You may know Samuel Addison from previous SLSHOP Journal articles – Sam Is the proud owner of a 380 SL discovered stateside in the garage of a local carpenter. You can read about this car here.
Little did we know that Sam also owns possibly one of the rarest of R129 600SLs made by Mercedes-Benz between 1989 and 2001… At the end of 2021 we received a message from Sam with a series of images of this unique R129, complete with an array of features we have never come across here at SLSHOP. We’ve had Silver Arrow Special Editions, SL600s, SL60s but nothing with this specification, nor the designation 600SL.
THE FIRST OF THE V12 R129S
Notice the positioning of the ‘SL’ designation being after the number – this was a continuation from the R107, but only featured with the R129 until 1994 when the format was swapped around.
In October 1992, Mercedes-Benz released the first R129 featuring the M120 power plant- an all-aluminium V12 engine with 60 degrees between the cylinder banks. The M120 features seven bearings, forged steel connecting rods, four valves per cylinder and two overhead camshafts on each cylinder bank. The early variants utilised a Bosch LH-Jetronic injection system; with power output recorded as 394 PS with European models and 384 PS with North American models.
Those who read our ‘R129, The Next Big Thing’ piece will know that the M120 would become AMG’s weapon of mass approval, propelling them into the mainstream automotive world with a permanent association with Mercedes-Benz. The M120 would go on to feature in the SL73 AMG and later the SL70 AMG. You can read more about the crucial role the R129 SL played in AMG’s ascension here.
THE START OF THE DESIGNO LEGACY
Originally registered in 1993 in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sam’s 600SL cost a whopping $158,000 when purchased new – a $30,000 premium over a standard 600SL. But what made this 600SL different? This is believed to be one of only a few R129s produced alongside the 600SL showcased at the Detroit automotive show in 1993 (pictured below).
Sam’s 600SL features exactly the same leather pattern with the dashes incorporated onto Designo leather; with the Paint Code listed as 000 on the build sheet which stands for ‘Special Paintwork.’ This colour wasn’t offered until a few years later and is now known as Black Opal Metallic. Unlike all other R129s of the same era, the plastic cladding panels and bumper aprons have been finished in the same colour as the main body, something that didn’t become a standard feature until 1995.
Other exclusive features include the exclusive leather with contrasting stitching, leather dash, door cards, sun visors and headliner, as well as Black Bird Eye Maple Wood and Wooden steering wheel. All of these features would later become part of the Designo line, showcasing to the public at Detroit Motor show what could be done on request.
It is likely that this R129 600SL ordered by someone who spotted the car at the Detroit Automotive Show, requesting a version of what was exhibited at the show.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful example, Sam.
Find out why the R129 could be the next thing in this comprehensive overview of Mercedes-Benz’s crowd-pleasing entry into the techno-market.
Looking to acquire your first modern classic Mercedes? Look no further than SLSHOP’s showroom – we stock a range of R129 SL models and also offer a tailored consultancy service to find you your desired vehicle. Speak to Bruce today.
If you are a proud owner of a R129 SL and want a specialist to look over your prized possession, speak to Stuart today to book your modern classic perfection programme.