Bill Gates’ 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500

Last week I checked out probably one my favorite R129s, a 2000 SL500 Designo that everyone else seemed to enjoy too with its unique paint and interior color combination. Well, turns out we weren’t the only one who fawned over this unique SL. Recently decrowned richest person in the world, Bill Gates, seemed to have an eye for this R129 too. According to this seller, this 2000 SL500 up for sale in Silicon Valley no less, was originally owned by the Gates for the first two years of its life. This is wonderful and all, but unlike the car I checked out last week, I’m not totally in love with this specific example. Let me explain why.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Bill Gates’ 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500 on eBay

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2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500

Everyone once in a while I run across a car that makes me say ”Wow”. It doesn’t have to be expensive or all that rare, but more so something that I haven’t seen before or a car in outstanding condition. Today’s car, a 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500 up for sale in Arizona, is one of those cars. This car is not in outstanding condition for having 73,000 but it is featured in a color combination that I maybe have only see once. This R129 is finished in Slate Blue Pearl with Designo Two-Color Dark Blue that I think compliment each other so well. Of course, this SL comes with the ultra-desirable SL1 and SL2 packages which just to refresh everyone’s memory on is ”AMG designed” bumpers and sideskirts, 18 inch Monoblock 1 wheels, Xenon headlights, a 6-disc CD changer and heated seats. Could it get any better? Maybe.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500 on eBay

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Another Almost Alpina Alumnus: 1988 BMW 750iL “Alpina B12 5.0”

I wish that I had better news for you. I’d love to say that I’d found some hidden gem no one else had discovered, and that it could be yours for a song. Today is not that day. Instead, what we unfortunately have is another case of mistaken identity. To add a bit of insult to injury, it would seem that it’s quite intentional.

Back in May of 2017, I looked at two E32 BMWs. Both were modified, non-original examples. One was a 5-speed 735i sporting some Racing Dynamics bits, and the other was a clean and low-mileage 750iL that had undergone a full cosmetic Alpina B12 5.0 makeover.

Outstanding E32 Face Off: 1988 BMW 735i and 750iL

Kudos to the then seller, it was accurately represented. It looked great but needed to be cleaned up a bit, but despite low mileage and all the original Alpina goodies, it sold for pretty budget price – just a bit over $5,000.

Well, it’s back. It’s cleaner, better photographed and there are also some clever changes and omissions in the current advertisement that have apparently sold bidders on a bill of goods that I’m pretty confident the car can’t write:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 750iL “Alpina B12 5.0″on eBay

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2005 Mercedes-Benz SL500 for $9,000

”How cheap can they really get?”

That is what I ask myself all the time when checking out almost any car. I understand why cars get to a certain point, even ones that were really expensive to start with. Sometimes it is just the natural cycle of used cars. Sometimes it is a situation where the car just isn’t worth the trouble and prices hit the floor. Of course this is a case by case basis, but it is always interesting to see how certain cars slot into the market when they’ve matured to over 10 years old. Today’s car, a 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL500, is one of these cases where I always wonder how cheap they are going to get.

The R230 generation isn’t like SLs of years past; this is a modern-era SL with a retractable hardtop and a sleek design. Gone are the square slabs and lightweight feel, this is a bloaty, heavy grand tourer. Of course all this came at a very expensive price. The 2005 SL500 started at $92,000 ($118,000 in today’s money) and only got significantly more expensive from there. The thing is, these are pretty stout cars. They aren’t mechanical nightmares like a Land Rover (I know this from personal experience — I own one) and maintenance won’t bankrupt you even if you daily drive one of these. But this SL500 isn’t a mint to get into: it is a mere $9,000. That’s it. No, it doesn’t have a rebuilt title and it’s not full of mold, it is just a 2005 SL500 with a 141,000 miles. This makes me wonder; are all R230s heading towards this level of cheap buy-in?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL500 on eBay

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Homologation Special: 1981 Mercedes-Benz 500SLC 5.0

Lost in the sea of Mercedes-Benz R107s is the SLC that is one of those ”Oh yeah, I remember those” cars because honestly, you just don’t see them anymore. I’ve checked them out before, but none like this one for sale in New Jersey. This is the ultra-rare 500SLC 5.0 which doesn’t sound like much right now, but let me explain.

Mercedes-Benz actually ran the SLC in the FIA World Rally Championships and in order to do so, they had the homologate the cars as they ran 5.0 liter V8 SLCs in the races. Mercedes wwas only making the 4.5 liter cars at the time so a 5.0 liter car for the streets was necessary. Like most homologated cars, the production numbers were extremely low with just 1,133 500SLCs being made over a few years. None of these cars were ever made for North America, but somehow there is really nice for sale in America’s favorite state. But the price? All those creme puff 560SL owners will be jealous.

