This 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL320 has perfect provenance, with just one owner from new who drove it back from the factory in 1996 on German export plates. Equipped with the smooth 3.2-litre straight-six petrol engine and four-speed automatic transmission, this SL320 makes a terrific grand tourer or fun weekend car. Showing 81,349 miles from new, it is now ready to find its second owner.
When he ordered this car new, the vendor tells us that he had two options to take delivery of the car: the first was to have it transported to his local dealer, the second was to take delivery directly at the factory. With the prospect of some European touring to run-in his new purchase, he wisely decided to fly over to Germany to collect the car.
First driven on the road under German export plates ‘BB-989 M’, it was subsequently registered in as ‘J1 DMG’ when it arrived in the UK. Today, the car is stored in a dry garage in London – as it always has been – and is registered to the owner’s son for insurance purposes.
Presented in the attractive hue of ‘Tourmaline Green’, the paintwork is the original colour and has never received a new coat. It is evident that the front bumper has previously been scuffed and touched in, but this could be easily perfected with a professional respray of the panel. There is also a small crack in the valance at the bottom of the front bumper, as well as a small dent in the front left wheel arch.
The car has been used and enjoyed on the road, so there are some stone chips present. At the rear of the car, parking sensors finished in colour-matched paint have been added as an aftermarket upgrade.
The SL’s ‘Mushroom’ leather trim appears to be in excellent order, with only very minor wear to the lower bolster of the driver’s seat. Within the centre console, the owner has upgraded the factory stereo to a contemporary Bluetooth-enabled head unit.
Accompanying this Mercedes-Benz is its original factory hardtop in matching Tourmaline Green. Furthermore, this car also comes with the official ‘Hardtop Shuttle’ accessory, a compact hoist device that enables single-person removal and storage of the hardtop roof during warmer months.
Opening the bonnet reveals a very presentable engine bay. It was last serviced by a Mercedes-Benz specialist in January 2019, which included renewal of the oil and filter as well as the brake fluid. The front brake pads were replaced at the same time.
It is currently fitted with four 225/55/16 Michelin tyres, which were brand new in February 2018 and have covered around 2,000 miles since then. Under the boot floor is a full-size spare alloy wheel wearing a Dunlop tyre. Over the last 10 years and 25,000 miles, the car has received a clean pass on every single MOT test, which is a good indicator as to its mechanical condition.
Accompanied by its original handbooks and service book, the SL also has detailed service paperwork from Mercedes-Benz Bromley, the specialist used to maintain the car over the last 10 years. The car does not meet the emissions standards for the new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London, which is sadly one of the reasons that the owner has decided to sell this much-loved family favourite after 23 years of ownership. The cherished plate ‘J1 DMG’ is not included in the sale, and will be kept by the current owner.
Presented in excellent mechanical fettle, with only minor jobs needed to enhance it cosmetically, this is a unique opportunity to buy a superb roadster with single-ownership history.