In 1997, Mercedes offered a special 40th Anniversary Edition to celebrate this milestone in the production of the legendary SL roadster. Production of this special edition SL500 was limited to just 500 cars worldwide, with only 150 offered in RHD, making this both a highly desirable and extremely rare car. This SL500, propelled by the most powerful variant of the M119 5.0 litre V8, developing 322 bhp and mated to a 5-speed auto, is the most sought after engine and transmission combination, for SL500 R129 enthusiasts.
First registered in 1998, this particular car was supplied by the Mercedes Benz Centre in Milton Keynes. Special features for the 40th Anniversary Edition, include a Panoramic glass hardtop, Designo Vario Blue/Green paintwork, AMG 18” Monobloc alloy wheels, Xenon Headlights and extra soft luxury leather seats.
The car comes with a FSH and an extensive history file, containing numerous parts and service invoices, past MOT certificates and the original leather bound dealer pack containing owner’s manuals and service book.
As a rare limited edition SL500, with the most desirable engine and gearbox combination, it represents a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking for one of these increasingly sought after convertibles, that effectively transforms into an airy coupe, with the hard top fitted.
Finished in Designo Vario Colour 1 Blue/Green, this is one of the most striking paint options offered for the R129 series. Its stunning metallic finish changes subtly from deep ocean blue to aquamarine, depending on how the light catches it. The condition of all the paintwork is immaculate, having had the benefit of a high quality bare metal respray in 2020, costing nearly £9,000. In addition, the panoramic hard top is also in fantastic condition, benefiting from a recent respray in September this year and which comes with its own heavy duty wheeled stand.
The hard top featuring a large tinted glass roof, with in built sunshade, effectively transforms the car into an airy coupe for the winter months.
Special features for the 40th Anniversary Edition, in addition to the extra soft luxury leather seats were: cruise control; climate control; anti-glare rear view mirror: electric memory seats, door mirrors and steering column; rear child seats; wood and leather steering wheel; wood and leather gear knob; Xenon headlights; headlight wiper/washer; rain sensor; walnut wood trim; wind-deflector; Mercedes special radio; “Special Edition” labelled brushed chrome sill top covers, 18″ AMG Monobloc alloy wheels and four airbags.
In their press release for this special addition, Mercedes Benz stated that the “40th Anniversary SL Roadsters feature what may be the highest-quality, softest leather upholstery in the world, called “Exquisite”. The seats are superbly comfortable and in excellent condition having recently benefited from a professional refurbishment. The woodwork on the inside of the cabin still presents as dark and rich, with no signs of fading. The original carpets and over mats are also in excellent condition.
All electrics and gauges work as they should, including powered seats, windows, mirrors and climate control.
The car has been fitted with an aftermarket Sony Bluetooth audio system, which contain a cd player as well as a USB port, for connecting a mobile phone or music storage device.
Finally, the electrically operated soft top lowers and raises as it should.
As evidenced by a service history across two service books with a total of 18 stamps (combining a mixture of Mercedes Benz dealers and independent specialists), the car has been exceptionally well maintained.
The car was last serviced in June of this year.
The R129s are wonderful driving cars and this example is no exception. The engine and auto box are a perfect combination, the ride is pillow soft, gear changes smooth and the control interfaces such as steering and brakes are refined and effortless. Finally, as to be expected from a car so well engineered by Mercedes, there is no scuttle shake or knocks or bangs from the suspension.
Fantastic as a cruiser, however, open the taps on the 5.0 litre V8 and all that torque provides for seriously quick progress, accompanied by a cultured, but delightful snarl.
The car sits on attractive AMG Monobloc 18 x 8 inch alloys wheels, which were part of the special edition package. All are in great overall condition, with just some minor evidence of “kerb rash” on the front passenger wheel. All driven wheels are fitted with a matching set of Continental Sport Contact 3 tyres, date stamped 2020 and wear the correctly sized 245 x 40 R18 tyres, which show only minimal use. There is a full sized spare wheel and tyre in the boot, which appears unused. The original jack and tyre lever are also present.
The brakes which are servo assisted discs all round (ventilated at the front) are powerful and operate as they should.
The original underseal is in excellent order. On top of that and as part of the pre-sales preparation, for the inner wheel arches, suspension, brakes and other componentry susceptible to corrosion, a combination of “Dinotrol” and “Lanoguard Motospay” transparent underside treatments have been applied. This provides for a further level of corrosion resistance to those areas, which is long lasting salt, acid and alkaline resistant as well as jet wash proof. This all adds up to a car that has outstanding protection from corrosion, typically unavoidable, for cars driven on UK roads all year round.
The history file contains the current V5C and a clear HPI vehicle check report dated 8 November 2023. It also contains the original print-out of the car’s build specifications, detailing all the options it was fitted with.
There is a detailed file of maintenance and parts invoices spanning the period since 2010 that the car has been with its current owner. Helpfully, he has also provided a year by year detailed breakdown of all maintenance and parts costs over this period. This provides excellent evidence of the exceptional level of investment that has gone into keeping the car in first class condition.
The car comes with a FSH with two service books containing a total of 18 stamps to date, from a mixture of main dealers and independent Mercedes Benz specialists. There is also a collection of MOT certificates from 2023 dating back to 2009.
The history file also includes the original leather bound dealer pack which contains the service books, all of the original owner’s manuals. It also comes with the technical manual for the aftermarket Sony Bluetooth Audio System. Finally, the car comes with two sets of key fobs and a wind deflector, which is stored in the boot.
Maintenance as per the service booklets:
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