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I am looking to purchase a 320SL. I am located in Greece.I have seen a good number of cars.I have the following questions :

So far I found 5 variations of gearboxes, at least from the options on the lever indications (see attached photos). The one in the middle, is it a 4 or 5 speed ? There were versions with and without sport mode ?
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I studied the history of versions and face-lifts, but I can find cars of 1997 with no digital indication for the kilometres (although it changed to digital on 1995). I found 2 cars of 1997 with 3 vents behind the front wheels (although from 1995 changed to 2 vents).
I am a bit confused.

Any help is appreciated

Regards

Panos
Athens / Greece
 

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97 SL600 Pano, ex: 96 (late 95) SL320
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The ones without "4" should be the 4 speed versions. My old 96 SL320 with the 5 speed 722.5 had the one from the 3rd picture, PRND432 without economy/standard or winter/summer selector (no such thing as sport on these, I think). It was a Japanese import. My friend has a 96 SL320 from Europe (Germany I think) and it has the E/S selector.

The last one is the 5 speed electronic controlled 722.6.

I would be very careful about a "97" car with an analog odometer. The instrument clusters from older cars aren't even compatible with a 97 because the connectors changed from round to square that year.

And yes, a 97 had 2 rounded slot vents. Of course it maybe possible you're looking at cars that were first registered years after they rolled out of the factory. In many countries the year of first registration matters most. But that sounds unlikely if you've found several.
 

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The ones without "4" should be the 4 speed versions. My old 96 SL320 with the 5 speed 722.5 had the one from the 3rd picture, PRND432 without economy/standard or winter/summer selector (no such thing as sport on these, I think). It was a Japanese import. My friend has a 96 SL320 from Europe (Germany I think) and it has the E/S selector.

The last one is the 5 speed electronic controlled 722.6.

I would be very careful about a "97" car with an analog odometer. The instrument clusters from older cars aren't even compatible with a 97 because the connectors changed from round to square that year.

And yes, a 97 had 2 rounded slot vents. Of course it maybe possible you're looking at cars that were first registered years after they rolled out of the factory. In many countries the year of first registration matters most. But that sounds unlikely if you've found several.
Hi and thank you for replying.
So it seems that the PRND432 is the 722.5 (5-speed) with or without E/S depending on the country import.

Regarding the odometer, I found a 1989 SL300-24 with digital odometer (see photo) and 3 cars from 1997 with analog odometer. I don't understand, the odometer changed roughly in 1994-95.

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97 SL600 Pano, ex: 96 (late 95) SL320
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Yeah, the odometer changed around then, but I believe at that point they stopped making the old style instrument clusters altogether. This means that if the instrument cluster needed to be swapped due to e.g. broken gears in the odometer, the dealer would install a new one with the digital displays.

As for 1997 R129s with analog odometers, I don't think there's any explanation besides that they are not really model year 1997 cars. I don't know where you found these, but if it's car.gr (which I just found by Googling), they seem to list exactly 3 "1997" SLs and I can say none of them are 1997.

Two are clearly pre-facelift models (bumpers, side vents, seats are all pre-facelift) and one seems to have the facelift body parts but has the pre-97 AC control unit and at the back of the engine you can see the fuel distributor, meaning it's a CIS car, making it... pre-93 or so? I'm not an expert on SL500s so someone can probably correct me if I'm wrong. But it's certainly not a 1997 car.
 
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