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1998 Mercedes-Benz SL500 (R129)

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  • Mileage~98,546
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Engine5.0L
  • LocationBexhill-On-Sea


1998 Mercedes-Benz SL500 (R129)

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Alan Stuart
Vehicle Consigner and Photographer

Beautifully engineered, fast and elegant – everything a Mercedes-Benz Grand Tourer should be

The Mercedes-Benz SL500 R129 combines great manners with fantastic performance and the legendary Mercedes-Benz build quality. When introduced in 1989 it replaced the R107 thereby upholding a fine tradition of Grand Touring convertibles. Loved by both the Mercedes faithful and the wider public it remained popular until replaced by the R230 in 2002.

The R129 offered significant innovations including controlled electronic damping, a more modern multi-link rear axle and fully operating electric hood, windows, door mirrors and seats. The 5.0L V8 propels the car to 60MPH in 6.1 seconds and to a top speed on 155MPH, with power delivered to the rear wheels through a smooth 5 speed automatic gearbox.

This car is an excellent example of the model. Finished in the fantastic two-tone green-black metallic paint complemented by a beautifully maintained mushroom leather interior, the car presents extremely well. It has full-service history and has been impeccably maintained by its current and previous owners.

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

For me, these cars represent the zenith of Mercedes-Benz sports car production.

Chris is a big Mercedes enthusiast and a particular fan of these cars. Having worked in the motor industry for over 50 years Chris sold these cars new, so he knows them pretty much inside out.

“I bought this car on the recommendation of a Mercedes-Benz engineer who used to service my SL320. He used to service the car, and I knew he was fussy and so am I! It’s a fantastic car, this model is generally regarded as the most sought after. It's a real pleasure to drive. I am hoping it goes to another enthusiast who can enjoy it as much as I have”

"The provenance was another factor for me when buying the car, with details of the owners right back to when the car was new, and lots of service history to show the car has been well looked after". Chris will be happy to answer any questions about the car in the comments section below.

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The stylists hit the mark with the SL500 - a stunning mix of purpose and artistry.

Wheels and Tyres

The wheels are the original 16-inch Monkar alloys which are in very good condition with only some minor marks as can be seen from the photos.

The wheels are shod with Goodyear Efficient Grip Performance tyres, and all have good tread remaining. There is a full-size spare in the boot.


Exactly as you would expect from a car of this quality the bodywork is excellent. Panel gaps appear good all round and there are no obvious signs of accident damage.

The doors, boot and bonnet open and close precisely and cleanly. The electric hood works perfectly as can be seen from the video and a hard top in very good condition also comes with the car, along with the hard top stand pictured. Chris tells us the hood has two very small splits on the top side of the rear offside quarter window, being so small they are hard to notice in the pictures.


Benefitting from the fantastic two tone green and black metallic finish (Code 189U) the finish on this car is very good.

The paint is generally in excellent condition with only minor stone chips on the bonnet and some scuffing on the front bumper and under the front valance. Difficult to believe this SL500 is 23 years old!

Glass and Trim

The glass and mirrors appear clear and unmarked with no issues to note. The trim and badging are very good, contrasting beautifully with the metallic paintwork.

There is a minor stone chip on the front windscreen, but this is not in the drivers view and was not an issue at the MOT


Refined, comfortable and stylish – the mushroom leather interior is excellent

Seats and Carpets

The mushroom leather front seats provide good support and are firm and comfortable. They are in great condition and the front seats are electrically adjustable. The seat belts are integrated into the seats rather than being anchored to the B Pillar and transmission tunnel. The SL500 was a pioneer in this respect.


The instrument binnacle is clear, well laid out and in great condition. Typically, Mercedes have made the dials easy to see and read while the Perspex is clear and unmarked.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The Steering wheel and gearstick are in very good condition and have maintained their looks as well as the rest of the interior. This interior is a charming, elegant, and purposeful place to be.


Impeccably engineered the 5.0L V8 delivers smooth acceleration and with torque aplenty, effortless cruising.

