Mercedes R129 SL500
- Mileage: 64,764
- Year: 1996
- MOT Expiry: August 2020
- Exterior Colour: Azurite Blue Metallic
- Interior Colour: Beige 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.
Azurite Blue Metallic paintwork, Beige leather upholstery, Panoramic removable hardtop, Rear seats, Soft-top in black, Heated and electrically adjustable front seats with multi-contour adjustment, Xenon headlamps with wash/wipe, Heated driver’s door mirror, Leather steering wheel with wood trim, Leather gear selector, Mercedes first aid kid, Mercedes tool roll, Remote central locking, Alarm, Immobiliser, Mercedes overmats.
This V8 SL is well presented in timeless Azurite Blue Metallic with contrasting beige leather upholstery, a striking combination perfectly offset by the freshly diamond-cut alloy wheels. The glossy paintwork shows relatively few signs of age with a deep shine to the upper panels and only discreet marking to the satin lower sections. There are no car park dings to be found either side, and the Xenon headlamps are still nice and clear.
This two-owner example was specified from new with the desirable panoramic glass hardtop option. With that removed, the electric folding soft-top operates smoothly at the touch of a button; the fabric is remarkably unworn and there’s no unsightly damage to the rear windows.
The airy cabin boasts a glossy walnut finish to the centre console, door panels, and steering wheel rim. Looking across the desirable multi-contour front seats the upholstery appears in wonderful condition with only minimal wear to the bolsters; the sought-after rear seats are trimmed in the same supple leather and are free from any marking. The centre console presents in excellent condition showing no scratches or wear to the trim. At the rear of the car the boot area is still perfectly tidy, neatly housing the Mercedes first aid kit and removable wind defector with cover.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The 5-litre V8 is a perfect complement to the R129. With effortless power delivery and a smooth five-speed ‘box this example feels extremely capable and is an absolute joy to drive. Lifting the bonnet you’ll find the engine bay still looking fresh and with the sound-deadening material still pleasingly intact. The SL has covered only 64k miles from new and is accompanied by an excellent maintenance record, with the last eight services having all been done at Mercedes-Benz in the correct A/B order.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The classic eight-hole alloys suit the R129 well and fill the arches nicely. Having just been fully refurbished to the highest standards by Lepsons all the wheels are in pristine condition and boast the correct polished finish. They are wrapped in a matching set of Michelin tyres that were fitted at 58k miles in 2017.
The SL was first registered in 1996 and has seen just two owners from new. The current owner purchased the car way back in 2001 and has cherished it ever since. It has been extremely well maintained under his care and is accompanied by a comprehensive and primarly main dealer service record. The most recent service was carried out at Mercedes-Benz of Guildford in August 2019 at the current mileage of 64k. The MOT is valid until August 2020.
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