Classic Car Investment research house and think-tank HAGI reveals that the Mercedes-Benz marque was up 22.64%* points in the UK as of December 2022 compared to the previous year; with the brand’s overall investment grade market measure reaching its highest since 2013.
The release of the latest HAGI TOP INDEX arrives in tandem with historical success for SLSHOP, as we have recorded unprecedented interest in classic Mercedes models over the last four weeks of 2022 and the first few weeks of January. This level of interest comes at an unusual period when people are most often winding down for their Christmas, New Years and January Holidays. In contrast to this usually quiet period, the insulated nature of the classic car market compared to other investment sectors is clearly one of the key features which continues to lure in collectors and those with capital to invest.
Since opening our doors on the 3rd January we have managed the sale of over ten different classic Mercedes models, some of which have been reserved before even making it to our facility and on to our website. This phenomenon has been fuelled by aspiring owners and collectors seeking very specific cars that can only be found with the help of SLSHOP’s extensive database of vehicles spanning over 15 years of sales.
START OF THE YEAR SALES HIGHLIGHTS:
Mercedes-Benz SLK65 (R170) by Brabus – 1 of 1 right-hand drive examples
Known to our team and no doubt, many enthusiasts around the world since its launch in the late 1990s, the infamous Brabus SLK65 is known for its twitchy tail and unruly character. A personality that has left many wondering for years, what happened to these inimitable, recklessly quick and tyre evaporating miniature beasts?
This SLK65 is understood to have been originally ordered by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman at a time when they were filming Eyes Wide Shut. The vehicle was originally ordered as a normal SLK which was made to look like a 6.5 before the owner of Brabus UK, Martin Stillman, convinced the celebrity pair to convert the vehicle to a real Brabus 6.5. At this time the vehicle had only 5,000 miles on the odometer and would become the second RHD SLK65.
Soon after this, Jeremy Clarkson featured the car in what can be considered his early tenure as an automotive journalist – the vehicle was featured on Full Throttle the same episode can be found on VHS within the vehicle’s history file. This SLK65 became somewhat a ghost following this, with the only other right-hand drive example having been declared a write-off in Hong Kong – likely because the driver couldn’t handle the power…
In the year 2000, the SLK65 passed from the Cruises to its long-term owner in Shrewsbury, who would go onto own the Brabus until the end of 2022 before being sold via our social media channels less than 24 hours after being revealed.
This moment confirms our previous declaration that the tuned, 1990s modern classics are becoming a collectible category of their own. This era of the modification and ‘pimping’ of a limited numbers of roadsters, saloons and coupes is garnering the interest of those younger collectors with the fiscal power to invest. As suspected, this is the natural trickle down and influence of the classic market on a younger generation of vehicles and aspiring owners.
Mercedes-Benz 300SEL (6.3) Midnight Blue – Rare Right-Hand Drive Example
Once the fastest road car produced by Mercedes-Benz and arguably the car that started the AMG phenomenon, the 300SEL is the ultimate luxury saloon that could in its prime, hurl five occupants to 120mph in great comfort. In the 1960s it was declared the ‘greatest saloon car in the world’. A statement that still rings true fifty years on.
Emerging from a long-term collection, this right-hand drive 300SEL is believed to be one of less than 15 road registered vehicles in existence in the United Kingdom; with the total combined production of right and left-hand drive vehicles circa 6,000. The cost to maintain these vehicles is notoriously expensive and likely the cause of the limited number left on the roads.
Recently featured in Classic & Sport Car Magazine, the 300SEL had been owned by SLSHOP’s Director before moving onto a private collector. ‘’One of the most appealing aspects of this 6.3 was the care taken to rectify a leak with the air suspension which had been causing the suspension to settle over-night.’’ After hours of rectification work to replace the bellow, rust proof and paint it, the air suspension moved not a millimetre.
The powerful M100 V8 under the bonnet, the enticing luxury of the cabin and the comfort offered by the suspension coupled with the rarity of this species, will mean the 300SEL 6.3 will be pinned to collectors’ walls for years to come.
Mercedes-Benz 420SL – Anthracite Metallic – Fully Restored by SLSHOP
Restored over lockdown in-house and subsequently featured on the cover of Classic Cars Magazine, this 420SL became a showpiece for SLSHOP to evidence our restoration services at a variety of automotive shows over the post-lockdown period. Showcased at Goodwood Revival and London Classic Car Show, this 420SL has reignited interest in the least voluminous R107 variant that has been somewhat neglected over the years.
Finished in a beautiful combination of Anthracite Grey Metallic, combined with a sumptuous fully restored Beige Leather (275) interior and a whole host of optional extras including air conditioning, cruise control and more. Accompanying the vehicle is a detailed account of the restoration as recorded by Nigel Boothman for Classic Cars Magazine, in which he describes the 420SL as ‘’the best 420SL in the world.’’
Where some might see this 420SL as only worthy of a permanent place in a museum or garage, we’re delighted to say it will be used and enjoyed by the new owner.
Mercedes-Benz 300SL – Midnight Blue (904) with Beige Leather (275) – Like New
Another beautiful example of an R107 that appeared to have been lifted straight from the Mercedes-Benz Stuttgart production line, stuck in a time void and breaking out at the end of 2022. This Midnight Blue 300SL is possibly one of the highest specifications 300SL’s we’ve encountered over the years – rarely was a 300SL ordered with Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Leather interior and more.
These features combined with the extremely low mileage of circa 40,000, as well as the highly revered colour combination of Beige Leather with Blue led to the vehicle being sold prior to officially going live on our website. Further confirmation of the appeal of collector-grade SLs which the arena of international investors is constantly on the lookout for. This phenomenon is reinforcing the position of the late R107 models as the one to have, pushing the values of good quality earlier examples upwards.
COMING SOON TO SLSHOP
FROM THE NINETIES:
The demand for nineties AMG and performance vehicles has enabled to seek out two rare right-hand drive SL60 examples which to this day, are two of only circa 30 road registered examples in the UK.
1. Mercedes-Benz SL60 AMG – Imperial Red with Anthracite Leather
2. Mercedes-Benz SL60 AMG – Azurite Blue with Beige Leather
3. Mercedes-Benz SL280 (R129) – Vivianite Green with Beige Leather
From the Sixties & Seventies:
Options for those with the older appetites include a lovely W109 280SE with the 4.5 litre V8, as well as an early 1965 230SL in Anthracite Grey with Red leather.
1. Mercedes-Benz 280SE (4.5) – Midnight Blue with Blue Leather
2. Mercedes-Benz 230SL – Anthracite Grey with Red Leather
If you’re seeking a particular classic or modern classic Mercedes-Benz, speak to our sales team today to outline your desired vehicle and specification. We can then use our extensive international database of vehicles to potentially source you the right one.
*The HAGI TOP INDEX measures the success of the leading brands using a complex financial algorithm like that used by more traditional banking investment firms. Since 2008, the specialist group of researchers have been recording and measuring the movement of values, releasing monthly data reports based upon the most prolific marque models, with the Mercedes model being the W198.