Engineered like no other car
The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is probably the most attractive convertible to represent the 1990s. As a matter of fact SL easily made it to Hollywood on that time. In “The Rookie” (1990) you can see Clint Eastwood fearlessly driving a Mercedes 500 SL through a number of warehouse windows. The same model also appeared in “The Doctor” (1991). And it wasn’t a cheap product placement at all. We are talking about the reality in Hollywood during the 90s: if you wanted a top convertible that was equally performant, prestigious and engineered to perfection – it had to be Mercedes-Benz SL. It was possibly the most practical and easiest to drive sporting car you could lay your hands on.
A word from Bruno Sacco
Longtime and legendary Mercedes-Benz design chief Bruno Sacco has called the fourth-generation SL (widely known as R129 because of its engineering code) “the most perfect car” of his career. It came to the US market as a 1990 model. The R129 delivers the best of both analog and digital worlds – just enough electronics to feel familiar in our time. The German luxury convertible featured many innovations for its era, including roll-over bar and active dampers. These cars were definitely built to last and considered one of the most successful generations of its nameplate.
What’s under the hood
The 500 SL V-8 engine was the 5.0-liter, 32-valve, DOHC M119 unit, delivering 322 horsepower with a smile and making it the most dominant motor in a Mercedes-Benz street vehicle up to that time.
And there is the 600 series (1993-2002) featuring the 6.0-liter M120 V12 unit. It is essentially a pair of inline-sixes paired together and delivering 389 horsepower. The performance improvement wasn’t all that great due to the huge mass of the M120 but the humming sound at idle was like no other.
To buy or not to buy?
Hagerty Valuation data expert Jesse Pilarski stresses that at whatever point you search for a more seasoned German vehicle, “it is imperative to do the correct research and recognize what to search for as far as normal issues.” and that being said there are plenty of amazing Mercedes to be seen on America’s roads.
The great news for fans of the SL-Class is that the R129 market is in a rather sorry state, just like with most Mercedes models, including modern ones. Today, you can get a well-maintained SL-Class automobile for as low as $10,000 and that’s with fewer than 100,000 miles. And you probably won’t need to cash out more than $15,000 for a crème de la crème one.
And what about a 1992 Mercedes SL 500 that has covered only c.a. 1200 miles? The inside is done in tan cowhide and it accompanies the attractive aluminum processing plant hard top. Besides some minor gouges and scratches it’s in the mint condition. What’s the catch here? It was stolen from the dealership in November 1991 and it was finally recovered this year after 27 years. The car was offered from an insurance company as a recovered theft vehicle. What a story!
If you are able to find a R129 that hasn’t been neglected and give it some love, it will surely love you back and give years of faithful service in return.