1993 Mercedes-Benz SL500 R129 – Today’s Tempter

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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The ultimate summer car: well-priced Aus-delivered V8 R129 Benz

The collectability of Mercedes-Benz’s ubiquitous SL-Class roadster can be traced back to the original "Gullwing" models of the 50s, and have ever since remained the Three-pointed Star’s classic luxury drop-top tourer.

In the face of ever-appreciating elders in its lineage (‘Pagoda Roof’ SLs have been collectible for a long time, and have subsequently dragged up prices of the otherwise mechanically uninteresting R109):  we’ve long been of the opinion that the R129-generation of 1989 is one to watch.

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Prices have been shoring up, but they’re as of yet still remarkably affordable for a car that’s come to archetype 80s design and technology.

Under its angular body, the R129 gained a new multi-link rear end replacing the previous R109’s primitive swing axle. The late-80s drop-top Benz was also one of the most technologically-advanced vehicles for the time, whose party trick included a hidden rollover bar that would pop-up and deploy within milliseconds.

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Princess Diana even bought one, but was forced to return it amidst a media whirlwind that slammed her for not buying British.

Engines ranged from a 2.8lt inline-six through to a rare (and ludicrously expensive) 6.0lt V12, but the mid-range 5.0lt V8 SL500 model was the popular option.

This 1993-model SL500 is an Aussie-delivered example, finished in white over black leather interior.

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The seller states that it was recently serviced by a Mercedes-Benz workshop, and that their local dealership stated that it was the "best" SL500 they’ve ever seen.

The SL500 is described as rust free, with a strong engine and fault-free mechanicals and electrics.

The 18" AMG wheels are shod in brand new Pirelli Pzero tyres, comes with both hard and soft tops; and is fully operational down to the complex suspension self-levelling system.

The only departure from factory is a modern Bluetooth headunit, but the seller states that the original Becker radio will be included in the sale.

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It’s a higher-km example than most of its kind, with the listing indicating an odometer reading of 213,000kms. However, this Benz comes from the famous era of over-engineering, and should be relatively safe as long as service history is complete and up to date.

It’s well worth investigating for its attractive $18,990 pricetag. This car could well be one to enjoy and take care of for years to come, and may even return you a few dollars if the time should come to sell.

The car is based in New South Wales, and you can check out the full listing here!

 

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