1992 MERCEDES-BENZ 300 SL R129

EN­GINE 2960cc/6-cyl/OHC POWER 190bhp@5700rpm TORQUE 192lbft@4000rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 142mph 0-60MPH 9.3sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 14-21mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, four-speed auto MoT 12 months from sale ODOMETER 75,000 miles

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Classic Car For Sale - Nathan Chad­wick

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

This car’s 3.0-litre M103 en­gine was car­ried over from the pre­vi­ous R107 SL – but with an ad­di­tional 10bhp – mak­ing it the small­est and old­est en­gine in the R129 SL line-up. That said, only the steep­est hills should cause it any prob­lems. What you may lack in out­right heave com­pared with the V8 and V12 SLs is more than made up for in fuel econ­omy. This par­tic­u­lar ex­am­ple fires up on the turn of the key and set­tles to a light whis­per. It’s quiet and re­fined, though kick­down is ac­com­pa­nied by a harsh metallic zing to let you know it’s there. The han­dling is cus­tom­ar­ily light but you al­ways feel as­sured be­hind the wheel. Brakes are sharp, yet pre­dictable. There’s no tram­lin­ing and no un­to­ward noises from the driv­e­train or power-as­sisted steer­ing.

BODY­WORK CHECK

The bright red paint re­ally pings in the sun and the body­work passes close scru­tiny, which is im­pres­sive, given the car’s age. There are a few stonechips to the front of the car, the odd swirl mark here and there and a bit of lac­quer peel on the pas­sen­ger door. Over­all, though, it’s in de­cent nick for the year. The roof works as it should and the fab­ric is in fine con­di­tion. The al­loy wheels are free from cor­ro­sion and kerb dam­age, there are no cracks in the win­dows or light lenses. We could find no signs of cor­ro­sion in any of the whee­larches.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

There are a few age-re­lated creases in the seat leather and some wear to the driver’s side seat bol­ster. A fault with the driver’s elec­tric seat means that it doesn’t go all the way back as it should, but this will be rec­ti­fied be­fore sale. How­ever, the stereo and elec­tric win­dows work as they should.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

Open­ing the long, lus­trous bon­net re­veals a tidy, if not ex­actly con­cours en­gine bay. There’s no ob­vi­ous cor­ro­sion and no ev­i­dence of leak­ing flu­ids – those same flu­ids are clear and up to the max­i­mum marks. A cool­ing fan that only op­er­ates in­ter­mit­tently means that keep­ing the car run­ning at idle is cur­rently prob­lem­atic, but again, the ven­dor says that this will be sorted be­fore the car is sold. A look at the ser­vice history re­veals plenty of old MoTs, but lit­tle in the way of stamped ser­vice history or bills for work per­formed on the car.

THE CCW VIEW

This is nei­ther a con­cours queen nor a road burner, but it is cer­tainly an hon­est ex­am­ple of a smart-look­ing Nineties SL. If you’re look­ing for an R129 that’s easy to look after, then the fact that this ex­am­ple’s en­gine is very well-known and rel­a­tively sim­ple to work on is a big plus. Ideal for en­joy­ing some top­down summer cruis­ing be­fore tack­ling the hand­ful of mi­nor jobs over win­ter, and tempt­ingly priced to boot.

EX­TE­RIOR Good paint Mi­nor stonechips IN­TE­RIOR Clean and tidy Faulty driver’s seat ME­CHAN­I­CALS Largely ex­cel­lent Rather slug­gish PROS Highly pre­sentable, great cruiser CONS Not ex­actly quick, lack of history

ASK­ING £5995 PRICE

All the electrics work per­fectly, bar the driver’s seat.

3.0-litre en­gine’s a hang­over from pre­vi­ous R107 SL.

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