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Mercedes SL R129

  • 19-09-2011 10:16am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 48 ✭✭✭ kell1


    Hi Everybody,I'm new to this forum and looking for your view's on the Mercedes SL R129 (1990/2001).Just hit the big 50 and going to treat myself to one of these,had 205 GTI's,106 GTI's,Golf GTI's and loved them but it's time to grow up!.I'm not a big Merc fan but I alway's wanted one of these,cost over £100,000 new but now at bargain basement price's.I am satisfied that classic status is just around the corner and when thing's pick up,everybody will want one.Have done my research and I know that with these car's repair's can be seriously expensive,condition and service history are everything.These car's are currently undervalued and good example's are being snapped up by collector's in U.S.A,U.K and Germany.Have set my sight's on 320 model but just looked at a 280 model in Mercedes dealer showroom.It's a 99 model and has the correct body/leather colour combination that I want,only 26K on clock and in as NEW condition.I'm fussy but this car is a cherished example and the best part is that it can be driven away for sub 10K!Here's the but,I'm being told that the 280 is underpowered and to be avoided,it's a UK import which i'm not keen on (future rust issues etc).I just want a cruiser and outright speed is not what I'm looking for.Does any member own one? Your view's on 280 model? Everyday living with an SL? etc

    I would really appreciate your view's,Thank You.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,900 ✭✭✭ Bigus


    I came across a 320 with good history colour and spec, i'll follow it up to see where it is now, because it ticked all the boxes at nearly half the price of that 280 , just a lad stuck for money.;)


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,837 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Welcome to boards.ie :)

    Would you not aim for an early V8 or even a V12 petrol model? These will be more desirable / collectable and thus have a better prospect of keeping their value or even appreciating in value

    20 year old models will typically qualify for classic insurance, especially if you have another car already. Check the charter of this forum on tips etc. in relation to insurance

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,535 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Dades


    Much as I hate to say it, getting a model that might be easier on the juice might not be a bad idea these days. I can't imagine there's a particular sound of a V8 or V12 that would set your world on fire, unlike older cars where the sound would be a selling point?

    But the only way you'll know if there's enough power for you is to drive it. :)

    I have one of those coffee-table books on the R129 at home I must dig out and have a look through!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,900 ✭✭✭ Bigus


    unkel wrote: »
    Welcome to boards.ie :)

    Would you not aim for an early V8 or even a V12 petrol model? These will be more desirable / collectable and thus have a better prospect of keeping their value or even appreciating in value

    20 year old models will typically qualify for classic insurance, especially if you have another car already. Check the charter of this forum on tips etc. in relation to insurance

    The 320 is in a lot of ways a better car to drive/handle than the V8s, nice rorty sound from it aswell


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,003 bijapos


    unkel wrote: »
    Would you not aim for an early V8 or even a V12 petrol model? These will be more desirable / collectable and thus have a better prospect of keeping their value or even appreciating in value

    I wouldn't agree with that. There isn't that much difference between the price of a R107 280 and 350/450, neither is there much between the later R107 300 and 420/500. The difference in purchase price now will be reflected in the difference in selling price later.

    The other point is that both R107s and R129s are very plentiful, they were very big sellers in their day, much more so than the Pagoda and as such there are still quite a lot of them around, and indeed there always will be. I agree that the price for early R129s is probably at an all time low, now is the best time to get one, but they will be subject to high road tax over the next few years.

    Either way the 6 cylinder cars sell a lot quicker and are easier and cheaper to run and maintain than the V8 or V12, and an R107 is a lot less complicated than the R129. Great choice of car though.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 356 ✭✭ v300


    I think.
    Get a R129 320 Sl from 1991 to 1994, pull it apart, treat all signs of rust, paint it your own requirements, dinitrol the shell and panels, and that's the shell sorted.
    Next, sent away the roof actuating cylinders for repair in America for about €1k (More than €5k new from mercedes) Pm me for link on cylinder overhaul.
    Next, strip and powder coat the subframes and suspensions, bolt it all back together and enjoy for the next 20 years as a daily driver.

