Mercedes R129 SL500 Silver Arrow
- Mileage: 40,743
- Year: 2001
- MOT Expiry: May 2021
- Exterior Colour: Silver Arrow Metallic
- Interior Colour: Black / Silver Leather
- Top speed: 155
- 0-60mph: 6.5
- BHP: 302
- Transmission: 5-Speed Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 4966cc
- 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 that 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.
In 2002, by the time the R129 series came to an end, Mercedes released a final special edition of the SL500/SL600 – the Silver Arrow – to celebrate the long heritage of Mercedes racecars. The Silver Arrow name was first used in the 1930s, when a Mercedes Benz racecar weighed-in at 4.5lbs over the racing class weight limit. To overcome this issue the race team decided to strip the car of all its paintwork, exposing its shining aluminium skin as well as shedding the necessary weight. Since the Mercedes-Benz racecars have all been known as Silver Arrows.
The 2002 special edition comes with a host of extra equipment including Silver Arrow ultra-metallic paint, a fully-lined black soft top, brushed aluminium instrument cluster, special black bird's-eye maple wood trim, and aluminium trim on the wind deflector, shift gate, pedals, grille, and boot lid. In addition were new six-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels and factory-drilled brake rotors front and rear.
A total of just 100 R129 Silver Arrows were supplied in the UK.
Silver Arrow Edition (P30): Silver Arrow metallic paint, Polished aluminum exterior trim, Polished stainless steel exhaust finisher, Cross-drilled brake rotors with silver-painted calipers, Xenon headlamps with automatic level control, Special two-tone black/silver leather seats, door panels, steering wheel and gear knob; Metallic effect black birdseye maple wood trim on console and doors, Heated seats, Machined aluminium trim with chrome bezels for instrument cluster and shift gate, Aluminium pedals, Illuminated stainless steel door sill trims, Exclusive leather-trimmed floor mats, Silver Arrow insignia on front wings, seats and ashtray cover. Heated and electrically adjustable front seats with memory (241/242/873), Automatically dipping inside rear view mirror (249), Removable panoramic glass hardtop with retractable sunshade (415), Electric heated and folding door mirrors (500/501), Rear seats (565), Headlamp wiper/washer (600), Black soft-top fabric (740), Becker Europa radio (750), AMG styling package: front spoiler, side skirts, and rear apron (772), Alpine CD changer (819), R129 tool roll, Spare wheel.
The limited number Silver Arrow is finished in a beautiful ultra-metallic silver paint unique to the edition. Under the glare of our studio lights the deep metallic flake looks sensational on this 40k mile example. The body is in truly exceptional condition throughout and remains free from any unsightly scratches, swirl marks, or notable chips to the frond end. All in all, this has to be one of the finest Silver Arrows we’ve ever had the pleasure of selling.
This car is further equipped with the desirable panoramic glass hardtop option, its matching silver paintwork in perfect condition also. For the warmer months the car sports an immaculate black soft top. The roof operates without fault at the touch of a button and boasts a lovely pale grey lining; the rear windows are without any damage.
VIEWINGS WELCOME BY APPOINTMENT ONLY /// ADDITIONAL PHOTOS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
The Silver Arrow’s cabin is a special place to be, with an abundance of fine materials and trims specific to the model. The lavishly appointed interior features unique Nappa leather upholstery in black and silver, a theme that extends to the door panels, steering wheel and gear knob. The supple leather remains in near-perfect condition throughout, with no wear to the bolsters and no discolouration to any of the silver-coloured areas.
Other Silver Arrow-specific features include a machined aluminium instrument cluster and shift gate, with black birdseye maple wood adorning a number of other surfaces. Damaged centre console wood trim is a common issue among Silver Arrows but within this example everything still looks and feels like new. All the switchgear is solid to operate and in the footwells the carpets are protected by the original leather-trimmed overmats. At the rear the seats appear unused, the leather remaining as soft and supple as ever.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Under the bonnet lies the magnificent 5-litre Mercedes-Benz V8, producing more than 300hp and launching the SL from 0-60mph in little over 6 seconds. This example is in excellent mechanical condition and was most recently serviced in October 2020 at 40,591 miles.
The Silver Arrow uses an intelligent electric 5-speed automatic gearbox, which adapts the timing of the changes to changes in road gradient, as well as syncing with an individual’s driving style in fully automatic mode. The car performs flawlessly on test.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The two-piece 18-inch alloys set the Silver Arrow apart even more and look sensational with the correct polished outer rim. All of the wheels are in perfect shining condition with no lacquer damage or curb marking to be found. They are shod in a matching set of premium Continental tyres with ample tread remaining. Standard specification includes cross-drilled discs and smart silver-painted calipers; the brakes appear in fine condition all round with plenty of life left at each corner.
This unrepeatable SL was first registered in September 2001; it has now driven just 40k miles in the hands of only 4 keepers since new. The maintenance history is well documented in the accompanying paperwork and the original service book is stamped up to date with 10 entries, the last service having been carried out in October 2020 less than 200 miles ago. The original Mercedes document pack is present with all manuals, and a copy of the Silver Arrow Certificate of Authenticity (No. 59 of 100) is also included.
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