1993 Mercedes-Benz SL500 R129 – Today’s Tempter

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

SL500 front side SL500 front side
SL500 rear side SL500 rear side
SL500 engine SL500 engine
SL500 interior SL500 interior
SL500 interior doorcards SL500 interior doorcards

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.


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.


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.


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.


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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