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1998 Mercedes-Benz SL 280 (R129)

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Sold Price


  • Mileage~67,300
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Engine2.8L
  • LocationWelling


1998 Mercedes-Benz SL 280 (R129)

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Alan Stuart
Professional Consigner

The R129 SL introduced improved safety features, a modern facelift over its predecessor, and improved performance making this late 90’s roadster worthy of a place in the Mercedes-Benz history book.

Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March of 1989, the Mercedes-Benz R129 SL280 was a direct replacement for the R107 of previous years and brought with it a number of changes including a hidden roll over bar and adaptive damping system, making this one of the safest vehicles of its time. From the model year of 1998 onwards the SL280 was given a revised facelift, consisting of new wheel designs and body coloured bumpers. All of this came together to provide the vehicle with a much more modern exterior.

This particular car comes with the hard top in good condition and a comprehensive service history, with the only exceptions being a period during which the car was SORN. With a modest ~67,300 miles recorded, 5 formers keepers and a thorough servicing in the current ownership, it presents in very good condition and benefits from coming with the optional glass panoramic hard top. It's also worth noting that this car has the rear seats option too.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Alan after meeting Steve 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

This car has been a pleasure to own and I couldn’t find a fault with it if I tried, I’ll be sad to see it go but happy to know it’s found a new loving home.

Steve has owned the car for 18 months, during which time he has loved every trip in the car, when speaking with him about his ownership he mentions "My personal preference is cruising on a summers day with the roof down listening to the whoosh of the excellent power plant", about right with the recent weather we've had too!

He's had major service work actioned on the car in his ownership, including a new water pump and belts service, on top of gearbox, diff and engine oil change and new spark plugs. Due to unplanned retirement and proposed introduction of ULEZ emissions laws, the cost of owning the vehicle in his area is set to increase dramatically and this is his reason for selling. Steve will be happy to answer any questions on the car in the comments section below.

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The later R129 features a facelifted exterior, providing classic 90s sports car styling combined with amber red paintwork and 5 spoke wheels to create a well rounded and attractive exterior.

Wheels and Tyres

The wheels are in remarkable condition for the age of the vehicle, showing no signs of corrosion, curb damage. The silver paintwork is in good condition too, with no peeling or fading.

The Nexen tyres are also in good condition, with good tread overall and no signs of degradation to the sidewalls or tread surface. View the image gallery to see the detail.


The bodywork itself appears to be straight and true, with panels and doors etc all looking to fit well. There are no visible bumps, dents, or knocks to the bodywork, and the sills and wheel arches appear to be solid too.

We've highlighted in more detail our observations through our high resolution images and videos, so please take time to look through all the media files for a detailed view at what’s on offer, and for you to assess the condition of the car for yourselves.


The "Amber Red Metallic" paintwork on the vehicle is in good condition overall, with an even finish and colour across most of the car. Being picky however, there are some signs of a slightly differing tone on the wing mirrors, minor clear coat peeling in a handful of places on the car, and a spot of bubbling on the hard top and passenger front wing, however these appear to be surface issues and do not show any signs of further corrosion.

Again, we have taken high resolution images and videos of the car for you to assess the condition of the bodywork for yourselves. The images are taken from a few different angles to show off the car as you would see it if you were standing there for yourselves. So please take the time to fully assess these high resolution images and videos of the car, for you to make up your own minds about the condition of the paint.

Glass and Trim

The glass is in good condition, including the glass roof of the hard top, we couldn’t find any major chips, cracks, or scratches to any of the glass present on the vehicle and likewise there were no damaged bits of trim that we could see during our time with the car.

This car comes with its factory optioned glass panoramic hard top (415), in matching colour of "Amber Red Metallic".


With electronically adjustable seats, full leather interior, burl wood dashboard, and space for four, the interior of the SL280 is a very pleasant place to be.

Seats and Carpets

The black leather seats are in great condition for their age, with no cracks, rips, or tears present in the hide, and the colour remains steadfast with no dye transfer or spots of wear. This car came with the rear seats option (565), they look good but perhaps a bit dusty from a likely lack of use.

The carpets too are in good condition, with next to no wear even on high traffic areas. The carpet is of good quality as is to be expected from Mercedes-Benz, with a nice thick pile adding to the luxurious feel of the interior.


The dashboard is also in good condition, we couldn’t see any signs of delamination of the burl wood inserts, a common problem with older wooden dashboards, and the rest of the dash is in good condition too with no visible scratches or cracks to any of the plastics.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The black leather steering wheel is in fair condition much like the seats, showing minimal signs of wear or colour loss and the stitching is in good condition too with no real damage to speak of.

The automatic gear selector is also in good condition, being the automatic model it does not see the sort of use a manual gear stick would and as such has held its condition very well.


With a 2.8L V6 engine producing ~204BHP and a very capable automatic gearbox, the Mercedes-Benz SL 280 provides an engaging and fun drive with the reliability of typical German engineering.

Engine and Gearbox

During our ‘On The Road’ video above you can see the engine start from cold - true cold as the car had not been driven for a number of weeks prior to our visit. It starts with no hesitation, turning over just fine and then idling comfortably as you would expect. The engine has also had a new water pump and related belts/pulleys fitted just a few months ago in April.

