The Mercedes-Benz “SL” - “Super Leicht” (super light) - badge has been with us for over 65 years and has appeared on many of the brand's most desirable coupes and roadsters, starting with the famous 300 SL Gullwing coupe.
Introduced in 1971 and produced through to 1989, this third-generation, “R107” SL, was the second-longest lived series production Mercedes, behind only the G-Class.
This 500SL first hit the UK's roads in 1985, supplied by Mercedes importer Rawsons TMS in Tonbridge, Kent. It entered the current owner's hands barely 18 months later – a gift to himself on the finalisation of a divorce!
That means that this SL has been owned and run by just one person since New Year's Day 1987, racking up over 200,000 miles together in that time.
Daily driven for much of the past three decades, the 500 SL has started to see less and less use recently as the owner has retired and spends a more time in Spain than in the UK where the car is still located – in fact he has driven the Mercedes down to Spain on one occasion, and shipped it back to the UK.
Although not necessarily eager to do so, the owner thinks it's time to move the car on to a new owner who will continue to drive it just as much!
It's rare to see a stamped service book that's run out of space, but this 500 SL has just that; the book stops at 120,000 miles (which this car passed in 1993), but there's further stamps for annual services and records in the pages beyond, running right up to 207,000 miles.
There looks to be a complete stack of MOT test certificates too, right back to the old A5-sized items. You'll also find receipts for work done, including a recent bill for close to £3,000 covering an engine overhaul.
Although it was a pretty big coupe/convertible in its day, and was offered with optional rear seats, this 500 SL here is purely a two-seater, and the better for it. Instead there's a nice in-cabin storage space to go with the generous boot, to make for a surprisingly practical car.
Much of the cabin comes in the coffee-coloured Brazil Brown interior, covering the carpets, seats, door cards and dash. The two big front seats were reupholstered at some point in the last decade, and look to be in excellent condition.
In fact that applies throughout. We can't spot a mark anywhere on the leather or carpeting in the cabin, nor the wood trim that adorns the centre console and dash. It all looks to be almost factory fresh, with the mild anachronism of a modern Panasonic head unit, and everything is said to be in full working order.
On the outside, the Mercedes is finished in Light Ivory – officially “Hellelfenbein” - including the hard top, with a brown soft top to match the interior; it's a classic combination of coffee and cream!
Much of the exterior is in fact pretty new too. The bodywork was restored in 2015, with any panels affected by the passage of time – and salted British roads – welded or replaced to bring the car back into its present condition. Again, we can't spot any blemishes here.
SL fans will immediately spot the non-standard wheels. These five-spoke items are actually AMG wheels and in great condition, although the owner does also still have the original wheels too.
All of the lights and brightwork around the car is also in excellent condition, with a tiny indentation in the grille to the offside of the Mercedes star the only real evidence that this car has had quite the life.
Despite selling , the owner has recently undertaken an engine overhaul on the big, M117 V8 to ensure it's in top condition. There's a supporting invoice for £3,000, which also details the work done – including a new transmission oil pump.
Considering that the owner has kept the car and driven it since 1987, the claim that it once again drives like new as a result is one to put some faith in.
The general driving manners are as you'd expect too, being every bit the autobahn cruiser but with enough power and torque from the V8 to satisfy any hooligan streak.
A one-owner car for the past 34 years, with no scrimping on servicing or maintenance, this 500 SL is one you can buy and drive without any fear of putting miles on it. You also get one of the coolest cruisers around, with a thumping V8 soundtrack.
** The photos in this listing have been provided to us by the seller **
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