This Mercedes-Benz 500SL is a smart example of a desirable modern classic, presented in a rare factory colour scheme. It is powered by the 322bhp version of the 5.0-litre DOHC M119 V8 engine, with rear-wheel drive via a four-speed automatic transmission. The digital odometer shows it has covered 74,048 miles from new.
An online check of the factory build information shows that this R129 SL was completed in November 1991, finished in vibrant Beryll Green paintwork to the top and bottom sections of the body, complemented by a full beige leather interior. It was first registered in December 1991, and the majority of its mileage was covered within the first decade of its life. The car has been driven far more sparingly in recent years, with less than 5,000 miles added to the odometer since 2005.
The bodywork is straight and solid, and presents smartly in the original factory colours. There are just a few blemishes commensurate with the age and mileage, including light stone chips around the nose, and a deeper chip on the offside front bumper. The soft top is reported to be in good order, opening and closing as it should.
Some of the black plastic trim around the body has faded slightly, and there are a few nicks in the brightwork, but all of the window seals are sound, and the light lenses are free of cracks and clouding. The car rides on the correct 16-inch eight-hole light alloy wheels, which have some lacquer bubbling around the centres and a few very small paint chips around the rims.
In the cabin, the front and rear seats are upholstered in full beige leather with perforated centre panels. There are some light scuffs and scratches on the driver’s seat side bolster, but otherwise the leather appears to be in good condition. The headlining around the offside edge of the roof has become unglued, and needs re-sticking with fresh adhesive.
Both front seats feature electric adjustment and memory settings, though the sliding function on the driver’s side is not currently working. Burr walnut veneers are present in the door panels and on the centre console, with matching trim for the gear lever. There is also a period Alpine radio cassette deck with CD changer. The boot lining is in good order, with a full-size spare wheel under the floor.
While the original stamped service book is no longer with the car, there is a raft of old maintenance invoices and MOT certificates from the period of 2010-2015 in particular, and the car has covered only a few thousand miles on the road since then.
Its most recent MOT test was on 5 March 2019 at 71,346 miles, which resulted in first-time pass with only one advisory regarding an aged nearside rear tyre. The wheels are fitted with Continental tyres in size 225/55 R16 all round, with around 6mm of tread at the front and 4mm at the rear.
This Mercedes-Benz 500SL is a great contemporary cruiser, presented in sound mechanical and cosmetic order. Standing out among the more common colours, this Beryll Green roadster looks perfect for springtime touring, and should prove to be as reliable as it is stylish.