Guest Post: Owning an R170 SLK230

Editors Note: This is part two in a series by Nick Gruzevskis about owning a Modern Mercedes convertible – in this case his R170 SLK230.   The first part can be found here.  

Sometimes the journey on improving a classic car seems to be more fulfilling than using the car. I’ve now owned the Sally the SLK since July 2022.  Every time I looked at the colour
combination of silver and the two-tone interior (red/black) I thought wow what a great colour combination, but then when I got closer to the interior plastics, specifically the paint
on the plastics she had all seen better days.

In my last update I wrote, I stated “the quality of the interior plastics vinyl paint is awful. Last September I decided to attack this problem, removing all painted interior trim pieces. I knew I would need to be careful when removing trim, as the plastics can quite literally crumble/break in your hands. Given my SLK had been garaged all its life I thought I’d be ok.  Still, some of the plastics quite literally broke when removing screws or panels. It was also obvious interior had been re-painted at least twice, maybe three times.

After removal this is what interior looked like:

I dropped off all the trim pieces to Bill Moussa at BM Leather Creations, where the paint needed to be stripped, the plastics that were broken went to the plastic welders, then back to Bill for two coats of two pack paint and two coats of clear. It is a long and arduous task and not cheap just given the labour required. In between dropping the plastics off, I purchased a 2001 S430 and then sold it a few months later. When seller asked me why I was selling it, I said I needed to focus on getting my SLK back on the road. Anyway, I digress.

Fast forward to Feb 2024 and interior plastics were all ready for collection. Bill had done an amazing job. Now the rest was up to me, to carefully re-install.

I picked a good day to re-install, temperature was expected to be 34C, in a garage that wasn’t insulated. I started early and by midday I had most of the interior trim back in. I did have a heart stopper moment when the roof wouldn’t go up or down but found the cable connecting to the roof button wasn’t fully pushed on.

I can’t believe the transformation; the interior just looks fabulous. Sally the SLK is now ready for the AOMC British and European Day on the 18th of February.

Author:  Nick Gruzevskis is a contributor to, and the custodian of a great collection of classic and modern cars.  Links to some his other articles can be found here

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>