Mercedes R129 SL60 AMG
- Mileage: 73,165
- Year: 1997
- MOT Expiry: February 2021
- Exterior Colour: Brilliant Silver Metallic
- Interior Colour: Grey Leather
- Top speed: 155
- 0-60mph: 5.8
- BHP: 375
- Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 5956cc
- 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.
The SL60 AMG – as featured here – was extremely rare. Its enormously powerful and ultra-smooth 6-litre V8 engine delivered ferocious performance, all of which could be enjoyed from the luxury cabin for which Mercedes-Benz was renowned. Costing more than £100,000 when new and delivering close to 410hp with an (unlimited) top speed of more than 185mph, the SL60 was a remarkable piece of engineering excellence. To blend such incredible performance with predictable handling and a sumptuous, electronics-packed, leather-bound cabin was a feat that could only be achieved in the nineties by Mercedes-Benz. On sale from 1993 until 1998, it is understood that of the 1,000 or so SL60 AMGs produced, only 49 were built in right-hand drive and supplied to the UK.
Brilliant Silver Metallic paintwork, Grey leather upholstery, Removable hardtop in Brilliant Silver Metallic, Electric-folding soft-top in black (740), AMG styling package including front spoiler, side skirts, and rear apron (772), AMG multi-piece alloy wheels with AMG sports suspension (783), AMG engineering package (957), Heated and electrically-adjustable front seats with memory (873/241/242), Multi-contour driver’s seat (405), Self-dimming rear view mirror (249), Leather and wood-trimmed steering wheel (289), Heated driver’s door mirror (501), Rear seats (565), Headlamp wash/wipe (600), Fire extinguisher (682), Digital climate control air conditioning, Removable wind deflector, Tailored carpet mats, Original bill of sale, Spare keys, Tailored indoor car cover.
As a UK-supplied factory AMG, this magnificent 6-litre V8 R129 is a rare beast indeed – 1 only of only 49 in fact. Resplendent in Brilliant Silver Metallic, the body presents to a very high standard, untarnished by any unsightly scratches, dents or signs of poor repair. At the front end there’s hardly a stone chip in sight, with only a few light marks low down on the front bumper showing the car's honesty; the underside is also notably fresh (photos available upon request). The SL60 is equipped with factory AMG suspension and a bodykit that includes a more aggressive front spoiler, side skirts and rear apron. The removable hardtop and black fabric soft-top are both in fine condition, operating with ease at the touch of a button.
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The interior presents immaculately. The supple grey leather looks fantastic and shows almost no wear to the bolsters or perforated centre sections. Both front seats are electrically-adjustable with memory, the driver’s seat also boasting the desirable multi-contour backrest adjustment. Contrasting walnut trim complements the leather beautifully and further extends to the steering wheel, another factory option from new that really adds to the sense of occasion. Looking closer there is no damage to the centre console, door cards or delicate speaker covers. In the footwells the pale carpets are protected by a set of tailored overmats, and at the rear the seats appear unused.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The SL60 AMG’s M119 powerplant is a ferocious yet smooth 6-litre V8 with an official output of 375hp, and a 0-60mph time of 5.8 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155mph but with the limiter removed she’s good for 180mph+. AMG have since unofficially admitted that the 0-60mph time is closer to 5.0 seconds, and that the engine actually produces between 405-410hp.
The engine bay of this example is remarkably clean, the car having been well maintained from new. The last service was carried out at 72k miles by marque specialist Simon Light Limited and included all new spark plugs.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The SL60 sits on the correct two-piece AMG alloys in immaculate condition. There is no curb marking, lacquer damage or wear to any of the bolts, and the wheels are shod in matching Michelin Pilot Sport tyres all round. At 69k miles the braking system was completely overhauled; the work included new discs and pads all round, new handbrake shoes, wear indicators, rear brake pipes, and all new brake fluid. The calipers were also removed, sandblasted, and repainted in gloss black for a smart factory finish.
This rare example was supplied new by Glen Henderson Mercedes in March 1997 with a hefty price tag of over £103k. It remained with the first owner until 2011 and has seen only two additional keepers since then. The History File is complete with a raft of invoices, plenty of old MOT certificates, the Mercedes document pouch, three spare keys, the original bill of sale from the supplying dealer, and a copy of Modern Classics magazine in which this example was featured.
The car was last serviced at 72k miles. Prior to this, in 2017, the steering box was rebuilt and a new power steering pump was fitted – all costing in excess of £1,400. At 69k miles the underside was overhauled along with the braking system. The underbody was then sealed and cavity injected as required; the total for this work was over £3,500.
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