With prices for the older Mercedes-Benz models, such as the “Pagoda” and W107 SLs, heading ever higher, many enthusiasts are now starting to look at the R129-series SL.
Produced from 1989 to 2001, it combined timeless elegance, luxury and effortless performance, with V12 engines available for the first time. The R129 was the last SL with a detachable hard-top and, for many Mercedes fans, the last to be built to the marque’s legendary standards of construction.
With that sophistication came new levels of equipment and unprecedented complexity. For would-be buyers today, there are more points than ever to watch out for. The cars’ weight also puts a strain on components such as the brakes and suspension. Choosing a good R129 demands care.
This buyer’s guide will help you do just that. Learn about the differences between models, and what to look for when buying. What are the true running costs, and what issues with the mechanicals, body or interior, should you be wary of? Find the answers to these questions and information about the relevant clubs and R129 specialists.
Julian Parish has drawn on his own experience as an SL500 owner, and the support of independent specialists and Mercedes-Benz itself to prepare this guidebook.
Julian is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and this is his fourth book for Veloce, including the previously translated (from German to English) Mercedes W124 Essential Buyer’s Guide. After a career in publishing and international software development, Julian now contributes regularly to European automotive magazines and translates motoring content from French and German into English.
BULLET POINTS ABOUT THE BOOK
• Covers all R129 SL models from launch to final facelift.
• Includes 6-, 8- and 12-cylinder engines.
• Will help you decide if the R129 is right for you.
• Real-world running costs, based on author’s own experience.
• Understand the complexity of the R129.
• Comprehensive inspection guide.
• Aftermarket upgrades and modifications – what to look for, and what to avoid.
• Choosing the right version, options and colours.
• Details of independent specialists, clubs and online support.