Mercedes R129 SL500 Silver Arrow
- Mileage: 14,159
- Year: 2001
- MOT Expiry: August 2019
- Exterior Colour: Silver Arrow Metallic (777)
- Interior Colour: Black / Silver Nappa 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 and this example is number 13.
Silver Arrow specification: Silver Arrow ultrametallic paint, Electric folding soft top in black, 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; Wind deflector, Certificate of Authenticity, Silver Arrow 1:18 scale model.
Electrically adjustable front seats with memory (241/242), Automatically dipping inside rear view mirror (249), Removable panoramic tinted 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), CD changer (819), First-aid kit, Fire extinguisher, R129 tool roll, Spare wheel, Spare key, Tracker, Tailored indoor car cover.
The limited edition Silver Arrow is painted in a beautiful ultra-metallic silver paint (777). Under our showroom lights the deep metallic flake looks sensational on this 14k mile example. The body is in excellent condition throughout and remains free from any unsightly scratches, swirl marks, or major chips to the frond end. The panels are perfectly straight along both sides, the bumpers are without any damage and the car is entirely rust-free; even the underside is impeccably clean having never seen a salted road. Looking closely you’ll find all the polished aluminium trim still looking remarkably fresh.
This one owner SL is equipped with the desirable panoramic hardtop option, its matching silver paintwork presenting in wonderful 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.
The Silver Arrow’s cabin is a special place to be, with an abundance of detailing 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 absolutely no discolouration to any of the silver-coloured areas.
Other Silver Arrow-specific trim includes a machined aluminium instrument cluster and shift gate, as well black birdseye maple wood on the doors and centre console. Everything still feels like new, the only signs of age being some light cracking to the console trim below the armrest. All the switchgear feels solid to operate and in the footwells the carpets are protected by the original leather-trimmed overmats. The rear seats appear unused, the leather remaining soft and supple.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Under the bonnet lies the magnificent 5-litre Mercedes-Benz V8, producing over 300hp and launching the SL from 0-60mph in a swift 6.5 seconds. This example is in excellent mechanical condition having only ever been serviced by Mercedes-Benz at very close mileage intervals. The service booklet is fully stamped with every entry accompanied by a Mercedes invoice. The most recent work was a ‘B’ service carried out in August 2018 at 14,129 miles. The car was additionally inspected upon arrival at 4 Star and has subsequently been given a clean bill of health.
The Silver Arrow uses Mercedes’ intelligent electric 5-speed automatic gearbox, which adapts the timing of the changes to changes in road gradient, as well as syncing with an individuals driving style in fully automatic mode. The car performs flawlessly on test.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The two-piece 18-inch alloys help to set the Silver Arrow apart and look sensational in their original polished finish. All of the wheels are in perfect shining condition with no lacquer damage or major curb marking to be found. They are shod in a matching set of Dunlop tyres with between 4-5mm of 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 registered to its first and only keeper in September 2001. It has driven only 14k miles since that time and boasts an impeccable Mercedes-Benz main dealer service history from new, as detailed below. Despite covering so few miles the car has always been meticulously maintained with almost every shred of paperwork still present; this includes the original order form, sales invoice and subsequent correspondence from Mercedes.
19/08/2003 at 2,902 miles – A – Mercedes-Benz of Watford
10/08/2005 at 5,618 miles – B – Mercedes-Benz of Uxbridge
03/08/2007 at 7,436 miles – A – Mercedes-Benz of Heathrow
20/08/2008 at 8,090 miles – B – Mercedes-Benz of Heathrow
17/08/2009 at 8,797 miles – A – Mercedes-Benz of Heathrow
16/08/2010 at 9,703 miles – B – Mercedes-Benz of Heathrow
09/08/2011 at 10,017 miles – A – Mercedes-Benz of Heathrow
31/07/2012 at 10,618 miles – B – Mercedes-Benz of Heathrow
18/08/2014 at 12,292 miles – A – Mercedes-Benz of Heathrow
07/08/2015 at 12,570 miles – A – Mercedes-Benz of Heathrow
09/08/2016 at 13,328 miles – B – Mercedes-Benz of Heathrow
31/07/2017 at 13,840 miles – A – Mercedes-Benz of Beaconsfield
20/08/2018 at 14,129 miles – B – Mercedes-Benz of Beaconsfield
The car is now offered for sale for the first time since it was supplied new from J.R. Tagger Ltd. The History File is complete with the fully stamped service booklet, leather document holder with all handbooks, period SL/Silver Arrow sales brochures, the Sterling Moss-signed Certificate of Authenticity, and the desirable Silver Arrow 1:18 scale model (still boxed).
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