2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500

A few weeks ago I took a look at probably the best R230 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG I’ve ever come across. Turns out I wasn’t the only one who felt that way before it sold shortly after we featured it. That of course had me digging in the R230 rabbit hole and it looks like I hit gold today. This 2003 up for sale Oregon is a pretty standard example. First model year, has a couple dings and scars, 133,000 miles, but overall what’d you expect. It isn’t a flood car or two SLs welded together. Just a used 2003 SL500. Then I saw the price and wondered how insane an idea it would be drive a 16 year-old Mercedes convertible across the country. It’s that cheap.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500 on eBay

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1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL

The W113 Mercedes-Benz Pagoda is one of those cars you can buy an example for $40,000 all the way up to $240,000 and no one would bat an eye at you for doing so. Condition and spec can vary widely, so naturally prices do as well. Outside of the wheel choices, they all have the same general look and the only major factor in determining price is the engine choice. You can chose between the 230, 250, or 280 spec with generally the 280 and manuals demanding the greatest dollar amount. Are the other two choices bad? Not at all. You aren’t exactly competing in vintage road racing in a Pagoda, so while the upgraded power from the 280 is surely nice, the main goal of this car is to cruise and look good. So if a 230SL came up for sale for a reasonable price with the right transmission, like we have today, would you say no?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL on eBay

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2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

Earlier this year I took a deep dive into what the R230 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG is and where it might be headed into the future. It is a car that can hold its own without a doubt, but certainly is not at the top of anyone’s list when it comes to buying a convertible for around $25,000. However, today we have a 2005 that might change everyone’s opinion at how these things look. This SL55 up for sale in California is painted in the very rare Orion Blue and shows just under 30,000 miles. The condition is nearly perfect and frankly, I love it very much. Where do I send my money?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG on eBay

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2002 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Silver Arrow with 4,600 miles

As much as I love cars with an insane amount of miles on them, finding older cars with just a handful of miles can be just as fun. This 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Silver Arrow checks in from California with just 4,600 miles on the odometer and the classic story of “bought it for the wife, she didn’t drive it”. The last Silver Arrow I looked was a SL600 with just 5,400 miles that carried a truly insane price tag of over $100,000. This SL500 actually looks like a brand new car and the seller states that all the service was done on a regular basis regardless of mileage or use. Thankfully, this car isn’t six figures like the SL600, but it still is going to set you back a boat load more than what a Silver Arrow with around 100,000 miles will run you. Are you in?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Silver Arrow on eBay

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Roll the Dice: 1994 Mercedes-Benz SL500

I must be getting old, because it seems like every year that passes my tolerance for “project cars” gets smaller and smaller. When I had a bunch of free time, I had no problem messing around for countless hours on one of my cars. Now? Get this job finished as fast as possible and be done with it. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my cars, but they wear my patience thin sometimes. This doesn’t mean I still don’t browse for cheap cars constantly and run across some that might not take all that much to have a decent example for way less than market value. Today’s car, a 1994 Mercedes-Benz SL500 up for sale in California, might be that. Looking at the price, I thought it was going to be a total basket case that didn’t run or looked like a nice family of mongooses took up residence in the interior. Much to my surprise, that isn’t the case and this car actually has some extra goodies on it as well.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz SL500 on eBay

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2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

Now that I’ve exhausted all of the nice Mercedes-Benz R129s currently on the market, I wanted to wander over to the R230 to see how things are going with the first SL with a folding hard top. The R230 was a giant leap forward in terms of styling and technology compared to the R129 as now the normally boxy and square roadster suddenly didn’t have a flat edge on the entire car. It was what needed to be done to keep the car relevant in the new millennium with the legacy buyers coming back as well as capture the hearts of all the new money buyers that wanted a sleek roadster that didn’t feel like an old man or woman’s car that was driven to the country club on a Sunday morning to play golf. It is tough to stay that Mercedes didn’t succeed in that as even now that the R230 is 17 years-old, it still doesn’t look or feel that age. Sure, some of the tech is dated, but getting in of these cars doesn’t scream ”this car can legally buy cigarettes next year” old.

