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  •   Joe Partridge reacted to this post about 10 months ago
    votren911 updated the picture of the group
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  •   Daniel 1982 reacted to this post about 10 months ago
    The last affordable #Mercedes-Benz-SL / #Mercedes-Benz-SL-R129 / #Mercedes-Benz-R129 / #Mercedes-Benz /

    The rise and rise of Mercedes SLs continues unabated, almost right across the sporty drop-top’s back catalogue. The original 300SLs are largely static in the very expensive bracket, but nearly everything else from the 190SL onwards has seen growing interest of late.

    Even the Nineties-era R129s, which have until now been a kind of entry-level access point to classic SL ownership, are starting to chase after their R107 predecessors – also on the up. The #V12-engined #600SL is leading the way. There aren’t a lot of those to choose from and the best are now topping £20k. But the V8 500SL and all the (cheaper to run) six-pot models are picking up too, with good ones that struggled to make five figures a few years ago starting to trade in the teens.

    After highlighting SLs in one of our ‘To Buy Now’ features almost a year ago we could say we told you so, but the game is still on – the price rises show no sign of letting up yet.
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  •   Malcolm McKay reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Ultra-coupe #BMW-850i-E31 vs. #Mercedes-Benz-500SL-R129 Kings of autobahn

    True showcases the best of what is made in Germany of the 90s, the BMW 850i and the Mercedes-Benz 500 SL can be distinguished on the body, but they share a world of technology.

    Beneficiaries with excellent infrastructure, the Germans always prized good (and fast) cars. But never like in the 90's builders were so intent on uniting the power of V8 and V12 engines with new technologies that fulfil comfort and safety the top of the range, if the fabulous BMW 850i E31 and Mercedes-Benz 500 SL R129 which decided By facing each other.

    Conceived as a GT capable of facing brands like Ferrari or Maserati, BMW 8 Series ( #BMW-E31 code name) made furore when it came to market in 1989. enviable technological package, in addition to the V8 and V12 engines, the "eight" premiered among other things accelerator "drive by wire". From the first moment the 850i, with its V12 engine with five-litres and 300 horsepower, took the top of the hierarchy. Descendant of a royal line of convertibles, the #Mercedes-Benz-SL (R129 codename) was designed to overcome the previous models of the star brand. And it had new engines and a lot of technology. Aware of the importance of the US market, the German technical safety elected as one of the most important parameters, with SL to be equipped with an automatic rollbar, triggered in the event of imminent rollover. The version 500 SL was equipped with a V8 engine with five litres and a power output of 326 horsepower.

    Apparently distinct, if only for their body, both German proposals represent the best of what they did in Germany in the 90s, keeping intact predicates as the ability to travel long distances in comfort (and speed) and excite your driver. Equipped with different architectures engines - the BMW with a V12 and #Mercedes-Benz with a V8 - the total weights and power equate themselves as well as the use of an automatic four relationships.

    Designed by Klaus Kapitza, the BMW 8 Series conquers us immediately by its slender and proportionate lines, noting the absence of B-pillar, making it even more airy and clean their profile. More classical in their approach, the duo of Mercedes Johann Tomforde and Bruno Sacco designers kept the inspiration in earlier generations of the SL, innovating in the proportions of the body, making the model even more fit the US market. In this parameter, the versatility of the body of the 500 SL convertible gives him victory by a wide margin.


    Given the traditional 500 SL chassis layout, equipped with independent suspension on both axes, with triangular arms forward and multi arms ago, the BMW 850i responds with an advanced electronic system of EDC damping with the body height adjustment. Inside the 850i back to gain advantage, with several electric drives to the chassis functions and facilities the cabin.

    Life on Board
    Consistent with the modern lines of the exterior, the interior of the BMW 850i blend perfectly new technologies with ergonomic advocated at the time. Sitting in armchair advantaged lined skin, I find myself wrapped in the assembly of the instrument panel and centre console, the driver-oriented as today happens. Initially confused, the multitude of buttons quickly becomes customary, which just goes to prove the excellent ergonomics of the BMW.

