2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500 — Revisit

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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500 on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site September 4, 2017:

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1997 Mercedes-Benz SL320 40th Anniversary Edition

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?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Mercedes-Benz SL320 40th Anniversary Edition on eBay

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1995 Mercedes-Benz SL320

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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz SL320 on eBay

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1999 Mercedes-Benz SL73 AMG

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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Mercedes-Benz SL73 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

I Love the 90s? 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

Last week Craig looked at a really nice early R129 500SL. Today’s car is another early R129 500SL, but as you can probably tell, this one is a bit different. This 1990 for sale in Orange County, CA comes from an era where you actually had to paint a car to change its color. It’s a rolling piece of 1990s car culture and it hasn’t aged particularly well. I compare it to a nice house that hasn’t updated the kitchen in 25 years. It’s not that the workmanship is low, it’s that time has left it behind. Now of course with any custom car, it’s priced way too high and has some strange things going on with it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SL on Orange County Craigslist

Year: 1990
Model: 500SL
Engine: 5.0 liter V-8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 85,730 mi
Price: $13,995

A unique, one of a kind, customized Mercedes-Benz SL500. This car has new B.F Goodrich tires, rebuilt suspension, all new shocks and struts, new conv. tan top, and all original leather tan interior. This auto was customized by Santini with AMG bumpers and trim, Lorinser wheels, and the PPG Harlequin, Vibrance PPG-VM, green to purple paint that changes color as lights hits at different angles. Custom electronics offer remote starting, door and window operations, and remote convertible top opening.

At first glance, I thought this car was customized basically right off the lot. It has all the period correct items like the chameleon paint, early R129 AMG bumpers and sideskirts, Lorinser wheels and remote everything. But upon closer inspection, this car has the 1996-2002 side vents on the fenders. 1990 to 1995 R129s have three squared slots but in 1996 those were swapped out for two slots that were rounded. So if I had to guess, the paintwork and probably all of the other modifications didn’t happen until at least 1996. This still fits the time period of when this paint style was popular so I’m not too surprised. The thing is, I can’t really knock this car. Nothing looks cheaply done or slapped together. It’s not my cup of tea (and probably not most enthusiasts as well), but I appreciate that someone at least spent the time and the money to do all these jobs correctly.

If I was looking at a totally stock 1990 500SL with the 83,000 miles on it in nice condition, I’d value it at $8,000-10,000 depending on location and color. This car is listed at a hair under $14,000. Well, I think it is. It’s also listed on Hemming but the price there is $19,500. That is kind of a big difference in price. In one of the photos it showed the car being rolled across the stage at a Mecum action. Naturally, I did a little research to see what the car hammered at. In 2013, this R129 went up for auction at an Mecum Anaheim event with the bidding stalling out at $9,000 and not meeting the reserve. This doesn’t surprise all that much, even with a room full of people with too much money and likes shiny things. Values haven’t exactly gone up in the past for years on the R129 and it’s probably going to be around 5-10 years before we start seeing that for the clean, desirable examples. If I really had to throw a value on this car to actually to get it to sell? That $9,000 bid doesn’t sound so crazy. The problem being is that it’s totally not worth it to the seller to let it go for that number. So back into the garage it will probably go only to be listed again in another few years.

– Andrew

1991 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

The R129, produced between 1989 and 2002, is a bit of an odd duck. It’s too old for those in the market for a roadster with modern levels of power and convenience. But it’s not yet old enough (or rare enough) to be of interest to collectors or vintage aficionados. The upshot is that a nice example can be had for relatively little money and it might well appreciate in value over the coming decade, following R107 values through the roof. The 600SL was the halo car of the lineup, with a monster of a V12 under the hood. But the 500SL – powered by a 5.0 liter V8 that developed a perfectly usable 320 hp – is where real value for money can be found. Perhaps not as sporting as one would hope, these SLs nonetheless continue in a long line of high quality boulevard cruisers known for their high precision engineering, longevity and classic good looks.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 500SL on eBay

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Ending Soon – What We’re Watching

I’ve got my eye on another interesting and diverse set of affordable no reserve auctions this week. Take a look and feel free to chime in where you think cars will end! Let’s get things rolling with this BMW E28 with only a few hours remaining:

Click for Details: 1987 BMW 535is

This 1987 BMW 535is is definitely on the driver-quality side rather than a show piece; but all the important bones are there and the rust-free claim is worth its weight in 1980s Bavarian metal, anyway. Overall, though there are some obvious needs, for a 200,000 mile car it looks reasonably tidy and so far bidding is only at $2,500.

Click for Details: 2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDi Wagon

In an era of Volkswagen production that saw a sharp upswing in quality and performance, who would have guessed that the second most desirable model in the used market (outside of the R, obviously) is a Jetta Wagon with the diesel motor? Unlike its bigger brother Passat TDi Variant, the Jetta could be had with a 5-speed manual and they’ve developed a cult following. This one ticks the right boxes with lower miles, what appears to be good condition and the ALH/5-speed manual combination in a wagon, so bids are nearly at $7,000 with a few hours to go on the no reserve auction.