    It will be the best most trouble free Merc cabrio you will ever own...

    My two cents.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,269 ✭✭✭ MercMad


    The only thing I can add is that the 280 is a sweet motor, I would still consider one, and far better than the 300SL-24V unit.

    You definitely need to invest in a ramp inspection to see how good/bad it really is, especially if its a UK car.

    Other than that its all the general stuff, check under carpets for dampness, examine electrical connectors for corrosion etc.. etc...

    Try a few to get a feel for them.

    They are fab cars and deffo on my list too !


  • Registered Users Posts: 629 ✭✭✭ Tommyboy40


    Would argue with all who suggest a 6 cylinder. Mpg difference between the V8 and the V6 is only 2mpg. it's a big heavy car. the one to have is the M119 V8 between 1996 and 1998. earlier cars had a 4 speed auto and biodegradeable wiring looms. The V6 has head gasket issues. Later cars have the M113 engine which purists say is not as good. These cars are good for 250,000 miles plus if looked after. i have a 1996 SL500 with panoramic glass hardtop (glass hardtop a must). The V8 is almost completely silent until you floor it and then it moves your internal organs


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,093 ✭✭✭ hi5


    Like this one?

    I have to agree,if you can stretch the extra bit for the V8 then go for it:)

    http://cars.donedeal.ie/for-sale/cars/2334194


    Full?id=7115336


  • Registered Users Posts: 629 ✭✭✭ Tommyboy40


    that's one seriously cheap motor! I paid more than twice that for mine a few years ago


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  • Registered Users Posts: 48 ✭✭✭ kell1


    Many thank's to everybody for your view's and advice on the SL R129 model.


  • Registered Users Posts: 197 ✭✭ budfox


    I owned a 1998 SL 320. My preference at the time was Obsidian Black, black interior (just easier to keep clean) but I'd go silver now as the colour will hide a multitude of swirls that you will pick up purely because of it's age.

    I felt that the 500 was just too big in terms of tax etc, the 280 was a screamer on the motorway, and the 320 just right. I had only a couple of problems with it. The airbag sensor on the seats is always a bit tricky with them and I had an air mass meter problem which cost me about 1,500 to sort out with Mercedes. You'll probably want to renew the roof seals which can be bought on Ebay and you can buy a rear plastic window refurb kit there too which works very well.

    Try get one with the rear seats and deffo pick up a hard top bag on the web just to keep it protected during the summer when you're using the rag top...

    I agree with the other posters, a super car built like steel and which will go forever.

    I would get in touch with the likes of Des Cullen Cars or maybe that Onyx crowd as they seem to get good models in from time to time....

    My tuppence worth....

    Best of luck!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 197 ✭✭ budfox


    http://www.theslshop.com/Website/WebSummary-39-Website-ForSale.html

    these guys specialise in the R107 but they also get some peachy ones you're after...

    try also silver arrows in the UK..


  • Registered Users Posts: 48 ✭✭✭ kell1


    Hi BudFox,You have answered all my questions and I really appreciate it.Am aware of SL Shop,Cheshire Classic Benz etc,U.K cars are now much more expensive to buy than an Irish car.Never thought I'd see the day that it would be cheaper to buy a car in this country!I'm on my third black car and never again,every time I wash,polish a new scratch is visible.Saw a beautifull silver SL (00 D reg) in Onyx,36k miles but it was gone the next day.Anyway,will continue my search untill I get a pristine example.

    Many Thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 197 ✭✭ budfox


    Actually, I saw that car. Absolute stunner...they had it for a while actually. Think it was silver and grey leather interior, right? A great buy...there'll be more...

    My preference would be the facelift model (think it came in 1997) with the curved wing mirrors, rounded rear light stack (not squared ones) and a panoramic roof....it wont have the classic status and will be a killer for tax but a great motor....

    I agree with black, never again....too much work to maintain....i'd personally go with a silver..find yourself a good local detailer (300-500 well spent) and a good car cover....classic for life....

