THE CLASSIC MERCEDES MARKET
As we enter 2022, the darker winter days are displaced by the bright, blue sky that is the classic Mercedes market. A robust interest in the Mercedes-Benz brand coupled with the rise of the ‘enthusiast’ is enabling us to welcome more owners around the world into our community. We are witnessing a continued surge across the market for both cars that can be used and collected, encouraging vehicles of all calibre to sustain and exceed their values. Our Parts Store, Workshops and Showroom have been running on all cylinders over the course of the year in preparation for a thriving 2022.
STRENGTH OF BRAND HERITAGE
This pervasive appreciation for the Mercedes-Benz brand is further fuelling demand for the fifties and sixties models, with buyers both looking for investment and enjoyment opportunities. As the new SL was launched, the international scene of automotive journalists, supporters, aspiring and existing SL owners came together to reflect on the history of the SL versus its current form. At Goodwood Revival, the Duke and spectators watched as Sir Sterling Moss’ 300 SLR carried out one final lap of the track, followed by one last blast through London. All these moments are reminders of how significant the SL is for the older and younger generations – one that is set to stay.
THE EARLY DAYS OF THE SL
The 190SL represents the easier to acquire cousin of the Gullwing, standing in more affordable territory for those with the palate for the Moss era. It is the RHD pre-1957 190SL that appeals most to enthusiasts – these cars are eligible for the Mille Miglia and other endurance races. This era of 190SL in the right colour is up by 5% based on last year’s values and we expect to see many more restoration commissions.
The appeal of the W113 Pagoda continues to revolve around the RHD 280SL models; with deep blue and anthracite finishes now commanding prices up to 20% higher than last year. This continued appeal is pushing more Pagodas to us from all areas of the world, many having had restoration work carried out elsewhere – these cars have been perfected to a certain standard, but often lack the final 10% of attention required to turn these into usable sports cars.
As values of the 280SL reach a new baseline, the outlook for the 230SL and 250SL is positive, particularly as the desire to experience this era of motoring further intensifies. The LHD market may have had a knock due to Brexit, but as regulations inevitably level out and cross-continent tourism returns to pre-pandemic levels, the appeal of the 230SL and 250SL will follow suit. In their Bull Market List, Hagerty US have tipped that the 230SL will take off over the course of 2022, not just in the US but all over the globe.
With the approaching 60th anniversary of the W113 Pagoda, more owners around the world will be combing specialist’s sites, online auction houses and even eBay looking for a chance to acquire any one of the W113 variants. With this, we expect our workshop to be busy restoring cars in time for the anniversary events in 2023.
A MILESTONE FOR THE MERCEDES-BENZ R107 SL
The 50th anniversary of the R107 SL has provoked further interest in the model, with the
‘early cars’ and the SLC subsequently garnering appreciation from collectors and enthusiasts based in the cities where ULEZ compliance is essential. David Bond, Managing Director of Footman James asserted that ‘’prices are on the rise for cars of this era, so you might find you have a great investment sat in your garage.’’ Leading the charge still though, is the post-1986 RHD models with less than 35,000 miles, which have risen in value by 15% over the past 12 months; with the 300SL, 420SL and 500SL variants the most sought after. Model preference has angled more towards the straight-six 300SL, which has been the most popular of the R107 models sold by SLSHOP in 2021; and the most desirable colours being Signal Red and Astral Silver.
THE ASCENT OF THE MODERN CLASSIC
There is an increasing appetite for modern classics being reported across the industry, simply because the last of the over-engineered variants are becoming less accessible. The well-maintained, low mileage R129 SL500s, SL320s and special editions represent value for money, due to their stylish, comfortable, and exciting motoring characteristics not otherwise available across the market. These models are commanding values up to £40,000; so, expect to see demand increase further as we move in 2022.
FIRST TIME BUYERS
SLSHOP is delighted to report a younger age demographic passing through all areas of our business, with a significant number of the younger generations looking to enjoy the outro of everyday ICE. Those with professional roles and petrolhead genes are seeking out usable classic and modern classic Mercedes, ranging across the R107, R129 and more recent models. These also include saloons and coupes, where reliability and distinct design is inspiring a new wave of owners to gain more from their savings.
A CHANGE TO MOTORING
As the focus on climate change and electrification deepen, the importance of classic and modern classic car ownership will only grow. Prices will go up as the desire and rarity of these cars is fuelled by more people seeking an escape from their daily electric ‘white good’, to that of the traditional motor car. Each classic Mercedes-Benz will become an art piece, symbolising the golden age of motoring that will appeal to collectors and enthusiasts with the fiscal power to invest and enjoy each car.
SLSHOP is proud to support the preservation of these vehicles, and we will continue to ensure that the market is prosperous for owners, both financially and experientially. 2022 will see SLSHOP accelerate its events calendar, offering you more opportunities to get behind the wheel and engage with other classic Mercedes-Benz owners. We look forward to seeing you over the coming year.