Click for details: 1981 Mercedes-Benz 500SLC 5.0 on eBay

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

A few months ago I checked out a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG Widebody that had everything and a price tag to match. Today’s car is styled similarly, but unlike that 560SEC, this one doesn’t have the same punch and thankfully no where near the same price tag. This is a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL. You are probably asking right now ”This is an AMG car, right?” Well, not really. See, this is a really nice European-spec 500SEL with some AMG body parts, AMG wheels and an AMG steering wheel. You might of noticed I left out the part about a massive engine. This car looks every bit the part of a really good pre-merger AMG car, but without the heart. The thing is, I’m totally fine with that.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL on eBay

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2001 Mercedes-Benz G500

I’ve looked at my fair share of Mercedes-Benz G-Wagens here. From the rusty 1985 280GE for $12,950 to the street-legal monster truck 2017 G550 4×4² for over $250,000, I’ve covered nearly all of them. They all make sense in one way or another as you can basically find a G to do anything you really need it to do. Need a military vehicle? Here is a 1991 230GE. How about a fire truck? Another 1991 230GE. Topless beach cruiser? I’ve got a 1992 300GD for you. But this 2001 G500 3-door for sale in Hampshire, England is a mystery to me and I wish I knew the full story. Let me explain.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Mercedes-Benz G500 on Hemmings

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1999 Mercedes-Benz SL500

There are probably cars you really like and want to own, but only with certain options or packages. In my world, the Mercedes-Benz R129 falls into the category. For me to spend money and commit to one, I need the SL1 and SL2 packages. What do they include? The SL1 comes with the ”AMG designed” bumpers and sideskirts with 18 inch Monoblock 1 wheels. The SL2 includes xenon headlights, a 6-disc changed (who cares?) and heated seats. For me, that is the pinnacle of the R129Well, I’d love a pano hardtop too, but you can’t have it all. But every R129 that I come across without these packages seems disappointing to me because I know that there are other ones out there that are better in my eyes. Today’s 1999 SL500 for sale in Pennsylvania has these packages and in a rare color, but it has one catch.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Mercedes-Benz SL500 on eBay

Year: 1999
Model: SL500
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 117,000 mi
Price: $15,000 Buy It Now

This car has been garage kept and meticulously maintained. Driven for pleasure only. Excellent inside and outside rare grey interior for this year model (most are tan in color). Car is located in Manchester , Pa. 17345
Please call me @ 717-818-9033 if you have any questions.

Larry Why

If you have a keen eye, you might notice something about this car is ”off.” Well, if you guessed the wheels, you are correct. This R129 has the 17 inch Albali wheels instead of the 18 inch Monoblock 1 wheels that come with the SL1 sport package. I have no idea where those original wheels went, but it is really unfortunate because this car also has the SL2 package. To top it all off, this SL500 is painted in Amber Red which is a really rare color for a R129. The rest of this car looks outstanding with no major flaws despite its 117,000 miles. I like the gray leather but black wouldn’t turn me away either if that was the case.

This seller is asking $15,000 and in my eyes, it is probably a few thousand too high. If this car had the wheels and half the miles, then yes, $15,000 might be doable. But the market is still pretty soft even with these desirable options and rare paint, so I doubt anyone is going to overpay when they can find a comparable car for thousands less.

– Andrew

2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500

Last week I checked out a wild E55 AMG with a blue interior to match the exterior. Today we have another Mercedes with a little wild flavor, although this one needs a peek inside to see what is going on. This 2000 SL500 for sale outside of Chicago looks great on the surface. It spent most of its time in California, has a hair over 58,000 miles and nice options like Xenons with 18 inch Monoblock wheels. But unfortunately, this R129 has one little flaw that might keep the majority of the buyers away.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500 on eBay

Year: 2000
Model: SL500
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 58,123 mi
Price: $11,900 Buy It Now

**DESIGNO EDITION** Very rare 2000 SL500 Convertible from CALIFORNIA with only 58k miles on it since new! 100% CARFAX CERTIFIED, Looks and drives awesome! Has power top, heated seats, designo interior with black/red combination leather sports seats, 17 inch AMG wheels, Xenon lights, BOSE Premium audio, and much more! Very rare find! California car with only 58k miles!

