Celebrity Provenance and SL Ownership

We keep a close eye on SLs for sale all over the country, always curious as to what’s being sold, when and for how much… As such, we are always keen to dive straight into any auction catalogue that arrives at SLSHOP HQ.

Coffee in hand, flicking through the pages of the upcoming Historics at Mercedes-Benz World Sale we couldn’t help but notice an R107 with a striking claim to fame – it counts as a previous owner Heather Small, of M People. This car got us thinking…

Does celebrity ownership make a car more valuable?

As a prestigious and luxurious brand, Mercedes-Benz has always been synonymous with the upper echelons of society. 

The popularity of the three pointed star amongst the rich and famous is no recent thing – it is a trend that was set more than 50 years ago. 

Tracing the actual origin of the relationship between Hollywood and the Mercedes-Benz brand is difficult – it seems the two have grown together thanks to a natural tendency for wealthy individuals in the public eye to gravitate towards the finer things in life. As the Mercedes-Benz brand and it’s cars found the limelight, they became status symbols and objects of desire, further fuelling the correlation between wealth and the acquisition of a Mercedes-Benz. 

Looking back through history, influential characters of the 1950s such as Sophia Loren and Clark Gable were some of the first ambassadors of the three pointed star – whether that was accidental or not. 

The Mercedes-Benz brand continued to appear on our televisions in the decades that follow – many of our customers fondly remember watching Dallas or Hart to Hart and come to SL ownership as a result.

As the R107 moved from current to classic, the R129 came to the fore and with it a new generation of movie stars and cultural icons continued carrying the torch. The Mercedes-Benz name found a new home within the up and coming world of hip hop and rap music:

“Mercedes-Benz mentions are so prevalent in hip hop and rap, in fact, that they squash the number two spot (Bentley) by more than double.”


Time passed and both genres of music moved from underground to mainstream, further bolstering the already incredible appeal of the Mercedes-Benz brand and cementing their cars as must have items for those that have ‘made it’.

With the advent of music channels on television Mercedes-Benz cars found a whole new audience, starring in many thousands of videos across a wide spectrum of genres.

Mention the Mercedes-Benz SL and some of us will think of the R107 of Bobby Ewing and Dallas (circa 1978), while other enthusiasts will think of Ice T’s R129 from the famous line me and Lorenzo rolling in the Benzo (1997). Even fresher faced enthusiasts might go to the R230 driven by Blue Cantrell in the music video for Breathe (2003).

The SL has cross generational appeal, with the W113, R107, R129 and R230 successfully carrying the mantle for the brand through the decades. The Mercedes-Benz name has never been far away from the silver screen our our speakers, and as a result it has always been an aspirational vehicle.

A Mercedes-Benz is a quality piece of engineering in it’s own right, but for decades culturally it has been a badge of honour and a status symbol – and the history of this transition goes right back to Sophia Loren and Clark Gable.

So, does celebrity ownership assist with the value when selling a car? Our answer is a resounding YES. Knowing that a car was purchased new by a well known household name gives a car a certain kudos, more so if there are photos of the star with the car.

Here’s our round up of celebrities that we know owned various Mercedes-Benz SL models. If you know of any others, do let us know in the comments.