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1988 Mercedes Benz 500SL

Sold Price


  • Mileage~94,368
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Engine5.0L
  • LocationGreat Missenden


1988 Mercedes Benz 500SL

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Darren Rungasamy
Automotive Editor, Photographer and Consigner

There are not many other cars that offer the same build quality in such an elegant package.

Launched in 1971, the R107 Mercedes SL has become one of the ultimate open-top classic cars. Deceptively quick, the SL encompassed all of Mercedes Benz’s traditional values, combining practicality, driving experience and elegance. There’s a bit more substance than just the SL’s V8 power though, the very mention of an open-top Mercedes is perpetually connected with decadence and luxury. The SL’s interior is simple but intuitive, the driving experience of the SL is one of understated elegance. It will glide you along any road with comfort, the unstressed V8 often reminding you that you have plenty of power and low down torque on tap. This is a reason why the R107 cars, particularly the 500 SL are safe bets on the market.

Bill's 1988 Mercedes 500 SL is a genuine UK late "facelift" model, which has been well maintained throughout its life. Sold new with several non-standard options including an automatic antenna, front lamps, rear bench seat stops, cruise control, bumper guards and the useful cold weather start equipment. Finished in "Midnight Blue" with grey leather, this facelift November 1988 example of a 500 SL has a huge file of paperwork and receipts and has spent all of the last two decades undercover in a garage.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Darren Rungasamy after meeting Bill the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

I've always liked the looks of the Mercedes SL, it's a respectable sports car too.

Bill has owned the car for over 15 years, having bought it following many years of working abroad. He's always liked the look of the Mercedes SL and sought out a decent example as a treat for himself. The power, while useful is not the motivation, the build quality combined with the enjoyment of open-top motor in the summer months being the main appeal. However, it's hardly seen the road in recent years, covering only 2,000 or so miles in the last 10 years. This lack of inactivity doesn't mean the car has been neglected though, as Bill has kept on top of the MOT's and servicing during this period but ultimately, this lack of use is the regretable reason for its sale.

Vehicle Owner

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The quality and care of ownership have really helped to preserve this 500 SL.

Wheels and Tyres

Being a late facelift example from '88, the car features the later 15" alloy wheel design. The alloys wheels have been looked after, there are the expected signs of the ageing process here and there but are in decent condition. The tyres show well above minimal legal tread.


A very clean example would be an accurate summary of this R107, the body lines are very straight, with no rippling or significant dents - only a handful of tiny dings here and there we spotted.

The panel gaps are excellent, the doors open with no sagging. With the car being stored in a garage it looks to be rust free, only a tiny spec in places (windscreen washer area) that we saw and certainly not enough to distract you. The underside is in very good condition, sills, valances and under-bonnet/boot areas look good. There is a corrosion spot in the boot where the spare wheel is kept.


The paint finish is very good throughout, the lustre is deep and shows evidence of garage storage. There are no significant stone or door chips just a couple of age-related issues, the main ones being a light scratches on either side of the rear wings - both can be sorted out easily with a buff and polish we feel.

Glass and Trim

The SL has a lot of external fittings, a combination of chrome, plastic and rubber adorns the car. As a whole, the trim is in good condition, although the rear bumper looks like it has seen a light knock and the off-side piece of the front bumper has the lightest of damage. There is evidence of the edge of a door side protector trim being lifted loose, but again hardly noticeable. The chrome work has retained its quality and there is no rust or pitting. The glass is in very good condition with no major scratches or chips.


The interior has been remarkably well-preserved, thanks to its build quality and careful ownership

Seats and Carpets

Finished in a smart grey leather, the interior is generally reflective of a well-built car of its age and mileage having worn its years well. The seat springs still offer the support needed. The driver's seat has wear on the bolster but other than that nothing to report.

The carpets are in decent condition, the light colour doing their best to disguise wear and tear. The passenger side and rear footwells have mats, which are in good condition. The boot carpet is also in good condition, with no signs of heavy use. The car has been at the local mechanics, in preparation for this listing and was left outside the premises during some particularly heavy downpours, this seems to have caused some damp behind the drivers seat as a result of a damaged rubber seal on the glass rather than the hood or under the car.


The dashboard is in generally good condition, the padded leather and walnut embellishments are intact, there are the usual signs of age but show no damage asides from the top of the facia which has a crack in the centre where the demist vents are positioned, typical for an R107. All of the dials and controls are in good condition and are all functional. The stereo system was fitted in 2013. The door cards are in good condition but show signs of the leather rippling. The headlining is unripped and in good condition with no signs of water ingress.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The steering is an aftermarket item, replaced to allow better access in and out of the car but the original steering wheel also comes with the sale as pictured. It is in decent condition. The gear level and handbrake show light age-related wear but are in generally good undamaged condition.


