Such is the pedestal AMG products are placed upon, perhaps it’s only Ruf that is better regarded as the leading tuning firm from Germany in the 1980s. Combining revised suspension, special exhaust and warmed over motors, AMG managed to straddle the line between outrageous and tasteful in the 1980s perfectly with wild body modifications that somehow worked just perfectly. Inside, they were the most opulent German cars you could buy with power seats and all the luxury items you’d expect from a top-tier luxury manufacturers. But the bad boys from Affalterbach, like the Ruf cars, managed to be more than the sum of their parts – a total package that is still stunning today. They didn’t just bolt on a bunch of bits to make a go-faster car. AMG redefined the packages of the car, bringing them to another level. Today we have two examples to consider from the end of AMG’s independence – which is the perfect creation from the 1980s for you?
Since their launch, the R129 Mercedes-Benz SLs have held my attention. Perhaps it’s because I was heading towards driving age when I first got to sit in a then-new 500SL, but regardless of the motivation I really wanted one. My father used to take me to the local Mercedes-Benz dealership in his W113, so even though I was a child who grew up in the 1980s I was never particularly partial to the R107 – and I’m still not. Early Euro-spec cars look nice to me, but for the most part they look a bit too soft and large. So the R129 was a revelation – it looked substantially more sporty and was thanks to a new 5.0 V8 good for 320 horsepower mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. But for some well-heeled enthusiasts, the $100,000 price tag (in 1993!) wasn’t enough. AMG was in a state of flux in the early 1990s, but there was a new kid in town that was grabbing some serious headlines – RENNtech:
Time for another wheel roundup, and as I’m just in for winterizing the Audi and swapping the snow wheels onto the Subaru, I’ve got the chunky winter tires on my mind. Just because you’re swapping on the winter duds doesn’t mean you can’t still be in style on a budget, and today I’ve got a few sets that look like a great deal. The Audi B8 wheels are awesome looking – factory wheels aren’t the lightest, but they’re well made, well finished and look great on a number of newer Audis. For only $650, this set with caps looks awesome. The Tiguan wheels are the only non-stock wheels here, being made by Sport Edition. It’s a popular Tire Rack winter brand that looks reasonable and gets the job done. With few miles on that set of tires, it looks like an awesome deal at under $500. The Beetle wheels fit a bunch of the Mk.4/A3/TT models, and the brand new factory wheels and new tires mounted for under $800 seems like money well spent. Then BMW wheels are a bit more pricey but look overall to be in good shape. Then there are the factory 8″ Mercedes wheels, off either a 500SL or 500E. With some chunky looking rubber and no reserve, at the current bid of $250 they’re an absolute steal.
There’s an absolutely classic scene in the Adam Sandler movie The Wedding Singer in which the Miami Vice obsessed character Glenn Guglia pulls up in his DeLorean DMC12 with the theme song from the popular show blasting. The character was the perfect caricature of 1980s excess, and the show was the pulse of the nation at that time. The brightly colored polos with white suits, dark aviator sunglasses and devil-may-care attitude of the protagonists are as classically ’80s as the bad plot developments and cliche catchphrases. And then there were the cars; the twin replica Ferraris are both notorious and inseparable from the show; the white Testarossa was the car to have – impossibly cool and improbably ostentatious at the same time. The period spawned an entire industry of cars; perhaps an unfitting tribute, but today they’re always a bit of a treat to see. It’s not so much that I want them; they’re just like perfect time pieces that throw you back to another time. And as with #ThrowbackThursday posts that seem to riddle the web, this 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SL immediately reminded me of legwarmers, INXS and Vuarnet shirts:
If earlier’s 500E AMG 6.0 got your blood boiling but is disappointing because it’s out of reach, have no fear! The 500E, after all, shared many components with the R129 500SL – so it’s no surprise that AMG had its hand in the convertible as well. While 1992 would see the launch of the more official SL60 AMG, there was also a 1991 version. The 1991 was nearly identical but retained the 500SL moniker; underneath, that M119 6.0 was the same and was more than enough to motivate the SL to near supercar levels. However, what’s really spectacular for enthusiasts is that for the loss of two doors and the Porsche connection, you can put the top down and save a bit of money; this 6.0 equipped SL is on the market now for less than half the asking price of the 500E:
Okay, hang on folks, this is a long one – what’s the most class, speed and style that you can get for $10,000 these days in German motoring? I’ve lined up some of the examples of just how much you can buy – which is your favorite?
