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.
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.
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.
There exists a divided community of R129 Mercedes-Benz owners. On one hand there are those who feel that the V12 is necessary to make the car feel special and unique enough to be maximally enjoyable on rare driving occasions. On the other are more sensibly minded owners who prefer the cost-effectiveness and balance of the V8. I won’t interject my $0.02 into that discourse, but I will say that few R129 owners will disagree that a Silver Arrow SL600 is a very rare and desirable machine.
The Silver Arrow was a special edition of the R129 SL offered only in 2002, the final year of production. Only available in North America, Mercedes sold 1,550 Silver Arrow R129’s. Of these 1,550, only 100 were SL600’s. Featured here is one of those very few 600’s. I cannot recall the last time that one was publicly listed for sale, but having followed the R129 market closely since 2009, I can only recall ever seeing maybe one or two listed in online marketplaces.
Back in 1993, if you hopped down to the local Mercedes-Benz dealer and asked for a 600SL, they’d gladly give to you — in exchange of giving them almost $130,000. If you somehow were dissatisfied with the car in terms of performance, you called up Mercedes super-tuner RENNtech and told them to do their thing with it — in exchange of another $60,000. Now doing some quick math here, we are at a grand total of around $190,000. Keep in mind we are still talking in terms of 1993 money. To put that in perspective, that’s over $316,000 in 2016 dollars. And you thought a drug addiction was expensive! So what did this insane amount of money buy you?
Anyone looking for a brand new 15 year old car? Here’s your chance to buy what must be the lowest mileage R129 generation SL600 in the country. With 172 original miles, this car is probably as close to new as you can find. The R129 began production in 1989 as a 1990 model, and lasted until 2002; a pretty typical production life for an SL. To celebrate the final year of production, and to pay homage to the brand’s racing heritage, Mercedes released the Silver Arrow spec SL. Available as an SL500 and an SL600, 1,500 cars were produced in total, only 100 of which were 600’s.
While this car isn’t a Silver Arrow, it is a second-to-last model year R129, and is fitted in a very desirable color combo of black on light grey. I spoke with a salesman at Mercedes of Cherry Hill who informed me that the car was purchased new there, and the owner stored the car with the hopes of it climbing in value and turning a profit down the road. Needless to say, that dude bought the wrong car. He probably paid in the vicinity of $140,000 for it, and I don’t even want to know what he sold it back to the dealer for. The good news is that we have the opportunity to buy the car, in virtually new condition, for around $90K off the original price.
The Mercedes-Benz R129 SL is on the cusp of collector status. Fellow GCFSB contributor Andy McCulley was in Washington, DC this week for a conference and we hung out a bit during the weekend, with much car talk on the agenda. After passing an SL500 Silver Arrow parked on the street, he opined that that is one R129 that will be worth money in the near future. I don’t doubt it. Few of them were built, with only 100 SL600s receiving the Silver Arrow trim. This SL600 for sale in Massachusetts might not be a Silver Arrow, but the V12 models are certainly more exclusive than their V8 siblings, with this car’s Designo trim adding on an extra serving of exclusivity.
As you hopefully know, it is Fathers Day and I thought it would be fun to take a stab at finding the ultimate “dad car.” Many vehicles crossed my mind, the majority of them were Mercedes, a few BMWs and Audis as well, but there’s just something so grown up and bossy about a Benz that it makes the brand feel paternal. My own father isn’t particularly fond of the three pointed star marquee, so it is not with him in mind that I chose this car. He’s like me, a fan of hatchbacks, sleepers and rally bred machines, not the brash hardware like the SL600. However, I have no doubt he’d enjoy the soundtrack courtesy of the 48 valve V12 because who the heck wouldn’t? There may even be a chance he’d be swayed, as I was, into lusting after this car as it has a Vortech V2 Supercharger stuck on it, pushing the horsepower figure up over 400. My father was the one who taught me horsepower isn’t everything but I’ll be damned if the man doesn’t love it just as much as I do. It’s the torque that’s really impressive with these cars and all 420 lb-ft of it is needed to move the 4,445 lb chassis. Just goes to show that in a big ‘ol silver rocket ship with a removable top is where a motor like this belongs and few do this style of car better than the folks at Mercedes Benz.
While the AMG lineup has taken Mercedes-Benz by storm over the past decade, lost in the cracks are the more pedestrian, yet equally special non-AMG V12 models. Fancy an SL with V12 power for Honda Civic money? Well, here’s your chance, although beware, because obviously a car like this won’t come with Civic-esque servicing costs.
The seller states:
1997 Mercedes-Benz 600SL Roadster. This is a sale by a private individual with the assistance of an agent. I will present (without bias) all realistic and reasonable offers to the seller.
