All of a sudden we are in the middle of October and soon little Spider-Mans with coats on will be banging on your door wondering where the free candy is at. That means convertible season is all but over for most of America. That is, like my father used to yell at me for, unless you are one of those crazy people who puts the top down and blasts the heat which in turn is like trying to heat the whole neighborhood. The other scenario is of course if you live somewhere that doesn’t get snow then go ahead and enjoy your top down weather until the turkey is in the oven. That brings me to today’s car, a 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL320.
The SL320 and the pre-facelift 300SL have always stood deep in the shadow of big brothers V8 and V12 R129s and rightfully so. They are were just powerful enough that the car wasn’t a total dog, and usually they were low on standard features. Mercedes figured this out after eight long years with the inline-six SL and finally killed it off in the US after the 1998 model year. This leaves this example in Greenwich, Connecticut, a place where a four garage costs nearly $600,000, in rare company. The even better part about this car is that it had a pile of repairs and maintenance just competed. The thing is, is the price worthy of the little brother SL?
Back in the 1990s, Mercedes-Benz really started hitting their stride with producing a bunch of special editions that were all made up whenever they felt they need. Most of the time they just threw whatever they had in the parts bin on the cars when it came to paint colors, wheels, interior trim and then would finish it off by calling up their graphic designers to whip up a unique logo to stick around the car. Today’s car, a 2000 SL320 Mille Miglia, is exactly that.
Back in 1995, Mercedes actually launched a Millie Miglia edition to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Stirling Moss’s and Dennis Jenkinson’s win of the 1955 Mille Miglia road race. A nice gesture for sure, but I’m sure this decision was highly influenced, if not totally, by getting ready to launch a major facelift in 1996 for the R129 and they wanted to move all the old stock out. Offered on the SL280, SL320, and SL500, it was nothing more than some red inserts on the leather seats, carbon fiber trim with some red weave in it and some leftover EVO 2 wheels from, you guessed it, the parts bin. Then in 2000, Mercedes made another Mille Miglia edition, but just made 12 cars. Why 12 cars? Well, that is how many they needed to usher around VIPs at the Rally 1000 Miglia in Italy. In 2001, the final year of the R129, they again made 13 cars all based off the SL600. So what is unique about these cars? Well, it is basically a Silver Arrow with some badges on the outside and a little sticker on the ashtray door. That’s it. Lean manufacturing must be big at Mercedes.
Spring has sprung and convertible season is here. I type this as I look at my window to still see snow, but the calendar tells me it is officially spring so I’ll just go with that. What better way to start the warm seasons by picking up a relatively inexpensive roadster that won’t kill you in repairs/maintenance and maybe even make you a couple of dollars if you hold on to it long enough. If that is your goal, the R129 Mercedes-Benz SL320 might just be the perfect car. Fortunately, this 1996 up for sale in Maryland checks in with just under 94,000 miles and is a really good deal. How good?
Last week I checked out a 1999 Mercedes-Benz S500 Grand Edition and explained that I think it is one of the few ”special edition” Mercedes that actually has some kind of impact on the value of the car. Today, we have of those ”special edition” Mercedes that really doesn’t move the needle with people and even more so, some think what was done to it makes it undesirable.
This is a 1997 SL320 40th Anniversary Edition. I’ve covered these before, but the short of it is Mercedes made 250 SL320s painted in Quartz Blue Metallic with matching wood trim called ”Royal Maple” which is far from a color that comes to mind when you think wood. Some like the uniqueness of it, some say it’s garish and doesn’t make any sense. Either way, this example up for sale in Georgia is probably one of the lowest mile examples I’ve seen with just over 21,000, but does that mean the price tag has to match?
After looking at the wild GT R with an asking price over $260,000, I thought I’d get back to something a little more affordable. This 1995 SL320 painted in Teal Blue Metallic checks in with a hair under 43,000 miles and is a prime candidate to drive everyday or stash away in the garage for those nicer days. The tried and tested M104 inline-6 engine is a great engine to live with and won’t cost you a mortgage payment if something goes wrong unlike the V8 and V12. But like anything, there is a catch, and this catch makes me bang my head against a brick wall.