    You'll find some great add ons such as memory, massaging seats, bose upgrade and other gizmos. These cost a fortune at the time but have a negligable impact on the price today....

    Here's a great one. Low miles, the right wheels, latest spec etc....

    http://www.carzone.ie/search/Mercedes-Benz/SL-Class/320-**-L/201045200163355/advert?channel=CARS


  • Registered Users Posts: 48 ✭✭✭ kell1


    Thank's Budfox,

    Yes,that was the car for sale in Onyx,advert stated that it was part of a private collection.Got the OK from my wife but it was gone the next day!

    Looked at that other silver one with Pann roof a few month's ago,wanted one with grey interior as black makes cabin seem very dark.To be honest,car looks good in photo but is a bit rough (in my opinion) in the flesh.Not saying there's anything wrong with the car etc.




    Cheers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 48 ✭✭✭ kell1


    P.S Budfox,I'm told that if you opted for Bose sound upgrade which cost almost 2 Grand when new,you could not get rear seat's option as sub woofer speakers in floor behind drivers seat filled this space.


    A bit of useless information for you!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,269 ✭✭✭ MercMad


    The straight six engine is the one that gives headgasket trouble. I have never done one on a V6. Also the later 280V6 is as enjoyable to drive as the earlier 300, but obviously if you can afford it the V8 is the way to go.

    Those airbag sensors seem to affect them all .....in fact most mercs of that era !


  • Registered Users Posts: 48 ✭✭✭ kell1


    Thank's for that MercMad.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3 avonmore024


    Hi, found your message interesting, a friend of mine who is not computer literate, has a 1994, R129. He has a problem with roof, raises and closes intermittently, while the book states the hand brake should be on, sometimes if he releases the hand the roof works but not always. As you appear to have superior knowledge of these vehicles, I hope you can be of assistance. Had been in Killarney for weekend last Summer, roof would not work on way back, got somewhat wet, checked it following morning worked perfect. I think it may be corrosion problem in some of the connections. He has no problem managing electric, if he could get his hands on wiring diagram, are they available.

    Any assistance would be appreciated. Jack in East Cork.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 48 ✭✭✭ kell1


    Hi, found your message interesting, a friend of mine who is not computer literate, has a 1994, R129. He has a problem with roof, raises and closes intermittently, while the book states the hand brake should be on, sometimes if he releases the hand the roof works but not always. As you appear to have superior knowledge of these vehicles, I hope you can be of assistance. Had been in Killarney for weekend last Summer, roof would not work on way back, got somewhat wet, checked it following morning worked perfect. I think it may be corrosion problem in some of the connections. He has no problem managing electric, if he could get his hands on wiring diagram, are they available.

    Any assistance would be appreciated. Jack in East Cork.

    Hi,sorry about late reply.I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to mechanics or technical issues.I think that MercMad is the person to seek advice from as he appears to have vast experience and knows what he's talking about.I'd imagine that you'd easily find the information you require from an internet search or R129 forum.I attended the Classic Car Show in Birmingham last november and found the people from Cheshire Classic Benz and The SL Shop to be enthusiastic and more than helpful.They have many customer's in Ireland and I'm sure that a quick phone call or email, they'd supply you with this information.The SL R129 is a fabulous car!

    Hope this helps.

    Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭ w124man


    Hi, found your message interesting, a friend of mine who is not computer literate, has a 1994, R129. He has a problem with roof, raises and closes intermittently, while the book states the hand brake should be on, sometimes if he releases the hand the roof works but not always. As you appear to have superior knowledge of these vehicles, I hope you can be of assistance. Had been in Killarney for weekend last Summer, roof would not work on way back, got somewhat wet, checked it following morning worked perfect. I think it may be corrosion problem in some of the connections. He has no problem managing electric, if he could get his hands on wiring diagram, are they available.

    Any assistance would be appreciated. Jack in East Cork.

    There are quite a few Mercedes Benz specific forums about that will answer your questions. Start with Facebook


  • Registered Users Posts: 3 avonmore024


    Many thanks thanks for you help and tips. Jack


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