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1998 Mercedes-Benz R129 SL320 with Mushroom Leather (265)

Azurite Blue (366) with Mushroom Leather (265) / SL320

Principal Facts:

As many must be aware, the SL line of cars has proven, time and again, that if grand touring is what you’re after, Mercedes-Benz has a lot to offer. Throughout the nineties, that responsibility was single-handedly borne by the R129 SL — and safe to say, it did a marvellous job. Stepping in the large shoes of the preceding 107-Series, the R129 not only proved to be commercially successful but helped Mercedes-Benz explore new avenues, too. Available initially with straight-six and V8 engines, the R129 would also get a V12 only a few years after its launch. But the final major update to the model line came in the form of a facelift and a V6 power plant. While on sale only for the final few years, before the R230’s reign began, the V6-engined R129 became the preferred choice by many, for it offered a handsome balance of improved handling, fairly potent GT abilities, encompassed by strikingly good-looking bodywork. Sacco’s finest, some would say…

Specced in a fine combination of Azurite Blue over Saffron Nappa leather interior, presented here is a 1998-registered Mercedes-Benz SL320 with 92,493 miles on the clock. The overall condition of the example can’t be faulted, especially with its decently preserved bodywork and a neat cabin. Regularly serviced (accompanied with corresponding paperwork), this SL has also scored well in the SLSHOP’s internal tests, with only slight deviations from normal, more about which you can read below.

Condition Synopsis:

The disproportionately high appeal of an Azurite Blue SL, especially in a late-model guise is hard to resist. That holds for this example, too, with clean bodywork, decent paintwork (it looks good; only a handful of marks present on it) and the beautiful-looking original alloys. On the inside, the Saffron Nappa leather interior looks to be largely fresh. The front seats do exhibit some sagging, the leather on the gear selector shows signs of use, and the nearside door card has some wear. For an SL made in the late 90s, this R129 is presented quite well. Our inspection backs what the photos tell you, that there's no surface rust on the outside is good news, but underneath also the car doesn't fare badly. Some areas are worth keeping an eye on, our inspection report is there to explain more. The car drives well, with the gearbox, steering, and suspension performing well — no deviation from how it's expected to drive. It stops in a straight line, too.

History File:

The R129 SL was first introduced in the year 1989 and it was produced till 2001. During said period, Mercedes-Benz despatched more than 200,000 units of the car. The figure, while less than the R107's, was achieved with just one body style (unlike the R107, there was no coupe derivative) and in just about half the time that the R107 took. Of course, there's no comparison, because no matter which SL you like more, these two are classics in their own right. The V6-engined R129 models came out in the late 90s and were on sale till the successor, the R230 arrived. This example was registered in November 1998 and according to the service history, it has been regularly used and serviced. The odometer currently reads under 92,500 miles, and it was last serviced at The SLSHOP at the beginning of 2024. It has a valid MoT, which it cleared without any advisories. It's also been treated to a new headlining recently, too.

SLSHOP Summary:

The R129 brought many firsts for Mercedes-Benz: the automatic rollover hoop was one substantial inclusion, an optional V12 was another, and with the 1998 SL320, another first for an SL was the inclusion of a V6 engine in the lineup. The M112 replaced the straight-six unit from the past, and as is the case with many good Mercedes-Benz engines, its use case went beyond the R129 SL. This SL320 has a lot going in its favour, not just the brilliant spec, the overall decent condition, and the accompanying history, but also the fact that it's a late example, ensuring that the majority of issues that some of the earlier models faced were dealt with already, by the time this arrived. Cosmetically good, the car is also mechanically sound, as our inspection results show. It offers the new owners a chance to experience a good-looking SL that's been maintained well and comes with a relatively more modern and reliable engine. The sale even includes the current owner's ceiling hoist for the hard top, what's not to like?!
  • 92533
  • 1998
  • Automatic
  • Azurite Blue (366)
  • Mushroom Leather (265)
  • Petrol
  • Not Exempt

Inspection Report

Report Synopsis: Ready to be enjoyed straight away, but some minor revisions will make this a truly superb quality SL




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