Mercedes R129 SL500
- Mileage: 24,730
- Year: 1995
- MOT Expiry: February 2020
- Exterior Colour: Green Black Metallic
- Interior Colour: Black Leather
- Top speed: 155
- 0-60mph: 6.2
- BHP: 315
- Transmission: 5-Speed Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 4973cc
- Engine Configuration: V8
Designed and built as a grand tourer the SL was first introduced in 1954. The designation SL derives from the German "Sport Lightweight" and was first applied to the 300SL Gullwing. The SL model range is still in production today and has spanned five generations of models from 1954 to the present day.
The R129, as featured here, is the fourth generation of SL and was built from 1989-2002. Featuring a shorter wheelbase and updated rear suspension over its predecessor, the R107, the R129 was quick to introduce model updates and featured a large amount of styling, mechanical, and technological updates over its 12 year life span.
The R129 shot to the public's attention in 1991 when Diana, Princess of Wales sold her Jaguar to purchase a 500SL. This sparked a media storm as this was the first time a member of the royal family had chosen a foreign car. The media questioned whether British royalty should be driving foreign cars and eventually due to pressure she was forced to return the car to Mercedes-Benz in 1992. The car now features in the Mercedes-Benz Museum.
Some of the cosmetic and mechanical updates for 1995 cars included more modern rounded rents in the front wings, body coloured bumpers, side airbags, and a new five-speed transmission for the V8 and V12 models. The design of the steering wheel, seats, and gear selector knob were also updated.
Green Black Metallic paintwork (189), Black leather upholstery (261), 5-speed automatic transmission, 8-hole alloy wheels (652), Removable hardtop, Electrically operated soft-top in black (740), Electric-folding door mirrors, Heated and electrically adjustable front seats with memory (241/242/873), Self-dimming rear view mirror (249), Leather steering wheel and gear selector, Mercedes cassette radio (253), Bose speaker system (810), Mercedes CD changer with remote, Cassette storage, Headlamp washer system (600), Heated driver’s door mirror (501), Mercedes first aid kid, R129 tool roll, Warning triangle, Remote central locking, Tailored overmats, Spare key.
This V8 SL is beautifully presented in rare Green Black Metallic, a lovely colour that can appear very dark blue or green depending on the light. Looking closely the paintwork shows very few signs of age with a deep gloss to all panels. Better still the underside of this example maintains an immaculate finish free from any signs of corrosion or rust. The removable aluminium hardtop is also pristine and the electric folding soft-top operates smoothly at the touch of a button; the black fabric remains in excellent unworn condition and there is no damage to the rear window.
The unspoiled cabin boasts a glossy walnut centre console, with supple black leather extending from the seats to the door cards and gear selector knob. As a 1995 “minor facelift” R129 the interior boasts an updated steering wheel and later-style seats, which are heated and electrically adjustable with memory settings for both the driver and passenger. On close inspection all the switchgear and trim is still looking really fresh; even the spectacle box operates without fault. The seats are amazingly unworn and the footwell carpets are well protected by the dealer-supplied overmats. Pleasingly there are no aftermarket items to note; the original cassette radio remains in place along with the Mercedes CD changer, remote control, and Bose speaker system with subwoofer. Lifting the boot carpet you’ll find an unused alloy spare wheel and the R129 tool roll still packaged in its factory wrap.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The Mercedes 5-litre V8 is a perfect complement to the R129. With effortless power delivery and a smooth auto ‘box, the SL500 is a capable long distance cruiser that’s equally suited to daily use. Barely run-in with a mere 24k miles the engine of this example remains in fine fettle having just been serviced and inspected at the current mileage. This one is also equipped with the uprated five-speed transmission (previously a hydraulic four-speed) that operates smoothly even by modern standards.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The factory 8-hole alloys look great and still retain their original polished finish. Looking closely you will find some light curb marking but nothing untoward for the age; in the boot the spare is like new. All five wheels are wrapped in Michelin tyres, each with ample tread remaining. Following inspection the brakes have plenty of life left and perform well on test.
The SL was first registered in December 1995. Originally supplied to Japan it remains in outstanding rust-free condition throughout, a real testament to the salt-free roads on which it resided from new. The car has only recently been imported by 4 Star with all taxes paid on arrival. It is now freshly serviced and fully UK registered with an MOT until February 2020. The original Mercedes document pack is present in the History File along with the owners’ manual and radio handbook.
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