    In contrast, Mercedes-Benz has the cabin of simple lines and the ideal partner to its classic design. Timidly around in scanty centre console, round buttons contrast with the rectangular command of the electric windows and heated seats, they also lined skin. Undoubtedly two quality proposals with very different attributes.

    Taking advantage of a known piece of winding road near Bucelas, with the machine photographer at the ready, become familiar myself with the 850i. Smooth and progressive, little temperamental delivery and quiet to medium regimes, the V12 seems distant in the way you work. The speedometer indicates 300 km / h top speed, but it is the accounting-rotations that deserves attention, because only after exceeded the threshold of 4000 rpm (up to the limit set at 5500 rpm) is the 300 horsepower are revealed with a sharp, metallic roar.

    Full-bodied sound and serious tone, the V8 engine that equips the 500 SL deserves more attention from the first meters. Although it is rotating that its German counterpart (the redline is at 6000 rpm), the block seems to have more soul at low engine speeds, rewarding the persistence of the right foot with a baritone intoxicating sound that makes me immediately smitten.

    Geared towards the long (and smooth) German autobahn, both models are true street sofas. On Portuguese roads, where the broken asphalt prevails, analogue suspension of the 500 SL disguises most swells, but the electronic BMW system that takes the advantage in terms of comfort, although very short, with a work smooth and progressive.


    Some say that "BMW with five meters long (other than the 7 series) does not count." I'm not that radical, but the fact is that the kinetic structure of the 850i worth exploring in highway, as in tight corners reveals ill at ease. To my regret, as the hydraulically assisted steering of the BMW is one of the best I have ever experienced, providing perfect dose of accuracy, sensitivity and weight.

    In the case of Mercedes-Benz is the direction that makes the model fall short of expectations, too care centre and insensitivity. In contrast, the chassis is truly brilliant, casting to the type of driving quickly and accurately. In turn, the rear axle sets quietly, helping to describe the trajectory, which in turn allows me to further explore the limits without fear of exceeding them.


    Neoclassical by definition, both the BMW and Mercedes-Benz have an estimated price of EUR 18 000 for the coupe and EUR 20 000 for the convertible. The same can be said regarding the consumption announced at the time. According to BMW, the 850i E31 was spending 90 kmh (average speed) 8.6-litres / 100 km, 120 kmh 10.3-litres / 100 km, and urban environments spent 19.8-litres / 100 km. Mercedes already spent to 90 kmh 10.1-litres / 100 km, 120 kmh 12.0-litres / 100 km, and urban environments spent 16.6-litres / 100 km. Two types of savings to take into account when we talk about classics as recent, and give a technical draw the tested models.


    Geared towards the fabulous German roads, the BMW 850i E31 and the Mercedes-Benz 500 SL R129 are probably two of the best gender models of the 90s (the list could also include the Porsche 928), but they could not be more different from one from the other. The BMW is a true GT, gentle in character and available at delivery, with comfort to spare. But the Mercedes-Benz SL enhances heritage with a refined sporty character mixed with classic atmosphere and current benefits. The winner should be the V12 from BMW but the versatility of the V8 #Mercedes-Benz takes the lead. Close call.

    We appreciate the collaboration of David Correia, Orlando Ferreira, the stand and the Living Legends Classic Auctions place for conducting this test.

    In more meandering routes the BMW 850i tends to run away slightly from the front, being quite progressive and predictable.

    Blessed by an excellent multi arm rear axle, the 500 SL is quite agile in the description of the tightest curves.

    The automatic transmission of the BMW offers several methods of use, being smooth and progressive. The tachometer announces 300 kmh top speed.

    The automatic transmission of the Mercedes-Benz is one of his best predicates, being smooth and very discreet in the passage of relations.

    Of slim silhouette and generous glazed surface, the 850i is still an elegant model, positioned between the glorious past of BMW and corrugated future aesthetic of the German mark.

