I've owned the 1998 SL 500 since 2006 when I bought it with 51000 miles. I am the third owner and each time the car was sold by a MB dealer. I now have 74000 miles on it and it has not given me one ounce of trouble. I have gone to the dealer for routine maintenance and paid a small premium. I have the original hydraulic cylinders and top. The car drives like new and has cost me very little over the 10 year period, while giving me great pleasure. I considered replacing it with a 2005 550 model but my wife felt the R129 body was such a classic we should just keep it. It's not worth very much on the market now but It's worth a lot to us. We tested a large number of cars before buying but who can argue with a design that allows you to talk on a cell phone at 70 MPH with the top down and windows up. Not the most powerful car on the road but incredible torque for passing in the 45 to 80 MPH range. Our car is beautiful and we get positive comments everywhere we go. What's not to like?
These cars are amazing, and to buy one now, you can be sure to get a much better deal than the brand new price tag of $100K. Not alot to warn you about other than you will be at the gas station more frequently than the average car as this baby likes gas a lot. other than that, she is a beaut. for someone like me, 6.4 tall, she can be a bit snug getting in and out of the drivers side, but the passengers side is not a problem at all.
I have owned this car since 2001 and I can say that it is still a thrill to drive every time I get behind the wheel. This car has been super reliable and almost maintenance free. Just regular care as you would do with any car, and no major repairs. She has a little over 80K miles on her now, and still runs like new. I also own an '06 C55 AMG as my daily driver. Very fast and stiff ride. Also enjoyable, but I would take the SL500 any day, if I had to choose just one.
I love how this site has 100% 5 star ratings from owners of this car. I totally understand it too. Cheers!
Words can't express the thrill I get every time I get into this car. I'm just 32 and I've loved the r129 SL500 since I first saw it as a kid. I looked all over the US and about booked a flight to Texas to buy a car when a buddy of mine called to let me know his dad just bought a low mileage car for his lot. I drove down to his lot and saw my 98 Mercedes SL500 sitting there with only 46,000 on the clock. I test drove it then went to lunch came back and paid for it. We have put 7,000 miles on it in just two months. I love the feel, touch and power of this amazing cruiser. I even don't mind the fuel costs I'm getting about 17city and our trip to Florida we were able to get 25.4.
I owned a 1956 190SL while stationed in Germany when I was a much younger man and always wanted another one. Well I couldn't afford that '56 now but the modern engineering, comfort and style of my "new" SL make up for it. Sitting in this one I can see and feel the DNA connection to that beautiful '56. You will not regret owning and driving this masterpiece. Shop wisely, do your homework, then enjoy. Very affordable.
Convertible top opens or closes in about 30 seconds. German stereo matched to vehicles acoustics (great sound even with top down!). Body styling and build quality. Parts and quality service availability.
Front lower panel will scrape parking bumpers and normal height curbing. Otherwise NONE.