To continue on the theme of non-traditional colored R129s, today we have a SL320 that not only has a unusual exterior color but an inside has a color hereto unseen on the legendary Mercedes roadster. In 1997, decided to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the SL with a special edition SL320 and SL500. All painted in Quartz Blue Metallic, the 6-cylinder SL320 is more rare with only 250 examples produced while the SL500, those all painted in Crimson Metallic, had twice as many with 500 being built. Apparently Mercedes-Benz felt that special exterior color wasn’t enough to set these cars apart. So let’s find out what is inside this 40th Anniversary Edition for sale in Florida.
The 1997 Mercedes-Benz SL320 we featured earlier in the month is back up for sale once more, just in time for someone seeking a looker for the summer months.
The below post originally appeared on our site April 19, 2014:
The R129 SL still had a bit of life left in it as it entered the late 1990s, but 1997 would be the end for the six-cylinder SL in the US market. Before the SL320 would leave the market, a special edition model would appear to commemorate 40 years of the 300SL, the 40th Anniversary Edition SL. Only 250 SL320 models came with this package, along with 500 of the SL500. The SL500 would feature Crimson Metallic with Chestnut interior and the SL320, like you see here, would be offered in Quartz Blue with a gray interior and royal maple wood trim. This wood trim was an odd choice, as it appeared more like marble than wood. I wasn’t a particular fan of it, but it is certainly different. If you’re looking for an SL that stands out from the crowd, this SL320 for sale in Arizona would be a good selection.
I’m always one intrigued by the road less traveled when it comes to cars. Maybe that’s what prompted me to post that BMW Z3 3.0i Coupe with the automatic transmission earlier in the week. Likewise, this SL320 was a more obscure choice for the SL buyer in the US market in 1995, tallying about half the sales of its V8 sibling, the SL500. The SL320 isn’t a particularly fast machine, but if you are looking for a luxurious cruiser with all of the looks, a car like this 1995 SL320 for sale in Texas would fit the bill.
With the introduction of the R129 SL in 1990, this marked the first time Mercedes-Benz brought a six cylinder SL to the US market since 1971 in the form of the 300SL. With the changeover in nomenclature in 1994, the 300SL became the SL320 and featured the 3.2 liter, 220 horsepower M104 inline six. As the SLK entered the pipeline in 1997, Mercedes-Benz apparently felt no need to offer a lesser engined SL stateside anymore and pulled the plug on the SL320 in 1997. This SL for sale in Florida represents that final year of six cylinder SLs and looks sharp with the classic AMG Monoblock rims.
For sale is a gorgeous Mercedes-Benz SL320 with only 52,444 original miles! This car is beautiful inside and out. The SL320 is accident free and comes with a clean Carfax. It comes in one of its most elegant, sought after color combinations Smoke Sliver exterior with Black interior. It is truly a beautiful and super elegant car! The soft top has just been replaced as well as the hard top headliner. There are no scratches and dents from removing the hard top. All top hydraulic work perfectly with no leaks. There are a few chips in the paint but have been professionally touched up with the factory paint.
The interior is in excellent condition and has no scratches from getting in and out. All wood parts are flawless and look brand new. The bumpers are in perfect shape with no curb damage or scuffs. The SL320 has the 18 inch AMG sport package wheels with a fresh set of tires on it. The rims are curb rash free and are in excellent shape. The Mercedes has no know mechanical issues at all! It has the fuel efficient and reliable 6 cylinder engine and still has plenty of performance. The SL320 drives and shifts very smooth like you would expect from a Mercedes-Benz. We serviced the car throughout and it needs nothing but a new owner! We took a lot of pictures so you can judge for yourself. The car is currently driven for test drives, so the mileage at the date of sale might be slightly higher.
Usually, you see these six cylinder SLs in stock form, as few were offered with the AMG package. I for one am a huge fan of this look, as it adds a bit of aggressiveness to what is otherwise a boulevard cruiser. At almost $15,000, we’re about $3,000 to $4,000 over what is realistic for a six cylinder SL of this vintage, as you can get an SL500 for similar money. Some buyers may appreciate the added fuel economy and cheaper running costs of the 3.2 liter inline six, though. Even in the rather pedestrian shade of Smoke Silver, this car has such a clean look that makes me year for the heyday of designer Bruno Sacco’s work.