    Classic and robust ways: so should always be an SL Mercedes-Benz, or this were not known as "panzerwagen". The maximum speed advertised by the tachometer is 260 kmh.

    The rear seats could be specified, although offered a very limited use. The bag is smaller than the BMW.

    With the roof closed the 500 SL is a true GT, versatile and effective.

    The classic appearance of the 500 SL is continued throughout the interior.

    Four excellent leather seats and a luggage compartment make this remarkable GT. a real racing car family to enjoy during long trips.

    In tight corners the BMW-850i is shown thwarted, preferring the highway.

    Quite ergonomic and technologically advanced, the interior of the #BMW 850i still remains current.

    TECH DATA #BMW-850i #BMW-E31 #1989 - #1994
    Production 20,072
    Engine V12 cylinders #M70 , front longitudinal position
    Distribution 2 overhead camshafts head, 24 valves
    Bore x Stroke 84 X 75mm
    Displacement (cc) 4988
    Power injection #Bosch-Motronic-M 1.7 / #Bosch-Motronic / #Bosch
    Max power (bhp DIN / rpm) 300/5200
    Maximum torque (Nm DIN / rpm) 450/4100
    Independent suspension; Front, lower transversal oscillating arms, anti approximation bar; rear, multi-link, anti approximation bar; electronic damping system #EDC with height adjustment.
    Transmission, automatic transmission 4-speed #ZF4HP / #ZF ; stability and traction control #ASC
    Steering Rack & Pinion, Variable
    Brakes power-assistance, front ventilated discs; rear disks; ABS #Bosch-ABS
    Chassis monoblock, coupé steel body, two doors and four seats
    Tank fuel capacity 90-litres
    Wheels / Tyres 7,5J / 235/50 ZR16
    Length: 4780mm
    Wheelbase: 2685 mm
    Width: 1855 mm
    Weight (kg) 1790
    Acceleration 0-100 kmh (0-62MPH) 7.4 sec
    Top speed 250 kmh

    TECH DATA #Mercedes-Benz-500SL - #Mercedes-Benz-R129 #1992 - #2002
    Production 79,827
    Engine V8 cylinders, front longitudinal position
    Distribution 4 camshafts to the head, 32 valves
    Bore x Stroke 96.5 x 85mm
    Displacement (cc) 4973
    Power mechanical injection / #Bosch electronic KE5-Jetronic / #Bosch-Jetronic / #Bosch-KE5-Jetronic
    Max power (bhp DIN / rpm) 326/5500
    Max torque (Nm DIN / rpm) 450/4000
    Independent suspension; Front, wishbone, bar stabilizer, coil springs; rear multi-link, stabilizer bar, coil springs
    Transmission automatic 4/5 speed
    Steering Rack & Pinion power-assistance
    Brakes with assistance ahead ventilated discs; ago disks; ABS #Bosch
    Chassis monoblock, convertible body in steel, 2-door, four-seat capacity
    Fuel tank 80-litrtes
    Wheels / Tyres 8J / 225/55 ZR16
    Length: 4470 mm
    Wheelbase: 2515 mm
    Width: 1810 mm
    Weight (kg) 1800
    Acceleration 0-100 kmh (0-62MPH) 6.2 seconds
    Max speed 250 Kmh
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  •   Ben Barry reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Running Report #1996 #Mercedes-Benz R129 #SL320 - a change of tune. After much deliberation, an R129 SL320 joins the Mercedes Enthusiast fleet, and its new custodians have grown very fond of it indeed. Despite my other half’s misgivings about its brown dashboard, I managed to persuade Mia that the SL320 R129 (discussed last time) was a good idea. There are lots of R129s out there but finding a good one isn’t as easy as you might think. I like things to look standard with no funny wheels or AMG bits, and this one ticked all those boxes, plus it had all its books and history.

