sl Shop lets you try its classics
Dealer moves into events, track days – and new premises
A leading Mercedes-Benz specialist is aiming to get as many classic enthusiasts behind the wheel of an SL as possible – thanks to a major new series of events.
Midlands-based The SL Shop, Europe’s largest specialist in the cars, has launched the SL Experience, which offers packages such as a £45 on-track test drive, hiring a car and taking one on a continental tour.
SL Days will take place at Bicester Heritage on 28 April, 7 July and 1 September where customers will be able to drive one car or a ‘timeline’ of models spanning half a century. These are expected to include a 1960s W113 250 SL Pagoda, R107 300 SL and 500 SL and an early 1980s 4.5-litre V8 SportLine.
Speed fans can enjoy a SportLine track day at Donington on 18 May, 19 August or 4 September, with a qualified race instructor, and the chance to drive SLs at the circuit.
‘It’s about giving as many people as possible the chance to experience these fine cars, and also getting the message across that these cars aren’t an investment like a painting or a sculpture, but something that you can use and enjoy,’ says SL Shop managing director, Sam Bailey.
Three tours are being organised, in Wales from 12-15 March, a Classic Europe trip with Bruges and Stuttgart among the cities on the itinerary on 10-15 September and the Isle of Wight on 19-22 October.
Bailey, who has been a lifelong SL fan since he worked on the cars with his father as a youngster, established the SL Shop ten years ago. Today the company employs around 25 people and annual parts turnover alone exceeds £1 million.
Buoyed by its recent successes, The SL Shop is planning to move from its present home near Redditch, in Worcestershire to new, larger premises in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Adds Bailey: ‘ We feel that that many aspects of the business have grown to the maximum size possible in order for us to remain niche and passionate about these cars, which is another reason for us introducing this new venture.’
SL hire starts from £245 per day for an R107 or £395 for a long weekend. Nick Larkin
customers will be able to drive the sl shop’s one-off Mercedes-Benz sl sportline at Bicester Heritage.