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Tag: R170

2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK230

It seems like every time a first-generation Mercedes-Benz SLK catches my eye I look inside to see what seems like the inevitable. The paint on the center console is all worn away leaving a disaster of flaking paint and a total eyesore. Blame it on poor materials or careless owners, but these SLKs just don’t seem to be holding up as well as you might have expected. Once you realize that these were not just a mini-SL and built with more of the spirit of the C-Class in mind, you start to understand why they are aging like they are. It is possible to keep these nice in ideal conditions by ideal owners, but now that these cars are old enough to buy cigarettes, they are few and far between. Much to my surprise, this SLK230 up for sale in California is one of the better ones I’ve seen for sale in a long time. The best part? This price almost seems too good to be true.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK230 on eBay

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2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK230 Designo

The first generation Mercedes-Benz SLK was all about fun. When the SLK was launched, Mercedes said it was ”driving in a new dimension.” I kind of get what they were after but I’ll just chalk it up to some marketing-speak. While the R129 was the serious roadster with a serious price tag, the R170 was the light-hearted option that checked in at $40,000 as opposed to the $80,000 and up if you went with SL500. There was a finally an option for people who didn’t want to spend starter home money for a Mercedes convertible. The best part about it was that the normally ultra-conservative styling you were used to seeing was moved towards something that still could be recognized as a Mercedes, but a breath of fresh air and a look into the new millennium. You want a crazy color? Sure. Matching seats? You got it. And how about something those stuffy R129 buyers don’t have, an automatic, retractable hardtop? Yep, that will make Morty and Barb from the club jealous. How about one more thing, a supercharger. Now we are going crazy!

All this was really great in the late 1990s. Times were good, money was flowing and there was no reason to believe that you when you bought a SLK, you weren’t getting that same standard of quality that you were used to from every Mercedes convertible of past. All the way from the 300SL and 190SL to the R129 and C124 and everything in between, those were really special cars. There is a reason why the W111/112 Cabriolet is still a six-figure car and Pagodas even in the roughest of condition are starting at $50,000. The thing with the SLK was that all of a sudden the generous amount of leather and wood you were accustomed to in your top-down Mercedes was suddenly replaced with vinyl and plastic. Lots and lots of plastic. It’s tough to blame Mercedes as they needed to directly compete with the BWM Z3 that was well into production and buyers didn’t care all that much because they got a convertible with that giant three-pointed in the grille for half the price they usually are. Everyone wins.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK230 Designo on eBay

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Convertible Week: 2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK230 5-speed manual

It was around my second year in college that the chance arose for me to finally get behind the wheel of the (then) newly introduced Mercedes SLK230. My first impression is that for such a small car, it drove just like a regular Mercedes. Except it was smaller. Up until around 15 years ago, I maintained that you could blindfold me and I could tell you if I was riding in a Mercedes or not. The SLK was no different. Steering with a bit of heft to it, a firm but compliant ride and a smooth automatic gearbox were the order of the day. Some complained about the agricultural nature of the supercharged inline-4, but it offered plenty of power to scoot you around in a hurry.

Mercedes upped the enthusiast ante shortly after the SLK debuted and offered a 5-speed manual gearbox. Not since the 190E had US customers been able to spec a Mercedes with three pedals. To this day, you can still order a new SLK250 with a 6-speed manual, but who knows how long that will last. I tend to think someone at Mercedes-Benz USA forgot this was on the menu. If you don’t want to plunk down the coin for a new SLK, this SLK230 for sale in Pennsylvania gives you the chance to enjoy a lot of fresh air and the freedom to row your own.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK230 on eBay

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1998 Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 Kompressor

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At age 10 I was really into collecting die-cast models from Maisto and I vividly remember picking up a 1/18 scale version of the car you see above. As a 10 year old a model of a bright yellow roadster with a functional folding top seems pretty damn cool but only a few short years later after seeing a real one I found myself thinking “that car is so lame.” Of course it was completely due to the circumstances in which I saw the car (tacky retirees at the wheel) and the fact that my automotive tastes had begun to shift towards overwrought Japanese vehicles. If only I had realized in my youth what I have realized now, the R170 SLK is a pretty nifty little car and holds an important place in Mercedes Benz history.

With it’s folding steel convertible top the first gen SLK was quite the head turner in it’s debut year. Mercedes sold 55,000 of the retro-futuristic roadsters worldwide and it snagged the title of North American Car of the Year from Car & Driver in 1998. Weighing a respectable 3,036 lbs. and featuring a 185hp supercharged inline-4 engine, the SLK 230 Kompressor moved from naught to 60 in 7.2 seconds which for the olden days of the late ’90s was pretty good. It marked Mercedes’ return to making a light little roadster with a four cylinder engine, something they hadn’t done since the glory days of the 190SL. I think it’s safe to say that had the SLK not been successful, Mercedes may not have figured out that it’s ok to put smaller motors in their cars when it suits the chassis.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz SLK230 on eBay

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