1997 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL500 SL1 Sport 2dr Convertible
This car is solidly built, handles extremely well, and is a pleasure to drive. The design is one of understated elegance. Mine has very low mileage for its age and all original paint with no mechanical problems. These are a bargain if you get one without issues as new they cost $89,000 w/o options. The r129 type from the pre-Chrysler era is desirable. The mileage is what one ought to expect from a two ton car driven with a big V-8; if you are having this much fun is has to cost a little money! Skip the non-factory wheels as they really do nothing for day-to-day performance.
Performance and design; safety.
Really can't think of anything lacking although newer models probably have some extra bells and whistles. The retractable top on the newer ones is a plus for convenience but I like the traditional hard top (which you will hardly ever use.