”I still remember the first time I saw an R129 SL, I must have been 10 or 11. The car was being piloted through South Kensington, roof down and gingicators twinkling in the sun. Two-tone silver, it could not have looked any cooler, the spell was cast instantly. Twenty years later, I was working as HR Owen Ferrari’s social media geek and shooting the launch party of the new F8 Tributo. Out of the corner of my eye, a dark metallic green R129 500SL with the AMG body kit and body-matched Aero 3s rolled into view and parked outside the front of the showroom. Every single head in the place turned simultaneously, all you could hear were oooohs and ahhhhs and ‘we had one of these when I was young’ – it quite literally stopped traffic.
The story of how I finally got mine is quite a good one, well it’s both good and bad. Sitting downstairs in the showroom, I was surprised by Thomas (my better half) who insisted I come upstairs. Extremely busy I was reluctant and told him so but my colleagues all encouraged me to follow him, so I did. Outside, glistening in the sun was a Nautic Blue two-tone 500SL and the best surprise gift I had ever been given…and the best timed. A couple of weeks before this my speedy little 695 Rivale had been stolen from our flat in Fulham and I didn’t have the funds to replace it so Thomas did so in spectacular fashion. If anything I came out on top despite the circumstances…
We have since moved out of the city and collected two more R129 500SLs, plus a 32-year-old S124 wagon (with 500,000 miles on the clock), a gold 190, 500E, E320, E38 7 Series amongst others. But it is my blue 500SL that will always be my favourite. It is back to its factory specification now and benefited hugely from a thorough going over from the team at Topaz Detailing (they filmed a great YouTube video about the process that just hit 2.7 million views), and lives in spectacular comfort as part of our growing family of Mercedes.
I would encourage any of you lusting after one of these incredible cars to generally get on with it and buy one before it is too late.”
You can follow Helen’s petrolhead shenanigans on Twitter: @hjwakerley
Do you share the same energy and passion for the R129 SL as Helen? Let us know and we’ll feature you on SLSHOP. Journal.