The R129 has always been my favorite iteration of the SL roadster. Softer and more modern than the classic R107 that it replaced, but still sufficiently angular that it doesn’t succumb to the awful jelly bean aesthetic of the late 80s and early 90s, the quintessentially Mercedes design remains attractive today; sporty and taut yet elegant and handsome. While most US buyers opted for the V8 500SL or the range topping and magnificent V12 in the 600SL, the car could also be had with an entry level 3.0 liter straight six, as found in this 300SL version. Already a relatively uncommon spec, this car features the especially rare manual gearbox, available only on six cylinder R129s.
All posts tagged Convertible
These days, Mercedes hasn’t released too many limited edition models outside of their in house tuning arm, AMG. Before the days of AMG proliferation, Mercedes would release a special edition model from time to time, such as this 1995 SL500 Mille Miglia. Built to commemorate Stirling Moss’s win of the historic 1955 Mille Miglia road race. This R129, available as an SL320 or SL500, was available only in Brilliant Silver Metallic, equipped with Evo II six-spoke polished alloys and a red and black leather interior complemented by carbon-fibre trim. The side fender grills were also given a rather unique checquered flag treatment that, upon close inspection, is a clever collection of chrome squares. This right-hand drive example for sale in the UK has covered less than 70,000 miles and is a great modern day tribute to a legendary period in Mercedes-Benz racing history.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Mille Miglia at Fast Classics
The E36 M3 has a curious reputation. Not quite a legendary track machine like its predecessor, the E30, and not quite a sublimely complete driver’s car like its successor, the E46, the E36 is the awkward middle child of the M family. Even BMW themselves seemed only half-heartedly committed to the car in America, choosing to offer it here with a less powerful engine than its European cousin. The resulting antipathy felt toward the car by some M-purists, who regard it as little more than a 328i with M-badging, has kept values low on these for quite some time. As a result, many of the used examples you find on Craigslist have been bought cheaply and thrashed, crashed or otherwise abused.
Still, they are very good cars – torquey, well-balanced and offering a dynamic driving experience. It’s always nice to come across a low mileage example in mint condition that has been kept in stock form. This convertible in stunning Techno Violet is such a car.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 BMW M3 Convertible on Hemmings
If it was sheer class you were after in the 1980s, there were few better options than the Mercedes-Benz R107 SL. This car lasted in production over an amazing 19 year span and aged rather gracefully, save for perhaps the requisite crash bumpers that appeared in the early 1970s on US models. The close of the 1980s would be the curtain call for this timeless roadster, with the final example, a Signal Red 500SL roadster, rolling off the line in early August of 1989. This 1989 560SL is painted in one of my favorite hues, Bordeaux Red over Parchment leather. With less than 20,000 miles from new, this is a strong candidate for the collector.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SL on eBay
In these dark days, E30 M3s even well above 100k miles can crest $50k, a baffling amount of money. The craziest thing is that the E30 M3 isn’t even that rare. Nearly 17k were produced, some three times more than were required for homologation and three times more than the E28 M5. There are certainly rarities within the M3 family, from the Evolution I and II models to Cecotto, Ravaglia, and Europa Meister editions. And then there were these convertibles, of which about 800 were released over three editions from 1988 to 1991. This car comes from the final and most-produced batch, whose S14 now produced 215hp instead of 195hp. You’re going to need that extra power to move the incredible 400 extra pounds the convertible is saddled with. We talk about severe driving penalties associated with convertibles, but I have to imagine this is one of the most egregious examples. With just 21k miles covered and rare to spare, the seller is hoping for $130k to pass this M3 to the next climate-controlled secure location.