Mercedes Benz SL Class R129 500SL | eBay
I am the car’s second owner, having purchased it in January of this year from an elderly couple, who used the car only a few months each year when visiting from their primary residence in Japan. They originally acquired the car new from Jim Slemons Imports, a now-defunct Orange County dealership, in April of 1991. The MSRP of the car at that time was $95,180, according to the original window sticker (which is included with the sale).
The car has lived its entire life garaged in California, with regular but sparing use, and has always been maintained by Mercedes-Benz dealers or specialists with no expense spared. It is easily one of the best examples available.
Exterior: 8.5 out of 10
The car is completely original and has never been in an accident nor had any paint or bodywork of any kind. The arctic white paint (code 147) shines with a depth that only older Mercedes-Benz vehicles seem able to achieve. Any flaws I’ve found are well-documented in the photos -- mostly minor parking-related scrapes. Also, at some point a vandal attempted to remove the 500SL badge from the rear trunk lid, causing some damage. (I have fully removed the badge, and it is included with the sale.) I’ve chosen to leave everything as-is rather than to disturb the original paint.
The car still wears its original black soft top. While fully functional, the top is showing its age with slightly yellowed plastic windows and one small tear (see photos). If you plan on using the soft top frequently, I would recommend having the entire rear panel replaced, which would run approximately $800 at a high-quality convertible top specialist.
The original white hard top is in outstanding shape and sports a recent new headliner. Included with the car is an aftermarket hard top storage cart and cover.
Interior: 9.5 out of 10
The black leather interior (code 271) is like new. The only notable sign of wear is some scuffing on the left bolster of the driver’s seat (see photos). Additionally, the plastic cover of the vanity mirror on the driver’s sun visor has broken off (I still have it), and the small cover that slides over the lower third of the center console has fallen within the console and needs to be retrieved. Otherwise, all switches, gauges, lights, windows, climate control functions, cruise control, etc. are working perfectly, as does the convertible top mechanism.
Mechanical: 9 out of 10
The car runs and drives like the low-mileage, well-maintained Mercedes-Benz that it is. The 322-horsepower V8 motor idles almost silently yet pulls authoritatively when willed, and the transmission shifts through all gears quickly and smoothly, including the proper (and thrilling) kick-down at full throttle. The car tracks straight, soaks up bumps with no funny suspension noises, and the steering and brakes are both tight. It rides on brand-new Continental ExtremeContact DW tires.
The only reason I am not giving the car a 10 out of 10 mechanically is that it occasionally runs rough for a few seconds when first started, usually after it’s been sitting for at least a day or two. I have not yet attempted to diagnose this issue, partly because it is easily avoided by giving the car just a tiny bit of throttle when firing it up. The engine runs perfectly at all other times and just passed the CA smog test with exemplary numbers, including no measurable CO emissions.
Being a lifelong Southern California car, this 500SL is entirely rust-free. Also, there are no oil or fluid leaks of any kind.
The car has received all of its scheduled maintenance and repairs at Mercedes-Benz dealerships or specialists, and it comes with service records dating back to its first inspection at 1700 miles at Jim Slemons Imports (noted in the stamped maintenance booklet, which comes with the car).
Recent repairs and maintenance include…
@ 56k miles: new distributors & rotors, new engine air filters & cabin air filter, new transmission fluid & filter, new engine oil & filter, new fuel filter, new differential oil, new steering damper
@ 54k miles: new brake rotors and pads
@ 53k miles: new alternator
I welcome and encourage private party inspections (at the buyer’s expense, of course).
Classic car specialist Hagerty Insurance reports an average value of $9,444 for this model and year, ranging from $19,800 for a concours-ready example (#1 on their scale) to $6200 for one in fair condition and many notable flaws (#4 on their scale). My car is between a 2 and a 3 on the Hagerty scale, which equates to a value of $11,250; however, I am willing to sell to a Benzworld member for $1500 below that value, or $9750.
Reason for Sale
I’m selling the car now because it’s currently just a weekend car for me, and I would like to use the funds to offset the costs of some upcoming home improvement work.
Additional Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sc/ua28dbj2w...AMP_cwW2N7tWma