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'98 SL500
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Do you think the R129 looks as good, if not better, than it did when it debuted? What are your thoughts and what do you think others think of the design? The consensus of my friends think it looks great, but a bit dated. :(
 

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'91 300SL(sold) 2000 SL320 Edition '94 E220 T auto
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I think the original non facelift looks the best and I say that because I think the front and rear bumpers look inkeeping with the angular shape of the car. When the softened facelift '96 on appeared I believe the car lost a bit of it's original style. Even the seats lost the same angular look which again suited the car.

MB has been guilty of this with the W202 C Class and to a lesser extent with the W210 E Class adding on lower bumper mouldings and losing clean lines, making the facelifts in my opinion less desireable. They didn't really change a lot on the R107 SL but I suppose it's chrome bumpers were less akin to reshaping! My apologies on behalf of MB for the impact resistant extra large bumpers fitted to some of these models!!!

I do quite like the late "Sport" model AMG bodykit you guys have stateside on late MY cars (which we have on only AMG cars) but i'm still not sure they're excactly in keeping with the angles of the car, they are quite rounded off in their design.

Lets hope all 129's start appreciating, it must happen, it would be the first MB convertible not to gain classic or cult type status.
 

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00 SL500 SOLD, 05 SL600 Sport, 09 Silverado 4x4 LTZ,SOLD '15Silverado LTZ 6.2 8Speed John Deere 318
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The lines of this car are destined to be Classic, The thing is, each time a car model is updated,it takes a few years for "most people" to get used to it. When they do, the prior model becomes "dated" I would love to have a 230, But, so far, The 129 still looks good to Me. And the price is still out of reach! I agree that the interior's look dated, but I can live with that. Mercedes interiors have ALWAYS been a little plain.
 

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Mercedes 320sl
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I think the design is pure class, and I don't think class can ever date, it's like the great British sports cars E-type, MGB, Triumph TR6, Sunbeam Alpine, Austin Healey they all still look fantastic today and we prefer to see them in original condition and not tarted up with modern gizmos fitted.
The reason I spent 2 years trying to find an R129 was because it has just the right balance, modern but a little old world charm thrown in for good measure

That's my 2 pence worth or 4 cents.

Keep Smiling
Baggers
 

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The latest generation is a just a little too flashy for my tastes. The three previous gens were quite understated and very classy as a Benz should be.

Yes the R129's interior is a little plain and the headlights were a trend born of the "edged design" period. My only complaint is that the ragtop should mimic the lines of the hardtop a little closer. The design should work and look great all three ways - top up, top down, or hard top.

The R129, while not an instant classic, will become one in a few years. The common 300's, 320's, and 500's will become the daily drivers and weekend cruisers and the 600's (in shorter supply) will become the trailer queens for show.

If I had the spare bucks (and garage space) I would search out the best Silver Arrow I could find and park it.
 

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MB SL600, MB 380SE, Suzuki Grand Vitara, 38' Chris-Craft, Volvo V70XC, and my own two feet...
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I agree with the couple guys above who say that the original '90-'95 design is the best looking. As they have aged and other cars have become swoopy and space-ship looking (I just keep waiting for gigantic 1950s/1960s era tail-fins to come back in style), the '90-'95 R129s remain unabashedly angular and symmetrical.

It is quite refreshing to look at when you see one on the road. The later R129s started going along with the "swoopy" trend, to their visual detriment. While the later ones are still great-looking cars, the early 129s are just phenomenal looking by comparison. The perfectly symmetrical lines, the angles, and the elegant simplicity of the interior will make the car a classic. Give it time. I, for one, am never selling mine!
 

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E350 Sport
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I think the design is pure class, and I don't think class can ever date, it's like the great British sports cars E-type, MGB, Triumph TR6, Sunbeam Alpine, Austin Healey they all still look fantastic today and we prefer to see them in original condition and not tarted up with modern gizmos fitted.
The reason I spent 2 years trying to find an R129 was because it has just the right balance, modern but a little old world charm thrown in for good measure

That's my 2 pence worth or 4 cents.

Keep Smiling
Baggers
you waited 2 years, i fell into mine 6 weeks ago.

a year ago my son was about to graduate from highschool, was in a band with willie nelson's kids and got a signing bonus for the cd before going on tour opening for willie that summer.

with the bonus, got a beautiful '95e320 with 70k miles.

i've been looking at '95's since and found the sl320 at a dealer. didn't know what it was and about ....when i saw it.
they'd had it for 120+ days and i got it for $7k/92k miles and runs like a dream.

the radio needed to be replaced and i put a clarion usb/aux-ipod in it from crutchfield for $149.

the mb adapter spliced into the clarion and was up/running in 45 min and sounds great.
with usb, i'll never see another cd in the car.:cool:
 

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Y2K SL500 Silver
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It's my opinon that you can't beat the look of a MY88-89 top down R107 that is in great condition. They ride like a dream because of the higher profile tires and the car can certainly be considered a classic. Although I love the look of my top down R129 and the performance difference that I get from the M113 engine.

BTW, I got a lot more compliments when I had my MY89 560SL. Take a look at the web links below if you want to compare.
 