    I also like the colour. I am not normally a fan of green cars - and from experience I even partly subscribe to the old wives’ tale that they are bad luck - but somehow the rich Pine Green of this one makes it look a lot less like a Barbie car, which means nobody mistakes me for Ken when I’m driving it.


    As for the dashboard, all concerned seemed to have persuaded themselves that they actually like it, which says something profound about the psychology of buying cars. I too have eaten my words when it comes to the engine. Before I drove the 320, I would not countenance the idea of a six- cylinder SL when the V8 alternative was so cheap and abundant. Neither could I truly accept that fuel economy benefits were very noticeable - and does that really matter with a car like this?

    And yet. One spin in the SL320 completely changed my opinion! This 24-valve #M104 is a tiger of an engine. It revs like a demon and sounds wonderful while doing it. Any perceived loss in tyre smoking, off-the-line urge is more than made up for in its lusty punch at the top end, and it is easy to see why this unit is the engine of choice for my friend Hermann’s streamliner recreations. Open the bonnet and it is recognisably an old Mercedes engine with few electronics, so it even has the right visual appeal.

    This car came with a stand for the hardtop, which we immediately put to good use. Visually, apart from some stone chips on the front bumper and bubbling paint on one of the alloys, there is nothing else that requires attention. The only dynamic fault is a disconcerting floating sensation in the steering at speed, which seemed to indicate that a new steering damper was required - £14 from Europarts. It was a synch to fit, but doesn’t seem to have made much difference. However, my feeling is that new front tyres and nipping up the adjustment in the steering box should sort the problem.

    Mia doesn’t like the P numberplate and is making noises about acquiring something more distinctive, and to hide the car’s true age. But the vast majority of people would realise it’s an 18-year old Mercedes, so why try to hide it?

    In the year my son was born (Sean, 1996), this car cost its first owner a considerable £60,000. As a totally usable convertible Mercedes-Benz with a powered folding soft top, plus air conditioning and almost everything else a #2014 car has that you would actually want, including electric mirrors and airbags, I reckon that makes these #R129 SLs - whatever the engine - the best value stars out there.

    This 24-valve M104 is a tiger of an engine - it revs like a demon and sounds wonderful while doing it.
    The black fabric roof folds away at the press of a button.
    Brown dash or not. the R129’s cabin oozes solid quality.
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  •   Ben Barry reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Youngtimer packing a special V12 tweaked by AMG, this record breaking #Mercedes-Benz-R129 SL has an amazing backstory #R129 SL with a special V12. Thought to have been built for the Royal Family of Brunei, this R129 claims even more power than a standard SL73 #AMG . Words Kyle Molyneux and images Craig Pusey. #Mercedes-Benz-SL73-AMG #Mercedes-R129 #Mercedes-Benz #Mercedes-Benz-SL

    Peering in from the outskirts, the tuning world can be a frightening, inspiring place. Imagine, just fora moment, that the performance offered by an SLR, CLK DTM or SLS isn’t enough, nor their crowd drawing exclusivity quite exclusive enough. To companies like Brabus, Lorinser, RennTech and Vath, cars like these are purely the basis for something even more spectacular and expensive. Not even their engines are safe from these power-crazed alien invaders.

    Such firms break down the sandbag walls built by manufacturers to entomb the wildest horses within. And to prove these tuners - and others - really know how to play with fire, they make their creations reliable with beefed up gearbox components and intricate cooling systems that could chill an afterburner.

    Of course, AMG has been in the game for over 46 years and its machines and methods have evolved with technological advances of the time. It is one of the fathers of modern tuning and cars like the 300SEL 6.8 Spa special, the illustrious 124 Hammers and the highly strung W201 190E 3.2 set the course for even more knee tremblingly powerful machines. Some of which, like this metallic black, R129 #Mercedes - Benz SL, claim an open topped drive that destroys even the most Brylcreemed of hair styles while a gargantuan thunder echoes behind.

    Yet even with Black Series badging - signifying the hottest of the hot AMGs today - their Mercedes-Benz beginnings are never completely forgotten. AMGs are still able to cradle you in a velvet glove after punching through the 62mph barrier in under five seconds, a fact our intriguing test subject proves.

