To all our American readers, Happy Thanksgiving! To all our readers outside the United States, sorry you have to work today but hopefully today’s car makes up for it. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG was the spiritual successor to the legendary 300SL that was produced from 1954 to 1963, mainly because of it’s distinctive gullwing doors and blistering performance. When the SLS launched in 2010 it not only wowed people with its design but with it’s power that launched this car to 60 mph in the mid-three second range.
Of course like the original 300SL, a roadster would soon follow for the SLS, which is what today’s car in California is. I like to think of the roadster versions of the 300SL and SLS like when Michael Jordan quit basketball and went to play minor league baseball. Jordan built his legacy and fame in basketball so much that you literally had tens of thousands of people following him around just to watch him strike out in Birmingham, Alabama. That’s what happened with these cars – you take away the gullwing doors and it’s just another Mercedes roadster, just like Jordan was just another minor league baseball player. But it’s the past reputation, along with how great a driver’s car they were in the first place, that kept these models in demand and values on par with the original. Go check out values for a 300SL Roadster, they are usually in the $1,000,000 to $1,400,000 range, right where the gullwing cars are. The same is happening with the SLS, with the Roadster prices side by side with comparable Gullwing cars. Logic would say the whole point of this car was the doors and it would carry a premium over the Roadster, but I think that would be true if Mercedes-Benz mailed it in on the rest of the car — which they clearly didn’t.