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2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

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AMG Mercs have always been among my favorite German performance machines (second only to Porsche’s). They are basically German muscle cars. In fact, since the golden era of American muscle died off many decades ago, I consider AMG’s to be the muscle cars of the 21st century. Furthermore, while they may be prohibitively expensive when new, these cars often go for a song on the secondhand market.

With only 12,000 miles on the clock, 493 horsepower, and 516 lb-ft of torque, this pristine SL55 could certainly give a new owner a ton of fun for a very affordable price. Furthermore, it is a rare Designo Espresso edition. While many may dismiss this as a mere appearance package, it adds an entirely different level to the interior. Standard SL55’s came with leather seats and leatherette pretty much everywhere else, such as the dash, door cards, center console, etc. This Designo edition, however, has very supple leather on practically every surface of the interior.

On the outside, the Designo Espresso edition wears a very attractive dark brown metallic paintjob. The two Designo paint schemes at the time (Graphite and Espresso) offered more metallic flake than standard metallic Mercedes offerings. This becomes particularly obvious when the sun shines on the surface just right…it really does look spectacular in person.

Click for details: 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG on eBay

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Year: 2005
Model: SL55
Engine: 5.5 liter supercharged V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 12,400 mi
Price: $39,000 Buy It Now

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Truly a One of a Kind, Rare Gem!!!!
2005 Mercedes Benz SL55 AMG with only 12K. Car sold for $142,000 when new. Garage kept, Clean Carfax, no accidents, this car has it all, including the most sought after color combinations. It has a hand built, and signed, AMG V8 Supercharged Engine. High performance AMG sport suspension, braking system, tires, and exhaust. Inside you will find AMG leather sport seats with active ventilation delivering both air conditioning and heat. Leather wrapped steering wheel, Bose stereo with 8 speakers, 6 disc CD changer. The Designo Expresso Edition which was a $7,000.00 option when new. Keyless Go, Distronic, Parktronic, and the list goes on and on. You have to see it to truly appreciate this car’s unique qualities.


In addition to having a beautiful color scheme and a ton of power, this car has most of the same luxury features that Mercedes still charges more than $100,000 for. Luxury features here include radar-guided cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, keyless go, massaging seats stuffed with Amazonian coconut husks, heated and cooled seats, and satellite navigation. All of this in a very fast and very powerful two-seat roadster sounds like a winning combination to me. While this isn’t going to be winning events at Virginia International Raceway, it would certainly make a great husband and wife weekend car, or even a fun daily driver for someone.

With an original sticker price of over $142,000, you really can’t go wrong with what appears to be an absolutely immaculate SL55 in a rare and desirable color scheme at over $100,000 less than the original sticker. Also, you aren’t just getting a very fast AMG Merc, but you are getting an SL, which is considered an iconic German classic much like the Porsche 911.



  1. Vic
    Vic February 26, 2015

    Great car. Beautiful and powerful. Here is why these Merc’s sell for dirt cheep:
    – Roof hydraulics $5k and they seem to have about a 7 year shelf life
    – ABC hydraulic system $5k count of having repaired once every 5 years
    – Vacuum assisted door system and associated wiring harness $2k every 5-6 years
    – any sort of electrical failure $1k every 4 months
    I would really appreciate it if anyone who owns an SL55 would come forward with a better owner experience because I really want to love these cars.
    OBTW these cars show up at auction all day long in the mid $20’s

  2. AndyJM
    AndyJM February 26, 2015

    Hi Vic,

    My mom actually has one of these (has owned since 2009), and has had no significant malfunctions other than with the keyless go *knock on wood*. No issues with the top or suspension. It’s like any expensive car. Maintain it as necessary and significant problems should be rare. This was a $142,000 car when new, so expecting the maintenance costs to be on the same level as a $39,000 car is just quixotic.

    Also, yes they do show up in the $20,000 range on ebay… most of those cars are dogs that I wouldn’t want to touch with a 10-foot pole. It shouldn’t be surprising that poorly maintained examples are problematic… this isn’t atypical with modern cars. However, a pristine example, as this appears to be, should provide any future owners with relatively reliable transportation provided they pay for regular maintenance and don’t abuse the car.

  3. Brad
    Brad February 26, 2015

    Speaking of paint, there is a shade similar to this, but darker and blacker, although not black per se, on all things most often a ford escape, that is absolutely gorgeous and singular. It not only has an enormous amount of metallic in it but the flakes themselves are huge. Truly deluxe. Makes other paints look incredibly cheap.

  4. Vic
    Vic February 27, 2015

    Good to hear. My experience centers on similar Merc products not specifically the SL55. but as I said, I really want to love these cars as they seem to me to be the quintessential daily driver that balances luxury with some performance. Absolutely wish that they would have come in a manual.

  5. AndyJM
    AndyJM February 27, 2015


    I agree, this would’ve worked great with a manual transmission, however, even if it had been offered, I’d bet that >95% would’ve still been ordered as automatics. Just the Mercedes clientele.

    My recommendation for avoiding a maintenance nightmare would be to splurge on a really good one such as this. It will probably save you a lot of money in the long-run, and you’d have a much nicer car in every way (cosmetically, mechanically, etc.). Also, they are an absolute blast to drive.

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