As Car & Driver magazine pointed out in 2002 the replacement for Mercedes stalwart R129 needed to be brilliant, straight out the box as it had big shoes to fill. They suggested the R230’s ‘Slippery sheet metal guarantees status with the parking valets whilst they considered the folding hard top ‘choreography would stand with a Bolshoi number’ changing coupe to roadster in just 16 seconds. Performance is a given with this SL, taking half a second from the previous model when chasing 0-60 times and no doubt it could ease past the restriction installed at 155mph. But race car statistics are not what the SL500 is about, it’s a continental cruiser and a daily driver in one package. Open top on the Cote d’Azur for that weekend in Spring or a local business meeting on a wet Tuesday in November it can accommodate.
Country Classic Cars are pleased to offer this Mercedes SL500, a commission sale as instructed by a regular client. Having seen various R129 and R230 SL’s go via our workshops we know what they are about and look to offer a ‘warts and all’ appraisal for any potential buyer avoiding disappointment resulting from a lack of detail within sales adverts; our appraisal begins with the exterior. The Brilliant Silver Metallic carries the odd age mark but is original and still enjoys a bright factory finish. Straight panels with perfect gaps throughout and we can confirm the Vario roof operates faultlessly. We noted a chip on the o/s rear wing, also a touch-in on the n/s front wing. The back edge of both rear wheel arches have small age related blemishes whilst the frontal area of the bonnet carries a couple of stone chips. AMG alloys present well with no evidence of kerb damage whilst the engine bay is remarkably clean, no signs of fluid leaks either current or historically.
Top of the range Mercedes tend to come fully loaded, removing much of the options list and in this case leaving the Bremen plant with Parktronic system, climate control, glass roof, active body control AMG wheels, Premium sound system plus every conceivable extra that would usually be expected from a luxury brand. The interior was ‘state of the art’ in 03 and remains up to date, superbly assembled for a lifetime and the Anthracite black leather carries minimal signs of wear. Everything is powered with front seats carrying multiple movement and heating options whilst the in-car info and audio provides all the current pilot will require in sat-nav (COMMAND) and entertainment.
On the move, all the Merc 500’s deliver an experience any petrol head should benefit from at least once in their driving career. The V8 in this example is a delight, velvet smooth with a background audio that eliminates the need for digital sound and matched with the 5-speed auto box that offers invisible ratio changes. It drives how the SL was designed too, subtle comfort until progress is required; then, more than 300bhp will bring the horizon ever closer. Our road test was certainly more ‘Driving Miss Daisy than Fast & Furious’ but one is always aware of the potential. Computer controlled braking (SBC) broke the mould in the early 2000’s and combined with ABS this Merc can ‘out brake’ most current offerings whilst the Active Body Control system directs a hydraulic ram to continuously alter the spring rate to counter body roll, limiting the motions in long sweepers and when you stamp on the pedals.
Dealer pack with owners-manual includes a stack of invoices plus manufacturer publications whilst the service book carries main dealer stamps:
27/07/06 – 14009 miles
08/12/08 – 27272
15/04/10 – 39249
29/09/13 – 54115
21/05/15 – 68054
10/04/19 – 89562
09/11/20 – 94922
Several recent invoices including brake pads and discs all round plus steering ball joint replacement whilst the current MOT runs to November 2022 without any advisories.
For additional information please message with your email address for multiple detailed images and walk-round video; we will forward the file via ‘We Transfer’ a free to use and safe service or Whats Ap if you supply your mobile phone number. Country Classic Cars operate by appointment only and within current Covid guidelines and whilst inspections are encouraged, please bear in mind the changing situation but at this time we are happy to offer unhindered viewings and test drives.
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Air Conditioning
- Anti-theft Protection
- Automatic Climate Control
- Bi-Xenon Headlights
- CD/DVD Autochanger
- Central Locking
- Convertible Power Hood
- Cruise Control
- Electric seats
- Electric Windows
- Leather Package
- Parking Sensors
- Power Steering
- Roll-over Protection
- Seat Heating
- Seat Ventilation
- Sound Package Plus
ENGINE TYPE: SOHC 24-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, Bosch Motronic ME2.0 engine-control system with port fuel injection
Displacement: 303 cu in, 4966cc
Power (SAE net): 302 bhp @ 5600 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 339 lb-ft @ 2700 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 5-speed automatic with lockup torque converter
Wheelbase: 8 in Length: 178.5 in Width: 71.5 in Height: 51.1 in
Curb weight: 4200 lb
MANUFACTURER’S PERFORMANCE RATINGS:
Zero to 60 mph: 6.1 sec
Top speed (governor limited): 155 mph