Clearly, this SL is all about the interior. The Designo option of red and black is one that I very rarely see on the R129 because the majority of SL buyers usually don’t go for color combinations like this. On top of the two-tone seats, this SL500 also has the W40 and W42 carbon fiber trim options. This is also very rare because almost every R129 has the standard wood trim and not carbon fiber. While cool, there is one major problem. Take a close look at the center console to the right of the shifter and you’ll see a giant crack that goes through almost the entire length of the piece. Not a big deal, right? Just buy another one to replace it, right? Not so fast. That piece that has the giant crack in it retails for $2,990 from your friendly Mercedes-Benz dealer. Yes, $2,990. Even if you were somehow to find this part used on another car, removing it is nearly impossible without cracking it also. Some people might be able to live with this flaw, but it would drive me insane everytime I got in the car.

Looking at the rest of this car, it presents pretty well. It’s a little odd that it isn’t configured with the sport package since it was already built with the expensive Designo options, but it might have been a customer order car. At $11,900, this is actually a really good price given the mileage. Most M113 R129s with this low of mileage are asking over $15,000 and the majority of the time much more. I’m curious if the dealer discounted the price any given the flaw in the carbon fiber, but I’m never been to give credit to used car dealers.

– Andrew

1994 Mercedes-Benz E500

Last week I checked out a W124 300E Sportline and broke down why that for the money, it was a really good buy if you didn’t want to splurge on the king W124. Well, it is a new week and the king is still alive and thriving. What we have today is the last year of the 124.036, a Brilliant Silver 1994 for sale in California. In my opinion and probably many others, the 1994 is the most desirable because of the face lift that makes this W124 look just about perfect. Of course, ‘just about perfect’ comes with a cost. But even in this current market, it’s not as expensive as you would have guessed.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz E500 on eBay

Year: 1994
Model: E500
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 105,975 mi
Price: $23,000 Buy It Now

 

Single owner and still on the original title – Sold new in Washington state on 12/301994 – Regularly serviced.
10k miles accumulated over the last 10 years – Just out of storage – Clean Carfax – Handbooks – MB Vehicle Master Inquiry on hand.
No alterations except a driver’s door cup holder.

This small series of Mercedes was a collaboration with Porsche and the 500E and E500 are known by Porsche as Type 2758 in that company’s official nomenclature.
Each 500 E was hand-built by Porsche, being transported back and forth between the Mercedes plant and Porsche’s Rossle-Bau plant in Zuffenhausen.
Assembly required a full 18 days to complete each model.

Just serviced including fuel filter/air filters – New engine/trans mounts – New brake rotors/pads front and rear – New rear suspension accumulators.
Differential fluid change – New tires – New headlight/windshield wiper blades – Cold AC – Likely original upper engine harness.
Good switch gear/accessory function except: Radio volume erratic, CD changer inop, passenger ft. power headrest inop.

Drives beautifully, smooth, quick and quiet. Perfect idle – An inexpensive example of an appreciating Young Mercedes-Benz Classic.

Roy Spencer @ 650-343-7980 – Global shipping gladly arranged – Pre-purchase inspections available locally.

This E500 can be viewed at my facility in Burlingame, CA – 5 minutes south to SFO.
Providing the Mercedes-Benz community exceptional cars for 26 years.

A quick glance at this E500 and it looks like a real winner. I would have never guessed it had over 100,000 miles based on how fresh everything looks. On the exterior it looks nearly flawless but the interior isn’t up to the same standard, which I understand. There is the typical cracking wood and a little bit of wear on the seat bolster but nothing that is unsightly or a real detractor. The seller does say this car has a few little issues with the radio and CD changer as well as a headrest that doesn’t work. One thing that does raise an eyebrow is the upper wiring harness does look original. While this isn’t the end of the world, it is something to budget for if you were to buy this car. On the plus side, the seller does say he has the vehicle master inquiry which basically has all the services done to the car at a Mercedes dealer. I’m really curious to see if this car has had its transmission rebuilt but I’m sure those questions could be answered if you are a serious buyer.

My reaction to this E500 being listed at $23,000 is of agreement. The market for these cars is really crazy right now with some in the $30,000 range all the way up to over $70,000 for really low-mileage examples. If you are to snag an E500E in the low teens, you are probably going to be looking at many thousands of dollars in “catching up” on these cars with no end in the sight on some. So if you pony up and pay now to buy a nice one like this, I think you’ll be rewarded with a really nice vehicle that probably won’t lose any value. Like anything, just do your due diligence before pulling the trigger on one of these. They are extremely sublime cars if everything is taken care of. If not, I hope you have a lot of time and money.

– Andrew