Mercedes-Benz SL 500
ENGINE 4973cc/V8/DOHC POWER 322bhp@5500rpm TORQUE 332lb ft@4000rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 155mph 0-60MPH 6.3sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 21-25mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, four-speed automatic MoT 12 months ODOMETER 21,200 miles
This SL 500’s 5.0-litre V8 fires up to a healthy, lusty burble. There’s plenty of performance on tap, but quieten down and the SL is the perfect longdistance cruiser. The suspension is soft and compliant but with no wallowing, and the steering is light but precise. The brakes are sharp yet predictable and there are no untoward noises from the drivetrain or suspension. There are no dead zones in the steering and the four-speed automatic gearbox shifts through its ratios smoothly.
This really is a time portal back to the early 1990s – the blue-black metallic paint contrasts beautifully with the Alto Grey lower trim, and is set off wonderfully by the orange indicators. The panels are all as Mercedes intended and the paint is beautifully even across the whole car. The shut lines are excellent and even throughout, and we found no evidence of corrosion. The window rubbers and chrome trim are in excellent shape. The 15-hole, 16-inch alloy wheels are in generally excellent condition, with only minor kerb marks present. The car wears Yokohama S-Drive tyres, front and rear, all of which have plenty of tread remaining.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
As befits such a low-mileage car, the interior looks as if it’s come straight from the dealer back in 1992. The seats show only very minor wear and the wooden trim is free from scratches and marks. It’s worth noting that this is a Japanese market car, so the odometer reads in kilometres, so bear this in mind when fully exploiting the SL 500’s healthy 322bhp near a speed camera. Both the metal and fabric roof materials are in excellent condition, with no marks. This car is fitted with a dealer-fit Technics sound system, which comprises a subwoofer behind the passenger seat and a CD auto changer in the boot. It also comes with the original toolkit and what appears to be an unused spare wheel.
UNDER THE BONNET
It’s tricky to see much under the long sculpted bonnet because most of the R129’s beating heart is hidden beneath a plastic shroud. But what is visible is free from corrosion, and it’s all very clean. All the fluids are up to the maximum mark and none show any signs of leaking. Making sense of the Japanese service history will be a challenge to those who aren’t fluently bilingual, but we can see regular stamps in the service book.
THE CCW VIEW With iconic early 1990s looks – largely thanks to the orange indicators – this SL really grabs your attention even before you get close to it. When you do, its quality is astounding; it really does look like it disappeared off a showroom floor in 1992 and reappeared 25 years later. It’s definitely well worth a look.
PROS Excellent condition throughout CONS Japanese speedo and service history, price
ASKING £23,995 PRICE