Serial number: WDBFA76F8UF146015
36,721 original miles
Smoke Silver exterior (702 factory paint code)
Parchment Leather (565 factory interior color code)
Please see detailed photo below for list of options with factory codes
100% original paint
Perfect paint, no scratches or dings anywhere
100% original interior ~ no redye or aftermarket anything
Perfect interior ~ zero blemishes, zero.
Perfect leather, perfect carpet.
Serviced by Mercedes-Benz Dealership…not anywhere else
Full factory books, owners manual, and stamped service booklet in factory pouch.
Perfect windshield, no chips
Perfect alloy wheels, no discoloration, no curb rash.
Both tops ~ hard and soft are perfect.
Original window sticker included.
The car drives perfect. The steering wheel is absolutely dead straight when the car is going straight. An amazing car. It is difficult to keep a 1997 looking this good. I congratulate the seller.
Low mileage R107 SLs aren’t that uncommon, but according to the Standard Catalog of Mercedes-Benz, there were only 738 SL600s produced in 1997. While the horsepower difference from the V8 to V12 is not entirely great, those who have driven them say that V12s bring a whole new level of smoothness to the driving experience. If you have the means and the resources to keep one of these classics on the road (tune ups are not going to be cheap), this is a relatively affordable way into a clean future classic.…
We have seen three of these Renntech SL74 beasts show up for sale this summer, which is pretty unbelievable. Our previous finds:
Sometimes an owner will see another seller claiming to have a really rare car and take the opportunity to show of his own to show the other guy he isn’t the only one. Sometimes following up one rare listing with another lets a seller piggy back on some of the excitement or the initial sale or lets them judge interest or gauge market value. Perhaps that’s the case with this third SL74.
This one is a 1996 in white found by reader Nik. It is a bit more showy than the other two we saw this year. Chromed intakes, vented hood, embroidered logo headrests, big sound system in the trunk, etc. The specs are right inline with the other two we’ve seen. The seller quotes an investment of over $200,000 and lists the upgrades as follows:
V12 engine producing 595 BHP, 605 lbs-ft @4000 RPM. 0-60 is second 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 200 MPH 1/4 times of 11.9
Renntech 7.4 liter engine conversion (stage 4) $49,500:
high performance engine rebuilt, performance intake and exhaust camshafts, ported/polished cylinder heads, larger f1 valves, stainless steal resonator bypass, stainless renntech sports rear muffler.
Renntech top speed removal $1,500
First gear start transmission valve body $1,350
Renntech transmission upgrade with limited slip $7,790
Downpipes all metal catalyzers $7,000
Renntech 14″ brakes $5,760
Renntech oil cooler kit $1,250
New convertible top and brand new wheels and brand new tires.
Full AMG BODY Kit includes: side skirts, front bumper, rear bumper and rear spoiler. Also comes with rear seats.
includes: hard top cover
Please check out this link. http://www.renntechmercedes.com/article_files/cnd0898.pdf
With a day left this one is up to just under $17,000 reserve not met.…
Today hearing of a Mercedes pushing 500 horsepower, while not really yawn factor, is certainly not surprising. AMG has done an amazing job generating massive power and torque numbers for Mercedes that you can now buy of the regular dealer showroom floor. While big engine big power Benzs have been a hallmark of the company for years they were scarcer in years past.
This big fellow could scare off just about everything else on the road when it was new back in 1994. The SL74 was a Renntech package that took the already potent Mercedes 6 liter V-12 and pushed it out to 7.4 liters. With about 600 horsepower and 600 lb. ft. of torque after the conversion all coming out of a lagless normally aspirated engine one could easily spin the z rated tires down to the rims.
It isn’t clear if this car was converted by Renntech just after the purchase or if the conversion took place later in the car’s life. With only 15,000 miles it doesn’t really matter.
This car has similar specs to the Renntech SL74 I posted early this summer:
Giant brakes (seriously look inside the wheels at those things), exhaust, limited slip diff, upgraded transmission all are necessary additions. The sort of things you would associate with a handbuilt rocketship. What sets this one apart, ironically, is at first glance it is so subdued. You could easily mistake this for just another R129 series Benz. The wheels are nothing too exciting, though closer inspection reveals them to be light magnesium wheels. Nothing seems too fancy about the bodykit, some flares and vents, not even a badge on the back, then you realize it is all carbon fiber, hood, fenders, rockers. This saves, according to the seller 600 lbs in weight.
A peak inside and you can see that this SL is not for prowling a Florida retirement community, though grandpa would probably like the feel of those Recaro ortho sport seats, grandma likely would not want to fumble with the four point race harness.…