An understated car with many talents, the subtle V8 power is the 500 SL's ultimate party trick.

Engine and Gearbox

The engine fired up with no issues at all, its garaged status going some way to show its mechanical durability. The engine condensation disappeared quickly, take a look at the video to hear the engine in action. There was slight blowing from the manifold, but nothing major.

The gear shift was slick and effortless. The under-bonnet area could do with a clean but it is clear to see that it has not been neglected. The bonnet insulation will need replacing.

Suspension and Brakes

The brakes are in good condition, with no uneven wear or scoring on the discs. There was no evidence of knocking or noises in operation. While the brake functions were good, the last MOT advisory flagged up hose corrosion (likely due to lack of use) which may need attention at some point.

The Drive

It's all about the experience when driving an open-top 500 SL. The car is remarkably capable for modern driving conditions, these mechanically hardy cars have been proven dependable for almost 50 years. The 500 SL is the most desirable R107 model sold, and as a result, demand has been steady. What is the appeal then? Well, the impressive handling combined with the thoughtfully designed cabin, finished off with the svelte compact body styling ticks many boxes for those who would like a classic car, but not willing to sacrifice comfort and mechanical durability.

Electrics and Other

The lights and other electrics are said to be completely functional, the off-side front indicator has slight scraped damage but not a major issue. The electric windows function as expected. The folding roof is in excellent condition, with no rips or damage both inside or out. The function is good too, with all of the attachments and clips in working order. The car also comes with a midnight blue hardtop, which has a stand and cover.

History and Paperwork

A late facelift 500 SL, finished in a lovely Midnight Blue and coming with over 20 years of documentation.

There cannot be anything more pleasing than a file full of receipts and documentation when buying a classic car, and this is very much the case for this 500SL. The car has seen regular attention and maintenance over the years, with a radiator, tyres and cosmetic touch-ups seen the documentation.

In addition, the car has seen some recent boot lid repair due to age-related corrosion, with repairs to the soft-top, a new front exhaust box carried out prior to Bill's ownership. There is also evidence of the last 20 years of service history and MOT invoices for the car. All in all, this a lovely package if you're in the market for the R107 SL.

We've actioned checks on the following; Seller ID, V5, HPi clear.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
12-10-2020 MOT 94,611
11-09-2019 MOT 94,499
11-09-2018 MOT 94,428
17-05-2017 MOT 94,268
02-06-2016 MOT 94,032
26-05-2016 Service
03-06-2015 MOT 93,574
28-05-2014 MOT 93,374
18-04-2013 Service
16-04-2013 MOT 92,840
06-07-2012 MOT 92,616
05-07-2012 Service
23-06-2011 Service
21-06-2011 MOT 92,233
17-12-2009 MOT 92,185
07-01-2009 MOT 91,859
03-01-2008 MOT 91,556
04-01-2007 MOT 91,163
31-01-2006 Service
11-01-2006 MOT 89,620
04-01-2005 MOT 88,358
30-09-2004 Service
24-07-2003 MOT 77,790
28-05-2003 Service 77,424
03-01-2003 MOT 76,110
13-09-2002 Service 75,017
06-06-2001 Service 69,634
26-03-2001 MOT 68,669
23-03-2000 Service 63,051
26-01-2000 MOT 62,059
26-02-1999 MOT 58,736
Key Details
  • Model500 SL
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Reg. Date1988
  • CC4973
  • Mileage~94,368
  • HistoryGood
  • ColourMidnight blue (904)
  • Interior ColourGrey (278)
  • Interior TrimLeather
  • Chassis #WDB1070462A063509
  • Engine #11796422002635
  • Last Service26-05-2016
  • MOT11-10-2021
  • MOT ExemptNo
  • Road Tax ExemptNo
  • Former Keepers8
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned15 years
  • Key FeatureOriginality with careful ownership

Vehicle Sold

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Show Bids Only

Bill Seems I won the car, please give me your number and I will call you. Regards, Trevor *******

Bill P
Bill P

Well done and congratulations.

My telephone number is 01494864059.

I need see what Trade classics want me to do next.

I will phone you tomorrow .

What time will suit you?