Engine and Gearbox

The car starts well from cold and settles down quickly to a steady idle. The "On The Road" video shows the car pulls well and the 5-speed automatic box moves through the gears quietly and smoothly.

As mentioned previously, the car has been serviced by a Mercedes-Benz engineer who recommended Chris buy this example, and he's continued the servicing since. The engine bay looks delightful, Chris having gone to the effort of having the car professionally detailed for sale.

Suspension and Brakes

The SL500 has ABS as standard and Chris advises that both brakes and suspension work exactly as a Mercedes should. Our "On The Road" video shows the car stops well and there are no untoward knocks or rattles from the suspension.

The Drive

Chris tells us the car drives exceptionally well and is quiet, comfortable, and very well mannered. The 5.0L V8 is by far the most popular now, what a great sound it delivers along with sporting performance.

Electrics and Other

Chris confirmed all electrics work as they should with the exception of the drivers door mirror which does not operate in the vertical plane and the headlamp washers which may need a new motor. Both these issues are common on this model and haven't caused Chris any problems.

Otherwise all switches and wiring appear in good condition. A working radio cassette is included, and door mirrors, windows and seats are electrically operated.

History and Paperwork

A chance to own a truly elegant, beautifully engineered sports car ready to make 2022 a lot of fun.

First registered in May 1998 the car has a full-service history and has documentation dating right back to the pre delivery check. It has a good MOT history with very few advisories and certainly none in recent years. Original documentation is included from when the vehicle was new and there is a range of receipts for various works carried out over the years.

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 hi-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
08.10.1999 Service 10,471
05.10.2001 Service 21,093
31.03.2003 Service 31,625
01.11.2004 Service 31,764
10.03.2006 Service 58,316
19.03.2008 Service 67,479
27.07.2011 Service 73,318
05.06.2013 Service 73,316
14.05.2015 Service 74,165
12.05.2016 Service 83,111
22.08.2017 Service 89,362
21.08.2019 Service 93,992
01.07.2020 Service 96,030
07.06.2021 Service 96,580
Key Details
  • ModelSL500 (R129)
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Reg. Date13.05.1998
  • CC4,973
  • Mileage~98,546
  • HistoryExcellent
  • ColourBlack Green Metallic (189U)
  • Interior ColourMushroom
  • Interior TrimLeather
  • Chassis #WDB1290672F160990
  • Engine #11998222015202
  • Last Service07.06.2021
  • MOTExpires 22.06.2022
  • MOT ExemptNo
  • Road Tax ExemptNo
  • HPi ClearYes
  • Former Keepers4
  • Tyre TreadGood
  • Tyre BrandGoodyear
  • Security SysYes
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned2 years
  • Key FeatureCondition

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
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Show Bids Only
£9,250 bid by Jasper 16.12.2021 @ 19:21:57
£9,000 bid by michael1 16.12.2021 @ 19:12:17
£8,250 bid by Jasper 16.12.2021 @ 19:07:19
£8,000 bid by michael1 16.12.2021 @ 17:48:35
£7,500 bid by liferunner 16.12.2021 @ 17:04:23

Hi, when were the brakes (pads and discs) last changed? Similarly when was the suspension last refreshed (bushes, control arms, springs, shock absorbers etc) Has the timing chain been replaced too (appreciate it’s just under 100K) but thought I would ask as it’s a big ticket item? Also, on the passenger seat is that a small permanent stain, does that relate to the 2015 Mercedes invoice for cleaner and cleaning agent? Lastly, do you know of any resprays to parts of the car, or are most of the panels original paint? Many thanks,

£6,300 bid by nez70 15.12.2021 @ 19:57:08
£5,500 bid by WA11 15.12.2021 @ 19:07:45
£5,000 bid by 14.12.2021 @ 12:14:18
£4,000 bid by CORN0067 12.12.2021 @ 17:27:07
£1,500 bid by A6khu 10.12.2021 @ 14:59:59

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