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In terms of the R129 Mercedes-Benz, it doesn’t get better than this. This is the SL73 AMG. Just 85 were made and they are the only SL fitted with M297 V12, which is a variant of the M120 that was tuned by AMG. This is the same 7.3 V12 that powered the early Zonda cars and, of course, the CLK GTR Straßenversion. It is basically the cream of the crop when it comes to the naturally aspirated Mercedes V12 engines and threw down an impressive output of 561 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque. Even looking at it is worth the price of admission. But to have the engine and all the car wrapped around it? Bring a very large check.
The mighty Mercedes-Benz SL73 AMG: A car that can’t be mentioned without saying the word ”Zonda” in the same sentence. Less than 100 of these monsters started life as a regular SL600 with the M120 6.0 liter V12 and were shipped up to the AMG factory for some special touches and an increased displacement to 7.3 liters good for over 540 horsepower. The eponymous 7.3 liters were so good that they made their way in the Pagani Zonda and the rest was history. With so few of these cars made, if they ever come up for sale, they usually don’t go for cheap nor stay for sale long. Now that this 1999 is available for sale in California, it’s time to take a close look at this thing while we can.
The breadth of engines offered in the R129 Mercedes-Benz SL is rather remarkable. US customers were limited to the 3.0 (and later 3.2 liter) inline-6, 5.0 liter V8 and 6.0 liter V12. It’s not surprising that other markets had access to other, more special variants. One of the largest displacement engines offered in a Mercedes-Benz in the post-war era found it’s way under the hood of the car we see here, the SL73 AMG. And yes, the number 73 denotes a 7.3 liter V12 resting under the bonnet, capable of 525 horsepower and 558 lb. ft. of torque. This engine would go on to power the dramatic Pagani Zonda S, a supercar capable of almost 200 mph.