1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL500 SL1 Sport 2dr Convertible
I had driven a 1984 380SL for a while in 1987 and fell in love! Fast forward twenty years, and I decided to go with the R129, and 1998 was the last year for the twin cam 48 valve engine, so I looked for the Sport model with a Panoramic roof. Love the car! Very glad I went this route. The hard top still feels more "open" being mostly glass, so winter is less of a drag. I just feel good driving it, anywhere, anytime. I've had a number of nice cars, but the SL is extraordinary in so many ways that I believe I will always want one. My wife and I take trips with our 45 pound Golden Retriever and even she loves it! Service is costly, but not frequent, so I highly recommend this fantastic machine!!!
Smooth, powerful engine and great handling while maintaining a good ride quality. German cars just feel better to me. The drop top is wonderful, as is the Pano roof. The Sport model is worthwhile, but not mandatory. Where else can you get a $90K car for under $20K with low miles and service records?
Some switches and incidentals are a little suspect, but so much is right about the car that my complaints are forgotten once we are on the road. I would have loved the V-12, but my local dealer's service manager warned me that it is quite a bit more to maintain, so I decided the V-8 was best for me.