    The standard, left-hand drive SL73 AMG made 518bhp at 5,500rpm with 553lb ft torque coming from its 7,291cc M120 V12 at 4,000rpm. However, scripture (possibly in gold leaf) on a carbon panel in the V of this car’s engine describes the metallic muscle underneath as ‘No. 052/7.3 - 565 Edition’. The latter part of the description could mean the engine is packing 565ps (which equals 557bhp), or indeed as much as 565bhp. More golden scripture lies below and it is arguably the most intriguing: ‘Exclusive engine for the Royal Family of Brunei’. Imagine, just for a moment, that a standard SL73 isn’t powerful enough...

    Living unicorns, AMG’s apparent lack of paper pushing in the early years means SL73s are not the best documented beasts, although some believe 85 were made. But as far as this RHD SL’s provenance is concerned, there is little else to go on. “All cars sold to the Brunei family were sold on a highly confidential basis, hence why there is no documentation with this car, just the (fully stamped) service book,” explains proprietor Charles Ironside, who had the car up for £49,950 before it was sold. Our own digging only confirmed that AMG has a record of an order number linked to this car's VIN, but what exact work the order included remains a mystery, likewise the lack of AMG styling.

    There is a rumour the Sultan of Brunei, or one of his notorious playboy brothers, bought several SL73s. They also liked to throw around AMG’s 7.3-litre V12. Back in 1995, a member of the family took a shine to the swooping, two-tone looks of Honda’s Argento Vivo concept car, penned by Pininfarina. But they clearly felt there was room for improvement under those polished aluminium curves, as they had Pininfarina make a few more Argento Vivo bodies, each with a folding carbon fibre roof, before adding an AMG V12 and beefed up running gear from an SL600, but not its hydro-pneumatic level control system.

    In an interesting twist, the American classifieds company Hemmings advertised two of these cars in 2007. The fact they were only partly finished suggests whoever commissioned the work ran out of money (unlikely), became bored, or completely forgot about the project.

    Among the pictures of these cars still available online are a few engine shots, in which a carbon fibre plaque can clearly be seen. Covered in dust, gold script reads ‘No. 051/7.3 - 565 Edition’, followed by ‘Exclusive engine for the Royal Family of Brunei’. It seems we have found the special AMG V12 that directly preceded our test car’s.

    Granted, this may all be coincidence, but what we know for certain is the SL73 was one of several R129s that carried AMG badging and was built from April 1999 to May 2001. The cars began life as SL600s, inheriting that model’s M120 V12, which was then bored and stroked from 89.0x80.2mm to 91.5x92.4mm.

    A new, longer stroke camshaft, titanium pistons, cylinder heads with bigger valves and a sports exhaust system were also added. The conversion price of DM99,180 in April 1999 was based on an SL600 with AMG alloy wheels and the AMG styling package.

    That was roughly £40,000 on top of the SL600’s around £100,000 price tag, which would have ballooned further with the countless options this example has, including a black fabric roof, panoramic glass hardtop, lavish orthopaedic memory seats and xenon headlamps. Yet even with the additional upgrades of this 1999 built and registered Mercedes SL, it would still have been small change to a family valued at $22 billion by Forbes magazine a few years ago.


    After tracking down one of this SL’s previous owners, Matthew Mortlock, an ex NDS Euroboss Series driver and now dealer in old Formula 1 cars, he was able to confirm another remarkable story I’d come across in my research. Namely, that this SL was used to set an accompanied blindfolded land speed record in 2004. Matthew sat alongside driver Toby Holland, who fired this Mercedes down a runway at a GPS confirmed average of 177.71mph without seeing a single yard of his trajectory. All for charity, you understand.

    But that average top speed was just for starters, reckons Matthew, who often saw “ 190mph plus” when circumstances allowed.