The gearbox performed as expected too, with the automatic box shifting gears reliably and smoothly without any knocks or lurches either. Again, in the current ownership the gearbox and diff oils have been renewed to leave the car in great condition mechanically.

Suspension and Brakes

The suspension performed well during our time with the car, handling corners nicely, providing a good level of comfort to the ride, and did not present any knocks or bangs that we could tell.

The brakes tell a similar story, stopping the car quickly and efficiently with no squealing or grinding, and the discs appear to be in good condition too. You can see more during out extensive exterior and mechanical videos.

The Drive

Having the V6 engine the vehicle sounds fantastic, making the car worth driving purely for the engine note. Combine this with the ease of the automatic gearbox, this really does make for a wonderful driving experience. Be it B-Road blasts or lazy Sunday driving, the SL280 is a fantastic all rounder.

Electrics and Other

During our time with the vehicle we had a look at the electrical bits on the car, including the electronically adjustable seats, the electronic convertible roof, and all the usual electrics such as stereo, blowers, and lights all of which worked as expected with no faults noticed, the only exception to this being the AC doesn't really blow as cold as it could.

History and Paperwork

Most recently serviced in September along with its MOT that passed with flying colours, the SL280 is in solid condition with history to match.

Having owned the vehicle for ~18 months, Steve has made sure to keep the vehicle well maintained, including its most recent service in September of 2021. He has had brand new front and rear catalytic converters fitted in March of 2021 and most recently a new water pump, crank, and pulley in April of 2022.

The full specification for the vehicle is as follows;

Front seat LH electric adjustable with memory
Front seat RH Electric adjustable with memory
Glass roof (R129)
Adjustable steering column
Gasoline Particulate Filter (GPF) without sensor
Outside rear view mirror LH and RH folding
Outside rear view mirror left and right with progr.
Speakers front and rear
Rear seats used on SL models
Headlamp cleaning equipment
Xenon headlamps asymmetrical
Black soft top fabric 9001
Seat heater for front right and left seats
Amber red metallic
Leather black

We’ve done all our usual seller checks including photo ID, V5 and also actioned a HPi check on the vehicle.

We've summarised our own view on the car based on information gained from the seller in the listing above, however, and as you can see, we go to great lengths to photograph and video the car in high resolution detail - this has been done for you to make your own assessment from the comfort of your sofa. So please sit back, have a cuppa and take your time to review everything on this listing in order to make your own assessment on the vehicle's condition. Viewings are also welcomed with all our listings, so please get in touch with us to arrange a suitable time - we just need to speak to you first and receive a valid photo ID before confirming.

If there's anything you're unsure about, no matter how small, then please first ask the owner in the comments area below before placing your bid/s, as bids can't be retracted and form a binding contract if you win the car - just like a traditional auction house.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
14.06.2000 Service 9,837
03.09.2002 Service 20,566
29.08.2003 Service 26,619
27.08.2004 Service 31,326
06.09.2005 Service 36,465
06.07.2007 Service 44,946
16.04.2009 Service 49,587
12.03.2011 Service 52,411
09.09.2013 Service 62,639
12.11.2020 Service 65,483
16.09.2021 Service 66,697
Key Details
  • ModelSL 280 (R129)
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Reg. Date11.09.1998
  • CC2,799
  • Mileage67,300
  • HistoryComprehensive
  • ColourAmber Red Metallic (548U)
  • Interior ColourBlack (231A)
  • Interior TrimLeather
  • Chassis #WDB1290592F174896
  • Engine #11292330283393
  • Last Service16.09.2021
  • MOTYes Exp. 28.09.2022
  • MOT ExemptNo
  • Road Tax ExemptNo
  • Former Keepers5
  • Tyre TreadGood
  • Tyre BrandNexen
  • Tyre Age~9 years
  • # of Keys2
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned~18 months
  • Key FeatureSpec and history
  • Auction ID489331

Vehicle Sold

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This vehicle has now been sold - click 'Register Similar' below to get notified when we consign a similar vehicle.

Ask Questions
Post a comment or ask the owner a question about the car.

Hi Steve,
I noticed bigjim asked if you had any further investigation carried out on the a/c issue, but you forgot to include that in your reply.
Perhaps you could let us know, as this could seriously influence bidding.
P.S. your pre-sale prep has been fantastic – well done.


Hi, there is a mileage discrepancy in the cars MOT history in 2019, is there any explanation for this or other recorded paperwork to compare with ? Also, are you planning to put a fresh MOT on it as the current one expires next month ? Thanks.


Hi Steve.l have an early r129 and considering your later car.Great colour and p-roof. I noticed top suspension mounts rubber split are they original.Are all 4jacking points rust free behind covers.Do all functions wipers work?air con does car need new condensor or just regas? What condition exhaust.Why did you need water pump and cats.Are the sunvisor hinge covers broken.Sorry to be picky but I speak from experience. Cheers Bigjim


good afternoon Steve.
I’ve been looking for a 320 SL for some time now but the colour and condition of yours is fantastic.
What kind of money were you hoping to achieve for this car? just so I know if I’m wasting my time bidding on it.
I’m only in Canterbury so not a million miles from you either.

Kindest regards


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