Guide Price: £12,000 - £15,000
• Extremely low mileage.
• Extensive service history.
• Maintained and dry stored to ensure excellent condition.
The SL model has been around for more than 60 years, with the original 300SL Gullwing, being a two-seat coupe with doors hinged from the roof and opening upwards, a trick later emulated by the SLS supercar. Built from 1954 to 1957, when it was finally replaced by the 300SL Roadster, which was the essentially the same car but with a folding fabric roof. This ran from 1957 to 1963.
The W113 SL, known as the Pagoda by enthusiasts thanks to its detachable hard top, arrived in 1963 and continued in production until 1971. It was replaced by the R107, which returned to a fabric roof and remained in production for almost 20 years, only being replaced by the R129 in 1990. This model lasted for over a decade, when it was replaced by the R230 in 2002, an example of which we have here.
The R230 was finally phased out in 2008, but today remains an accomplished grand tourer like its SL predecessors. This SL has always poached buyers of established sports car brands. The R230 SL offered ‘luxury and convenience’ while keeping up with a Porsche 911 Cabriolet on properly twisty roads.
This 350SL was bought by its current owner in 2018, from a close friend. At the time of acquiring the car from his friend, the mileage was showing as 24,600. The owner’s friend had previously bought the car from a local dealership, Meridian Majestic, in 2013 when the car had only just passed the 20,000 mile mark. The purchase invoice from the dealership is present in the car’s history files.
Both the previous and current owners have kept the car garaged and out of the elements, with its current home including the additional security and comfort of a carcoon fan-assisted tent.
As the numbers suggest, this Mercedes has had a gentle life and has been well cared for by its owners.
The current mileage is an impressively low 25700.
The paperwork accompanying the car is nothing short of extensive. Evidencing its pampered life, the full life story of this 350SL makes for some lengthy reading.
The history file contains all previous MOT certificates and while most car manufacturers and dealerships now hold online records, the documentation also has a printout confirming the services across its lifetime. This includes both Mercedes and specialists working on the car.
Finally, the associated documentation also includes all of the original Mercedes books and manuals.
From the moment you open the door to climb inside this SL, you can’t fail to notice the near faultless interior. Before you even settle into the seats, the door shuts, thresholds, kickplates, glass, seals and carpets all present in a fastidiously maintained condition.
Continuing into the cabin, the full perforated leather seats and accompanying door and dash trim, teamed with walnut inserts on the centre console, steering wheel, gear lever and doors, make for a true feeling of class.
Attempting to inspect the car for typical areas of interior wear, such as seat bolsters and door handles, proves fruitless, as the low mileage condition of this Mercedes is hugely impressive. The garaged and carcooned life of this 350SL has preserved the state and condition of this car to an incredibly high standard.
The trim level of this model is in summary, full and all inclusive. Electronically and heated options were either included or ticked at purchase, with every driver aid and convenience included. It will come as no surprise that all electronics throughout the car, including the electronically operated hard top, all work without fault.
Finally, moving to the boot of the car, the still plush carpeting continues and shows no signs of wear, damp or staining. The spare wheel, battery, tools and bag are all present and in perfect condition.
While the design of the R230 was all-new at launch, it’s curves, sleek lines and striking quad headlights retain a modern feel while echoing the heritage of SL predecessors, with classic touches such as the vents in the front wings.
Working your way around the exterior of this example, there are the most minimal of signs that this is a used car. The only points to note are a minor mark on the rear bumper insert and a couple of hairline surface scratches on the rear bumper. Barely noticeable unless you know where to look.
The deep metallic black paint across the bodywork, is complemented with the silver front grill, silver Mercedes badges, door handle trims and twin chrome exhaust tips. The private number, with its nod to the Mercedes family line, will also stay with the car.
The electronically operated hood functions as it should, providing the looks of a striking open-top roadster when down, or a sleek coupe when up. Without doubt the advantage of a retractable hard top.
The front end of this SL including the bonnet, head lights, fog lights and bumper all have little to no signs of stone chips, which tallies with the low mileage. Door shuts, sills, wings, inner wings and valances all appear in an excellent solid condition.
The underside while largely covered with plastic trim and covers, is in equally excellent condition.
Completing the exterior are the Mercedes badged silver alloy wheels, which present extremely well with only a few minor marks. All tyres appear in very good condition, with plenty of remaining tread.
The 268bhp 3.5-litre V6 engine is a punchy motor and this one starts with ease and settles to idle as you’d expect from a well-cared for low-mileage example.
The service history backs up what appears to be the overall superb mechanical condition of this car. On the move, there were no notable concerns regarding starting, driving, stopping and shutting off the engine. Mechanical servicing intervals have been adhered to throughout the car’s life and is reflected in its current running condition.
Quite honestly, this one writes itself. It is a near immaculate example of a low-mileage premium roadster.
This Mercedes 350SL looks every bit the class act, with its panoramic glass roof, driver’s aids, leather heated seats and sat nav, all wrapped up into an effortlessly cool and sleek package.
The design still looks fresh, and the new owner will have nothing to do, except drop the roof and drive through the spring and summer with a smile on their face.
The pampered life this SL had led is well worth continuing, not only to maintain its outstanding condition and presence, but to care for it as a modern classic (ideally in a garage), as every SL has gone on to become a legend in time.
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