Of course, with the introduction of the SL500 and V12 SL600 in the R230, Mercedes stepped up their game in the US market by giving customers the SL55 AMG that was a hit as soon as they landed on dealer lots. A 0-60 time in 4.4 seconds thanks to 493 horsepower and 520 lbâ‹…ft of torque, the SL55 wore the crowd of the fastest automatic transmission car in the world for a short time before the big brother SLR came on to the scene in 2003. The SL55 continued to be the model of choice over the more expensive V12 SL600 until it was replaced by the SL63 in 2008. The SL65 AMG joined the lineup in 2005 with its twin-turbocharged V12 making an insane 604 horsepower and 738 lbâ‹…ft of torque, but also carried a price tag starting at $185,000. Needless to say, the SL55 remained the best bang for the buck at a still very expensive $115,000, but was a bargain compared to competitors Ferrari 360 and Aston Martin’s DB7 Volante in terms of both purchase price and cost of running. Today, the SL55 sits in that no man’s land of not old enough to be considered a classic and not modern enough to be considered by people who want to be impressed by a bunch of tech. Add in the fact that the running costs can scare some people off, a Corvette seems like a much better buy for the convertible crowd who take Sunday cruises to the Daily Queen. What does that mean for prices on these beasts? Very good things if you are willing to commit to owning one. At least this example up for sale in North Carolina proves that.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG on eBay

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SL 6.0 AMG

I promise that this will be the last Mercedes-Benz R129 for a while. It’s just that I ran across this car and if you look at the title, you know it is something special. This is a 1990 500SL 6.0 AMG with just under 22,000 miles. The backstory on this car is that it was originally commissioned by the Jordanian Royal Family in 1990 but for whatever reason never made it there and ended up in Japan. This car was built as a normal 500SL before being transported to AMG’s facilities in Affalterbach for the full conversion. The biggest change to the car was of course the M119 being converted to a 6 liter which increased power to 380hp and 428ft-lb of torque. Those are respectable numbers even for today, never mind in 1990. Now it is up for sale in San Diego and ready for a new home.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SL 6.0 AMG at Symbolic International

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1997 Mercedes-Benz SL60 AMG

I know everyone might be getting just a little sick of all the silver R129 Mercedes-Benz models I’ve been covering as of late, but I promise this one is worth it. This is a 1997 Mercedes-Benz SL60 AMG up for sale just outside of London. The backstory on the SL60 AMG is a little murky but I’m going to try to explain it the best I can. These cars were officially sold through Mercedes as a SL60 from 1993 to 1998, meaning when you run the VIN it comes back as a SL60 and not just as SL500s that were converted after the fact like we see a lot of times. There wasn’t much fanfare or marketing for these; they made somewhere between 1000 and 1500 with all of them being sold anywhere but North America.

The modifications are what you might have guessed: the 5.0 liter M119 converted to a 6.0 liter that made a conservative 381 horsepower. The rest of the stuff depended on the year and what the AMG factory felt like putting in the car. I don’t have any explanation as to why some cars were sold with Xenon and some weren’t. The same went with the interior changes as some cars got AMG gauge clusters while some didn’t and some interiors were crazy colors but others were just standard R129 interiors from that year. I believe that all the cars, except the very early ones, received the two-piece AMG wheels in the staggered setup. Today’s car is one of the few right hand drive examples that were built and honestly priced pretty reasonable in the grand scheme of things.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Mercedes-Benz SL60 AMG on eBay

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2002 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Silver Arrow

Last week on Christmas day I looked at a 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Silver Arrow that had a little bit of a mixed reaction. Even though it had only 70,000 miles and spent the majority of its life in Florida, the wood on the center console had some odd stuff going on with it. That is often the one minus of cars in the regions of no snow: you have to deal with the heat, along with the sun, that can wreak havoc on wood and leather. For the $17,000 asking price, you could probably find a better car or at least a better deal if you planned on driving it regularly. Today, I might have found that better deal. This Silver Arrow up for sale Atlanta, Georgia has 40,000 more miles but of course has some flaws to go along with those miles. The good news is the price is much cheaper than $17,000. How cheap?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Silver Arrow on eBay

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1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

Most of the time the cars I feature are really nice examples. Mostly because no one wants to look at junk, outside of a few exceptions, and the majority of the cars that are offered for sale to the masses are actually cars people want to buy. For every nice W124 Mercedes-Benz on eBay, there are a dozen of them sitting behind barbed-wire fences at Buy-Here, Pay-Here lots with one flat tire. Today’s car, a 1982 500SL, is in an interesting position. The model itself is always considered desirable and people generally like them, but this specific example needs a lot of love to get it back to its former glory. Given the price, compared to really nice ones, is it worth taking on as a project?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SL on eBay

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