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1999 SL500 Sport, Black Opal Pearl, Helios Leather, Pano roof, AMG Aero2 18"Split Rims, Rear Seats
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I will buck the trend, I think a later car with the sport/ AMG set up with 18 inch wheels is the pick of the bunch. With a Pano roof on even better. Compared to the latest examples on looks alone it wins by a mile.
See this article for JC`s view on the latest SL and the earier cars, Like Lynns I think he likes the `88,89 Jeremy Clarkson Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG review | Driving - Times Online

reading through the replies after this article it appears there is a rust problem on later Merc`s, ( not our 129`s)
Has anyone sufferd body rust on there R129 SL?
 

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'90 R129 300SL-24, 94 C140 CL500, '92 W140 400SE,'98 W210 E300TD
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Hi All,
As I make my living out of selling Modern Classic Mercedes I have to say yes, the R129 looks as good now, if not better than it did when it was launched back in 1989. I don't think it's quite got the classic following of the W107 just yet, but it is definately coming.
I've noticed here in the UK that many "enthusiast" R129 owners are returning their earlier cars back to original specification i.e refitting original wheels, orange indicators (corner lights) original Becker Mexico Radio/Cassette. I think this is always a sign that classic status is imminent. I've recently seen it happen with the W124 Coupes too, as people hanker after that authentic "retro" look. Lets face it "Retro" is currently regarded as cool.

At the end of the day though, every Mercedes Convertible, and most Coupes gain classic status, so why should the R129 be an exception. Personally, I think the R129 is one of the best looking Mercedes ever made, along with the Pagoda, W107 SL and of course the "Gullwing" SL...if you think about it, the older they get, the better looking they become! A sign of a true classic design.

Mark.
 

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2001 SL500 / 2004 Dodge Ram 3500 HO CTD / 2010 Subaru Outback
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I will buck the trend, I think a later car with the sport/ AMG set up with 18 inch wheels is the pick of the bunch.
I agree with wayneg - give me the later version with the AMG body treatments and the staggered 18" wheels. It's the rare facelift to an older design that really works (unlike Priscilla Presley, Joan Van Ark, etc. :eek:).

Of course my SL is a 2001 so I'm a bit biased! That said, I haven't had this much attention in parking lots, gas stations, etc. since I owned my early 944 or my first year US-model Land Rover Discovery (dubbed the Suburban Assault Vehicle by alleged friends).

Cheers ....
 

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1999 SL500 SL2 Package and AMG Wheels, Silver/Silver
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I don't think it is an "instant classic" but the design is working over time. I personally didn't like the initial two-tone, square mirrored look of the 129. I just assumed I would keep my 107 (that WAS love at first sight) until whatever was to come after the 129 (even if it took another 18 years). But after MB went to monochrome and rounded the mirrors off, I took another look and started to really get into it. The more I saw, the more I desired and finally made the switch.

Sometimes it takes seeing the car in a different parking spot to reveal its breathtaking beauty all over again, like seeing it with fresh eyes.

Having said all that, I am afraid that the 129 is not as distintive vis-a-vis other cars from its era to the degree that the 107 was distinctive. That makes me think its "classic" status may be diminished.

Another anectdotal thing. I live in LA and when the 107 was in production, it was the unquestioned king of the hill with hollywood show offs and at every hot restaurant. When the 129 came out it had a significant market share among the tastemakers, but seemingly less than the 107 had. I think a lot of 107 drivers switched to porsches, lincoln navigators (right when the SUV craze was taking off), and the 220 S class during that time frame. And now the IT car in LA seems to pretty clearly be the Bentley Continental (albeit there are still a ton of R230's out here).
 

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'98 SL500
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Discussion Starter #14
and whats with all these people coming up to me thinking it is like a '85?! When I tell them its a '98 they compare it to their '88 Chrysler LeBaron. I am starting to think I should have saved for a few years and purchased a 2003 instead. *sigh* :(
 
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honestly I like the 99-02 SL design the best, I think it is the most timeless, when I see one these days it still impresses me. Honestly I like it more than the R230 before the 09 redesign). newest SL looks unreal but the regular R230s just aren't that impressive anymore.
 

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2000 Obsidian Black Metallic Mercedes SL 320 V6
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The R129 is timeless: it still steals my heart every time I see one and guess what.
It was designed by an Italian. Or better when Mr Bruno Sacco was Mercedes chief designer.
God I love this SL.

Cheers.
 

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'96 SL320, '96 C220, '86 300E
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I recall reading an article interviewing Bruno Sacco on his distinquished career designing Mercedes Benz automobiles for over 30 years, and when asked what he thought was his finest achievement was, he replied the R129. I'm paraphrasing here because I don't have the interview in front of me, but he said something to the likes of: "The 129 has classic lines as do all of my MB's, but they are more than classic...they are beautiful." I guess he's not afraid of patting himself on the back! The car was designed in the mid 80's so it now is more than 20 years old (although it debuted in the US in '90), but it is truely amazing how it still turns heads more than the newer models. I have had many instances where perfect strangers have come up to me and told me what a beautiful car (my '96 SL) is. I also believe that of all of the SL models, it it THE one that is equally attractive as an open roadster or as a coupe with the hard top attached.
 

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MB SL600, MB 380SE, Suzuki Grand Vitara, 38' Chris-Craft, Volvo V70XC, and my own two feet...
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The 129 is a classic now in my opinion. Great lines with a perfect design. Although I receive more awesome comments when the soft top is on whether its up or down.
Did you change the shims up front?

Your front-end is sitting way too high. Besides for that, you have an amazingly beautiful 129.
 
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