Spring has sprung and convertible season is here. I type this as I look at my window to still see snow, but the calendar tells me it is officially spring so I’ll just go with that. What better way to start the warm seasons by picking up a relatively inexpensive roadster that won’t kill you in repairs/maintenance and maybe even make you a couple of dollars if you hold on to it long enough. If that is your goal, the R129 Mercedes-Benz SL320 might just be the perfect car. Fortunately, this 1996 up for sale in Maryland checks in with just under 94,000 miles and is a really good deal. How good?
In my never-ending quest to show everyone the best Mercedes-Benz R129s I run across, I present something a little different. This 2001 SL500 looked just fine from smaller photos and a number of feet away. The price was lower than average but it had some higher miles so I guessed it might just be that and a motivated seller. It wasn’t until looked at the enlarged photos and took a good look at everything until I really saw why this car was inexpensive. The once very valuable SL500 is a now a giant pile of battle scars and neglect. I’d even wager this one of the worst condition R129s I’ve ever come across. But it still runs and drives, so if the price is right, is it worth it?
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.
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.
A few months ago I checked out a really unique 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500 with the Designo interior package. Outside of the garish red and black leather, there was one major thing would chase me away from this car: the giant crack in the carbon fiber trim. It wasn’t so much as there couldn’t be anything done about it, but rather it would cost $3,000 to replace that piece of trim that surrounded the shifter. Much to my surprise, this same car is back up for sale many states away with an increased price tag of almost $3,000 and that same crack is still there, although hidden really well with some clever photography angles. Honestly, at first I thought this was a different car and it didn’t have any flaws in the carbon fiber. Then I compared the mileage and knew it wasn’t just dumb luck to find two nearly identical cars. While it might have been in the right market range at the original $11,900 ask, good luck trying to sell it for $15,000. I just don’t think the market is there for this odd ball with a wart.
The below post originally appeared on our site September 4, 2017:
Last week I checked out a 1999 Mercedes-Benz S500 Grand Edition and explained that I think it is one of the few ”special edition” Mercedes that actually has some kind of impact on the value of the car. Today, we have of those ”special edition” Mercedes that really doesn’t move the needle with people and even more so, some think what was done to it makes it undesirable.
This is a 1997 SL320 40th Anniversary Edition. I’ve covered these before, but the short of it is Mercedes made 250 SL320s painted in Quartz Blue Metallic with matching wood trim called ”Royal Maple” which is far from a color that comes to mind when you think wood. Some like the uniqueness of it, some say it’s garish and doesn’t make any sense. Either way, this example up for sale in Georgia is probably one of the lowest mile examples I’ve seen with just over 21,000, but does that mean the price tag has to match?
After looking at the wild GT R with an asking price over $260,000, I thought I’d get back to something a little more affordable. This 1995 SL320 painted in Teal Blue Metallic checks in with a hair under 43,000 miles and is a prime candidate to drive everyday or stash away in the garage for those nicer days. The tried and tested M104 inline-6 engine is a great engine to live with and won’t cost you a mortgage payment if something goes wrong unlike the V8 and V12. But like anything, there is a catch, and this catch makes me bang my head against a brick wall.
The mighty Mercedes-Benz SL73 AMG: A car that can’t be mentioned without saying the word ”Zonda” in the same sentence. Less than 100 of these monsters started life as a regular SL600 with the M120 6.0 liter V12 and were shipped up to the AMG factory for some special touches and an increased displacement to 7.3 liters good for over 540 horsepower. The eponymous 7.3 liters were so good that they made their way in the Pagani Zonda and the rest was history. With so few of these cars made, if they ever come up for sale, they usually don’t go for cheap nor stay for sale long. Now that this 1999 is available for sale in California, it’s time to take a close look at this thing while we can.
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 R129. Well, 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.
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.
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.…
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.
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?…