    So how did he discover the car? “It came from a friend of mine who dealt with the Sultan of Brunei,” he reveals. “He got hold of it first, but when I saw the car I told him, 4'm having that’. When it came to me it had next to no mileage, but I used it as everyday transport.” He’s not lying - the odometer now shows over 56,000.

    “It was a very reliable beast,” reports Matthew. “I’ve got an SL55 now, and the other SL is quicker than that. You can’t just wham it away from the lights, though,” he warns, “you have to wait until you have a bit of rolling speed before going for full power.”

    It is the issue of traction that dominates your thoughts in this SL. Make no mistake, those 12 cylinders under the bonnet generate a massive amount of twisting force, and its application to the road is made even harder by the greasy surface that greets us today. Anything approaching lull power and the roadster’s backside jives like John Travolta’s, while the orangey-yellow traction control light provides a disco glow.

    Even at 15 years old, the 7.3-litre AMG engine has 15lb ft more torque than the Pagani Zonda Revolucion, declared the fastest Zonda yet and which, like its brothers, boasts an engine derived from the M120 V12.

    The fact this car has 17-inch wheels with 235/45 front and 265/40 rear tyres, and not the SL73’s standard 18-inch alloys with 245/40 front and 275/35 rear rubber, compounds the car's slithery nature. “When I received the car, it had fake AMG wheels, so I wanted to change them to the right alloys, or as right as I could get,” explains its former proprietor. “These 17-inch AMG alloys were an option on R129s.”


    The tougher and more jiggly ride than a normal SL600 all but confirms AMG has fiddled with this car’s suspension, which also boasts the adaptive damping from the base car. This edgy set up chips away at the SL’s GT credentials, but controls the body a little more in the middle of, and out of corners. Although it’s straight line performance is phenomenal, this V12 SL feels cumbersome in bends. Clipping points repel the nose like they’re opposing magnets, and your first input through the numb recirculating ball steering system is often the wrong one as you attempt to feel your way through the turn.

    But when things open out again, this car really begins to make sense. With your right foot pinned and traction asserted, it feels like you’re being pushed downhill by a rugby team of giants, and the feeling continues when you jump on the brakes and just manage to scrub off momentum before the next bend.

    Even in 600 form, the R129 SL is a cruiser at heart, with way more power than strictly necessary, which grants truly effortless progress. But this car. Its massive thrust and sheer ferocity are forever prodding you in the back, and the stiffer ride constantly reminds you that this is not a normal R129 Mercedes. I don’t doubt it for a second.

    Thank you to Charles Ironside for the car Tel 01420 520635 Web, to Groomes for the location Tel 01420 489858 Web and to Matthew Mortlock for his help Tel 01954211047 Web

    With your right foot pinned, it feels like you’re being pushed downhill by a rugby team of giants.

    The standard SL73 ran on 18-inch wheels, but this car has 17s.
    The R129 SL’s two rear seats are merely a token gesture.
    The SL73AMG boasts a 7,291cc M120 V12 unit.
    One of few clues to this car's intriguing past.

    You can raise the ride height with this button.
    The ASR has a tough time dealing with all that power.
    Lumbar controls for the extremely comfortable seats.
    Very glossy wood trim with some very chunky switchgear.
    The cabin lacks drama but still feels remarkably solid.

    JUST THE FACTS #Mercedes-Benz-SL73-AMG-R129
    ENGINE #M120 7.291CC V12
    POWER 518bhp @ 5.500rpm
    TORQUE 553lbft @ 4.000rpm
    TRANSMISSION 5-speed auto RWD
    WEIGHT 2.050kg
    0-62MPH 4.8sec
    TOP SPEED 155mph
    YEARS PRODUCED #1999 - #2001

    With as much as 565bhp, this special edition, V12 powered SL will eat its tyres long before you have figured out a way to pay for them.

    Figures for a standard, left-hand drive SL 73 AMG this special, right-hand drive SL claims 565ps (557bhp) or S65bhp. and a derestricted top speed; fuel consumption according to NEDC combined.
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