Mercedes-Market Given Original Mercedes Price Information by Long Time Mercedes Sales Person
When I worked at Sears Imported Autos, the franchised Mercedes-Benz dealership in Minnetonka, MN I had a colleague that started working as a sales guy at that dealership the same year I was born, 1974… forty plus years earlier! That man was Larry Keck. Larry is a treasure trove of Mercedes-Benz information. I always used to say that ‘he lived it!’ – I mean, he was there when the W123 cars were first introduced, he sold used Pagoda SLs off the showroom floor for years. He was there when people could trade in their R107 SLs for more than they bought them for a few years earlier there was such demand for them. And, of course, he sold thousands of cars. The best part is, as of this writing, Larry still shows up for work 5 days a week, at least in the Summer time, he spends the Minnesota Winters at his place in Palm Springs, CA.
Larry knew I was interested in Mercedes history, old cars, the market, etc. One day when we were working together at the dealership, he opened one of his desk drawers and took out a folder to show me. Inside the folder were a bunch of original, Mercedes-Benz price cards that he had saved over the years. This was the pricing information by MBUSA to dealerships to pass out to sales people who could then refer to them when talking to customers. Each model was listed, along with prices and options and the prices for each option. The early cards had different prices for East coast and West coast U.S. ports. he had them from 1974 up to the present day, all of them! Some years there were two, three or even four price increases during the course of the year, so there are multiple cards for some years. They were fascinating. I told Larry that if he ever wanted to get rid of them, to let me know, and by all means, do NOT throw them away. Back in the drawer they went and that was the end of it… that was probably 2012 or 2013.
Fast Forward 6 or 7 Years… Spring 2019
Larry contacted me a while ago and asked me to write a letter to his insurance company regarding his cream-puff 1991 300 SE sedan that was recently stolen. Larry sold the car new, to a friend of his, and bought it from that friend years later. It was a low mileage example with original paint, in essentially perfect condition. The insurance company wanted to give him in the neighborhood of $2,500 for the car. That’s not necessarily unreasonable for most 300 SEs, but in today’s W126 market, a car such as his, with a bulletproof history and low miles is worth several times their initial settlement offer. I wrote a letter to his insurance company providing an appraisal of the car along with a current market report and examples of similar cars that have recently sold publicly. The insurance company ended up revising their offer to a number several times more than what they had offered originally.
Larry called me when it was all over and told me he was ready to hand over that folder full of original Mercedes price information, all those original cards, from the seventies into the 2000s. So when I was back in Minneapolis for the Intermarque Car Show a few weeks ago, I stopped by the dealership to say hello to Larry and pick up the price cards.
Mercedes-Market’s Original Mercedes Price Resource is Born
Thanks to Larry, now I’ve got all this valuable and interesting information and I fully intend to share it with the Mercedes-Market Community by taking photos of the front and back of each card and posting them to Mercedes-Market.com.