Thank you




£19,750 bid by Boris2008 25.01.2021 @ 19:04:31
£19,500 bid by Janet1973 25.01.2021 @ 19:03:03
£19,250 bid by Boris2008 25.01.2021 @ 19:02:36
£19,000 bid by Janet1973 25.01.2021 @ 18:57:59
£18,750 bid by Boris2008 25.01.2021 @ 18:40:08
£18,500 bid by NSearle 25.01.2021 @ 14:20:41
£18,250 bid by SimonCooper73 25.01.2021 @ 11:24:10
Azhar Ghafoor
Azhar Ghafoor

Hi Bill
I need some more information about your car
How may owners has your car had?
Can you supply more pictures of the hardtop?
Do you have a stand for the hardtop?
What condition is the hardtop in?

Bill P
Bill P

I believe that I am the third owner.Yes but not until tomorrow.The hardtop is stored on a stand and has a cover.You will be able to see the condition from the photos.I will send the photos to Kulraj so he can post them on the site.

Bill P
Bill P

Because of the snow ,the garage will not be able to help me fit the hard top until this evening.It has been stored on a stand with a soft cover to keep it safe.I have taken some photos and have asked Kukraj to post them for you. The hard top is in good condition.

Kulraj Salh

Hi, we’ve added another picture It’s hard for Bill to take more as it is on it’s stand, and they are very heavy hard tops. It looks in tip top condition in line with the rest of the car, and as pictured, is kept in a special protective cover too, not just on the stand bare. Best, Kulraj – Trade Classics

Bill P
Bill P

The hard top is now in place and I can see that it is very good condition.Regrettably it is now too dark to take any photographs.

Kulraj Salh

No worries Bill, I think you can tell given the condition of the hard top headlining, and the finish on the exterior picture you sent through today that it’s in good condition.

Good luck with the bidding to all those involved this evening.

Best, Kulraj – Trade Classics

£18,000 bid by Brampton 24.01.2021 @ 18:08:58
£17,701 bid by lahos72 24.01.2021 @ 18:05:55
£17,500 bid by Brampton 24.01.2021 @ 18:01:34
£17,201 bid by lahos72 24.01.2021 @ 17:42:56

Bill, an I go back to the question on the bulkhead as a specialist told me on Friday it is an 8k repair. Did the person from TC look at this – apparently there is a panel at the back of the engine bay that can be unscrewed to inspect.

Kulraj Salh

Hi Janet1973, the bulkhead is something that we don’t check when we visit. However a key point to note is the general condition of the car, and the fact that some water got in to the back of the car probably due to a loose seal near the window when it was out at the mechanics in some very very heavy rain, the front footwells were dry. When the bulkhead has corroded, water gets in to cabin of the car this way, and deposits on the front footwell but we didn’t observe any water in the front footwells. Hope that… Read more »


Thanks v helpful


The bulkhead is the biggest virtually untreated weakpoint, as ive been lead to believe by an expert in R107’s. It is an expensive fix, and the only real way to check is via an endoscope.

£17,000 bid by Brampton 24.01.2021 @ 17:04:39
Harvi Hunjan
Harvi Hunjan

Hi. Please can I view the car on Sunday 24th Jan. I am in Chalfont St Peter and can view anytime before the auction end.

Bill P
Bill P

If this helps you to make a bid you may come and see the vehicle today.I will be unable to bargain with you as the auction is still in progress.What about 14.00 hours to day.Phone me to confirm on 01494864059.

£16,250 bid by lahos72 23.01.2021 @ 10:11:09
£16,000 bid by SimonCooper73 23.01.2021 @ 09:35:24
£15,750 bid by lahos72 22.01.2021 @ 14:04:12
£15,500 bid by Boris2008 22.01.2021 @ 13:12:32
£15,250 bid by lahos72 22.01.2021 @ 11:32:43

Hi Bill, Do you have the OEM stereo?


Hi Bill I am interested in speaking to you regarding your Mercedes could you give me a call please on 07860212919

£15,000 bid by beemer8310 21.01.2021 @ 12:43:24
£12,250 bid by reggio61 21.01.2021 @ 08:01:11
Trevor Welch
Trevor Welch

Hello Bill, I have has several SLs and wonderful car.
Does your car have factory fitted A/C and rear seats.
Also are there more photos that I could view.
Many thanks, Trevor Welch 079876 788157


Hi and also does the car have a hard top

Kulraj Salh

Hi Janet1973, yes the car does come with the matching hardtop, a special cover for storage (the whole hard top goes in to this soft cover), and the stand. Bill has sent through some pictures of it and we’ve uploaded, you can see here;


Kulraj – Trade Classics


Is the colour metallic?

Nick Milnes
Nick Milnes

Can you tell me if the baulkhead has been checked as this can be a problem area for corrosion?
Many Thanks


Vehicle Location

Great Missenden

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