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The Essential Buyers Guide: Mercedes-Benz SLK R170The Essential Buyers Guide: Mercedes-Benz SLK R170

Book Review by Grant Ford & Henry Farrell Although I am not a great fan of the phrase modern classic there are two machines from around millennium year that certainly offer future classic potential. Jaguar’s XK8 turns heads for sure whilst the R170 SLK Mercedes ticks so many boxes (both available in Veloce guides) and the market place offers plenty of choice at sensible money. 1999 Mercedes 230 SLKSo, putting cash on the table we acquired a nice 230 SLK from 1999, a low mileage car with great history, only then did we obtain a copy of ‘The Essential Buyers Guide’ for the R170 from Veloce Publishing. The wrong way around maybe but this book would seriously benefit those facing the auctions or scouring through the small ads. Over 100 vehicles both motor bikes and cars have been covered in a series of books small enough for Veloce to claim they offer an expert in your pocket. Author Chris Bass shares his knowledge over 64 pages, covering model choice with their strengths and weaknesses plus inherent problems, what to look for and how to find them. No marque makes a perfect car and whilst Mercedes have produced many of the world’s finest machines buying a bad one can happen. Chris edits the Mercedes Benz Club Gazette and wrote Veloce’s Guide to the SL Pagoda range, he has a strong technical background which he shares with readers in understandable terms. Our SLK lives with my father in law Henry Farrell, retired from the motor trade and after a lifetime owning and running main dealerships he knows how to spot a bargain. 1999 Mercedes 230 SLKThe idea was to let him compare his knowledge against the book using his own car as reference; could the expert teach him anything new?  Never shy of offering an opinion he said ‘It’s an inside pocket book, an ideal companion if you are looking to purchase a specific car, written in a straight forward manner and not too technical; that’s how it should be’. This is a good point, as the author leaves very little unsaid and will often explain various mechanical fixes in detail, catering for all mechanical skill levels. The book is also easy to navigate through; divided into 17 sections, covering model choice and evaluating the car that it being considered for purchased. The clever folding roof and the SLK’s running gear is also looked at in enough detail for any potential buyer to feel confident in making a wiser decision. Also corrosion, something that surprised me was the level at which rust can take hold if not dealt with; the images show where and how bad it can become. Conclusion: For around a dozen UK pounds any buyer gets the information that can save their bank balance not to mention the disappointment of purchasing ‘a bad one’. Henry confirmed, ‘yes a worthy book that points out known faults affecting the SLK and how to find them’. That is the point, knowing ‘what to look for and where to look for it’ this means even the most inexperienced can obtain enough knowledge to buy this future classic with confidence. Grant Ford for - Mercedes-Benz SLK R170 Series 1996-2004 By Chris Bass    £12.99 UK    $25.00 USA Paperback 195mm x 139mm 64 pages 90 images ISBN 978-1-845848-08-8/UPC6-36847-04808-2 Veloce Publishing Ltd -