Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Sarah asks: Hello and thanks for letting me ask you about this car! My friend bought it new in 2005. He passed away recently and I was able to buy the car from his family. Can you tell me about it? I remember him telling that only 300 were made; it’s the hard top convertible, really nice. I am thankful for any info.
My reply: This is, indeed, a very special car – starting with its engine. Which is a V12 engine.
Well, if it’s an SL600.
The SL500 came with a 5.0 liter eight cylinder.
Check your badges. If it has “SL600” on the decklid it has the V12. If it does… holy mackerel!
You don’t come across these often anymore, if at all. Having all those cylinders under the hood is prestigious. All those cylinder also provide a lot of power. But most of all, smooth/effortless power.
Regardless, the SL series were/are grand-touring ultra-luxury coupes/convertibles designed to be spectacular looking, spectacularly comfortable and spectacularly enjoyable to drive.
You are very lucky to have come into possession of this car whether it has eight or twelve cylinders.
I would recommend keeping it as a second car – as a car you take out for enjoyment, but not for everyday. For two reasons.
First, it is a classic and deserves to be preserved. It will also be worth more if you keep it as pristine as possible.
Two, these cars can be expensive to repair. Keep in mind that when it was new it was an exotic – one of the fanciest/most expensive models Mercedes offered. It was not designed with low service/maintenance costs in mind. Also, due to its age and very low production, it may be hard to find certain parts – especially trim parts. And when you do find them, odds are they will be . . . expensive.
That said, you have acquired what amounts to the vehicular equivalent of a Frank Lloyd Wright house. Whether it’s an SL500 or an SL600.
Take care of it – and enjoy it!
Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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