Beginning in the 1970s, the split between US and Euro market vehicles of foreign manufacturers became more pronounced, leading some US customers to import more and more non-US market vehicles. Oftentimes these imports would be more powerful, have features unavailable on US models or, in an era of changing safety rules, have slimmer, lighter bumpers. Such was the case with the R107 Mercedes-Benz SL. Before the 560SL arrived on the scene for the 1986 model year, the holy grail of forbidden SL fruit was the 500SL, with the 240 horsepower V8. This was considerably more than the 155 horsepower offered from the 3.8 liter V8 in the 380SL sold in the US at the time. This 500SL for sale in New York offers the SL enthusiast a chance at an R107 in one of its ultimate forms.
Just yesterday, Paul revisited a lovely green 1986 560 SL and reminded us that these cars are at the bottom of the market in terms of classic Mercedes-Benz convertible ownership. It was only a few years ago that the W113 was priced below $20,000; now getting into a good example of that car will set you back the best part of three times that amount if not more. While in my opinion the W113 was a much prettier car than the R107 successor, there’s no denying the presence and value these 1970s and 1980s drop-top Benzs offer. Yet, few of these cars were modified like the sedan counterparts; those that have are usually AMG cars. But today there are two different versions of the R107 that have been modified, showing the alternatives to Affalterbach crowd:
As I mentioned recently I like the monochromatic look on Benzs. This one fits that description, but is also quite special.
First and foremost it has traveled only 9,000 miles. Secondly, not nearly as important as the low mileage, is the AMG package on the car. The AMG package sets of the look of the car off nicely with bumpers, skirts, trunk lid spoiler, wheels, and requisite AMG steering wheel. The seller doesn’t provide a whole lot of information about the car, they do state that they believe it to be the only 1984 500SL with the AMG package, I’m not sure I believe that, but would hear the seller out if they have some sort of citation.
Though you might not expect a whole lot of service history with such a low mile car it would be nice to know where it has been all its life. It is stated that it has lived in a heated garage and only seen rain once. The seller describes the vehicle as having larger brakes and special gold paint, that actually looks peach in the photos. It would be nice to take a peak at the data card. The car comes with both the soft and hard top. It also sports Euro headlights.
The 5 liter V8 in the R107 isn’t seen as much in the states as other engines since it wasn’t officially offered here in the SL during the mid 80s. The rarest is the fixed roof 450SLC 5.0 and 500SLC. The 560SL was the top line model for the U.S. market. There were 5 times as many 560SL models produced as 500SL models worldwide. Of important note for those not familiar with the SL models of this era is that the 5.0 in euro trim was putting out greater horsepower than the larger 5.6 liter. The 5.6 being hampered by emissions restrictions was strangled in stock form.
The ask price on this ride is $29,500. When you have a real low mile gem you are allowed to ask whatever you want. I doubt anyone will take this one at that high a price, particularly with the thin description. The R107 was produced in such large numbers there won’t be as big of a premium placed on them by collectors even with the low mileage. There can’t be more than a handful out there with under 10,000 miles.
For the Superbowl I thought this car was appropriate.
A 1993 Mercedes 500SL formerly owned by NFL player and broadcaster Pat Summerall. I don’t really think there is much value added in the former owner status though, no offense to Pat.
67,000 miles is not much at all. With so many of these 5.0 Benz engines out there parts should not be outrageous. The seller says the car has a brand nw convertible top and another $1600 in recent tuneups. I kind of like the blackberry color on this car.
It is nice that it comes with both tops as I think if you aren’t going to drive topless the hardtop on the SL is a much better look than the softtop.
The $11,700 ask should have some play in it if the owner wants to sell.