Click for Details: 1997 BMW M3 Sedan

After yesterday’s polarizing M3 Lightweight, we’re back to normal series production (and lower prices) with this still desirable M3 Sedan. In -3/4/5 configuration, these have quickly become the preferred weapon of choice for the practical E36 lover. In Artic Silver with Dove interior, this one isn’t stock, but with under 100,000 miles and in good condition, it looks like a solid investment at under $9,000 at time of writing.

Click for Details: 2000 Audi S4

An interesting, and more potent, counterpoint to the M3/4/5 is the Audi S4. With two turbos and two more wheels driven, the driving dynamics might not be quite as sublime in the B5, but they’re still nice places to be in on a drive and pretty shocking with the amount of performance that can be massaged out of the V6. With Alcantara sport seats and a 6-speed manual in mostly original configuration and under 110,000 miles, this one looks like a good sleeper in nice shape. But without the ///Markup, the current bid is only an outlandishly low $2,100.

Click for Details: 1990 Volkswagen Transporter Double Cab (Doka) Syncro

Like the earlier Samba, utter the words “Transporter”, “Doka”, and “Syncro” in a sentence and you get VW fanboys all wobbly in the knees. But unlike most auctions which have accompanying astronomical asking prices, the seller of this 1990 is taking a risk by offering it at no reserve. Condition is great and the options tick the right boxes, but unlike the S4 this auction isn’t likely to be overlooked. Bidding, with four days left, is already over $12,000; still, less than a third of the ask on a similar example I recently saw.

Click for Details: 2001 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

An interesting counter-point to Andrew’s 1993 Mercedes-Benz 600SL, the more affordable and easier to live with 500SL variant of the R129 is no stranger to the used market. This one has not many more miles and the condition looks good with a clean history, plus it has some great looking AMG wheels. Truth told, I like the pre-refresh, more angular look of the early R129s, but this one is tidy and currently yours for only a bit over $7,000.

-Carter

1993 Mercedes-Benz 600SL

1993 was a huge year for the Mercedes-Benz SL in North America. For the first time in its 39 year history, the Sportlich-Leicht was being produced with a V12 engine. The 600SL was graced with a massive aluminum block 6.0 liter with forged steel connecting rods that produced nearly 400 horsepower. This was 80 horsepower more than the M119 V8 from the 500SL of the same year. Of course, you paid a premium for the extra four cylinders. The 600SL base MSRP in 1993 was a staggering $120,000 (over $200,000 in 2017 buying power) compared to $98,000 for the 500SL. But in my opinion, you definitely got your moneys worth. These were handsome, practical cars that you could depend on — unlike your friends with V12 Jaguars and Ferraris.

This R129 for sale in Connecticut looks to be a great example of the first year V12 cars and it’s in my favorite color of Spruce Green Metallic. It’s not a perfect example and has a couple minor flaws but most importantly it looks well-cared for because for as stout as the M120 V12 is, it still needs its regular maintenance and repairs.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 600SL on eBay

Year: 1993
Model: 600SL
Engine: 6.0 liter V12
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 75,375 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

This Mercedes Benz 600SL is a future classic that has had extensive restoration work performed. In 1993 when this SL was sold, it represented the pinnacle of luxury and performance, 24 years later this car retains all of its original style and character and is a bargain when you consider the refinement and features that come with this car that originally had an MSRP of over $100,000.

The owner of this 600SL maintained the car flawlessly and invested in cosmetic and mechanical work to keep this car in peak running condition. The seats were recovered and the top was replaced which give this car great curb appeal. The transmission was recently replaced so the car shifts and drives great. This car comes with extensive documentation of both the restoration work that was performed and records of scheduled maintenance being performed on time and by professionals. The Carfax on this Mercedes is perfect!

This car was owned and cared for by a true connoisseur of Mercedes-Benz automobiles which is reflected by its pristine condition. This is a great opportunity to own a V12 Mercedes-Benz!

I really like this car. Spruce Green suits this car really well and the early 1990’s design language is highlighted well. It gets away from the standard black paint that is often neglected by this point and isn’t as garish as something like red. I enjoy the tan interior as a nice contrast to the green paint while the burl wood looks to be crack-free and has a nice shine to it. The carpeting in the driver’s side footwell could use a deep scrub as well as an extracting and it looks like there was a car phone mount that was drilled into the carpet that left behind multiple holes. I’m really disappointed that the seller, a dealer of rare and unique vehicles, didn’t bother to take photos of the soft top and open the hood to show that wonderful V12. I’m sure that can be arranged, but why would you make things difficult in the first place?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this car won’t even sniff the reserve that is set for this auction. Not because it isn’t worth it but rather you can’t expect people to bid with confidence if you leave out key photographs and don’t show any of the ”extensive documentation” that this car has. One more odd thing about this car is that the last registration was from 2011 which isn’t the something that inspires confidence in anyone. This car is less about actually trying to sell it with an auction and more about catching the eye of a serious buyer then proceeding with the transaction from there.

– Andrew