The Mercedes-Benz R129 replaced the R107 in 1989, staying in production until 2001 when it was replaced by the R230. Production of the R230 began in October 2001 with the first car arriving with customers in November of that year.
Throughout the 12 year production run of the R129 SL, Mercedes-Benz launched a number of special models – there are none as desirable and rare as the Silver Arrows edition of 2001.
Back in 1934, on a cloudy June day, a white racing car stood in the grounds of the Nürburgring track. Armed with a spatula, a technician begins diligently scraping the white paint from the car to reveal the bare silver aluminium beneath. The process of removing the white paint did two things – reduced the weight of the car to within the required limit and created a motor racing legend.
Whether the spatula story is actually true, the legendary status of the Silver Arrows cars was cemented by those iconic races of the 1930s. The Grand Prix races held in the years prior to World War Two were hotly contested. Adolf Hitler was financing Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union in his attempt to build a prouder, more competitive Germany and the competition weren’t exactly rank amateurs – the Italian Bugattis, Maseratis and Alfa Romeos were formidable machines in their own right. Despite the wider context of how history would unfold, these few short years of motor racing between world wars presents a fascinating snapshot of time, capturing the very best in engineering, driving ability, competition and good old fashioned ‘daring do’.
It is these legendary Silver Arrows cars that the 2001 SL 500 was made to celebrate.
At the very end of it’s production run, just before the R230 arrived in showrooms came the Mercedes-Benz R129 Silver Arrows edition. Just 100 were made for the European market in Right Hand Drive form, with each car having it’s own build certificate signed by none other than Stirling Moss himself.
The Silver Arrows R129 was more than just a lick of paint and a commemorative badge, it offered a comprehensive specification resulting in what is arguably the most aesthetically pleasing R129s of all.
When it comes to buying an R129, the Silver Arrow has to be one of the very best cars you could choose.
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