in that time... not as easy as I thought.
When the car arrived and went through all the mandatory inspections etc.needed to get it off the boat, I made an appointment to pick it up. I caught a bus to New West with all my tools etc.and arrived in Port Moody, 10 miles from the nearest anything at 4 AM. Nothing was open so I started walking dragging 75 pounds of tools. A wheel failed and I wore a hole in the bottom of the suitcase. Finally got into New West where I was able to catch a bus. By the way my cell phone had died and nothing was open so I couldn't call a cab.
Got to the docks at 9 am and saw the thousands of cars waiting for pickup. I noticed a gorgeous red SLK sitting next to the building when I approached and hoped mine would be similar. After I finished the paperwork and paid the cash bribe, I was told where to find my car.
Upon leaving the building and checking parking spot I discovered the gorgeous Red SLK was mine. I almost pissed myself I was so excited. It was beautiful but the surprises were about to show up.
The interior was a total nightmare, the headliner had fallen down, there was only one key, tires were cracked, and the top didn't work but I was in heaven. It fired up and the sound... my god!
I headed straight to a gas station as the low fuel light was flashing and I was learning more about the nightmares of importing cars. It was a steep learning curve but I got back to Penticton.
More lessons including the fact that I couldn't get another permit to move the car. Getting it inspected meant, EVERYTHING, including that exotic, expensive roof had to work. At $100 per hour the Mazda people would have bankrupted me before they figured out the roof.
I got it home where I took a crash course in Mercedes repairing and finally got the car inspected and licensed. Drove it two days before someone talked me out of it.
I later got shit from an SLK owner that felt I had sold it way too cheap and devalued her car!
I have since established a relationship with buyers in Japan and imported several more cars. Trust me on this, some of these sellers are not very reputable. They will take picture from weird angles to hide body imperfections and ship cars that are totally undriveable. Delay shipping for months and tell you a piece of junk is mint. I told my buyers that I want full disclosure and no surprises on the dock.
This is what I what to offer you.
If you have a dream car I will find it for you. I can bring in right hand drive cars but they are getting harder and harder to certify for use in Canada so I recommend one with left hand steering. I will negotiate a fair price, have it delivered to New Westminster, BC, have all the required inspections done and obtain the required forms for registration.
At this point you can do the rest yourself, pick it up from the dock, go through the repairs and have it inspected. Of course I will advise you and help in any way where I can.
The buying and importing I do from home and charge 15% of the total bill for my service and expertise. This is a bargain and will get you a great car for a fraction of the current street value with none of the hair pulling frustration.
Or have me do it for you. This will not be cheap.
Repairing and getting it inspected, I feel my time is worth at least $50 per hour.
I only bring in one car for myself at any time as I don't have a lot of parking.
My present car is a 1997 Mercedes SLK with just over 80,000 km.
It is in fantastic shape with a Sarona body kit and equipped as listed;
This is the first of the SLKs that I have had a chance to drive and I love it. I doesn't make you drive crazy like the Miata I owned for a while but encourages you to drive like you own the road.
It corners like it is on rails.
People are always admiring it and are shocked when they find it is 20 years old.
On the highway it gets fantastic gas mileage, over 7.2 liters per 100 km a couple of times. Around town not so good, especially if you do jack rabbit starts at which it excels. Most people that drive it think it is a V8 and are surprised by the four.
I truly love this car and enjoy refining it as I use it. If someone talks me out of it I'll get another.
Price is $15,999 and a bargain in my opinion.