2002 Mercedes Benz SL500 AMG ConvertibleView vehicle description
The R230, which is the fifth generation Mercedes-Benz SL, was built between 2001 and 2008. An all-new car, it was initially only available with the five-litre V8 engine, which was no hardship given its 302bhp output and creamy smooth power delivery.
Featuring a retractable hardtop, the SL500 really did give the discerning driver the best of all worlds, with all the fun of the open air allied to what is effectively a proper hard-top coupe for those times when the weather didn’t play ball.
Stuffed full of high-tech safety features, its most significant was perhaps Active Body Control, or ABC, which used hydraulic accumulators to regulate and vary the height and stiffness of the suspension. This system gives – again – the best of all worlds; a pillowy soft ride when you want to waft, and a hard-edged sporting bias to the handling when you want to press on.
The V12 SL600 soon joined the range, followed by an SL350. Always more of a luxurious grand touring car than a sportscar, the even the smallest engine gave it enough poke to retain its continent-bludgeoning reputation.
The model underwent a facelift in 2008, during which it gained a series of new engines as well as a new, smoother, and more modern face. This means that while it has yet to achieve complete classic car status, it is the earlier cars, like the one we are looking at here, that the retro-modern enthusiasts prefer.
First registered on the 22nd of November 2002, this lovely Mercedes-Benz SL500 has spent its entire life with two lady owners in London. Most latterly looked after by Klasse of Fulham, as you can see from the attached invoices money does not appear to have been a consideration in its maintenance.
Still showing just 22,500 miles, it came straight to the vendor via Klasse, who had been tasked with selling the car on her behalf.
Now offered for sale with a ridiculously low reserve price, this is your opportunity to get your hands on a barely run-in SL500 that goes as well as it looks.
On the Outside
The subtle dark blue coachwork adds a purposeful and discreet air to a car that already throbs with latent menace. It all aligns bloomin’ well too, but then that’s only to be expected given its charmed life.
It has razor-sharp shutlines, perfect panel alignment and almost impeccable paintwork.
It’s got the bi-Xenon headlights too, plus that complex but incredibly effective folding metal roof. Obviously, the latter works as it should, furling and unfurling on command and providing what might just be the most effective convertible experience available anywhere for less than six-figures.
The AMG 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels are unsullied (just look how clean the inner rims are…) and fitted with matching Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres, all of which have good tread.
As we will never tire of explaining, our experience shows that matching high-quality tyres are an infallible sign of a caring and mechanically sympathetic owner who is prepared to spend the appropriate amount in maintaining their car properly. Their presence does not, of course, preclude the need for a thorough inspection - something the vendor would welcome, by the way – but it does perhaps give you an insight into their attitude towards maintenance.
Faults? Well, there is the odd stonechip, a small touched-in mark on the boot lid, and a small blemish on the tonneau cover but other than that there’s little for even the fussiest of enthusiasts to find.
Which is as boring to read as it was to write but then boring is exactly what you want to see when you’re thinking of buying a car like this.
On the Inside
The grey leather interior features heated and cooled electric front seats, burr walnut trim, a wind deflector, a first aid kit and fire extinguisher, and a Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system. As you’d expect given its low mileage and careful curation, it is in a stunning condition with barely a mark much less any significant wear.
Seriously, this is going to be one of the shortest interior write-ups we’ll ever publish because it all looks like a two-year-old car rather than one that’s old enough to buy you a pint. There is a small blemish on the nearside rear seat/luggage shelf trim (please see the photograph for details) and the very lightest of creasing to the driver’s seat, but that seems to be it.
It all seems to work too but then you’d guessed that by now, hadn’t you?
The SL’s service history is a bit of a dream, having been serviced on the dot from the beginning – and contrary to the usual practice, the regimen was stepped up as it got older, being serviced every year regardless of mileage.
The stamps in the book show:
14.07.2004 and 5,868 miles – Mercedes-Benz Tooting
08.12.2006 and 8,200 miles – Dixon Square Group
05.02.2008 and 9,454 miles – Dixon Square Group
12.05.2009 and 11,225 miles – Mercedes-Benz Brentford
07.04.2011 and 13,997 miles – Mercedes-Benz Brentford
16.04.2012 and 14,913 miles - AMC
20.05.2013 and 16,174 miles – Klasse of Fulham
26.08.2014 and 17,455 miles – Klasse of Fulham
19.08.2015 and 18,371 miles – Klasse of Fulham
10.08.2016 and 19,398 miles – Klasse of Fulham
20.08.2017 and 20,308 miles – Klasse of Fulham
08.08.2018 and 21,356 miles – Klasse of Fulham
It features a high-capacity battery, Active Body Control, and the five-speed automatic gearbox. Plus, of course, that staggeringly effective five-litre V8 engine; with 302bhp and 339lb/ft of torque at the driver’s disposal, it can hit 62mph in just over six seconds, which should be quick enough to silence anyone who tells you that its more of a boulevard cruiser than a sportscar – if, that is, you can hear them over the sound of that wonderfully gruff exhaust note…
The engine bay is wonderfully clean and the underside is utterly solid.
The SL’s MOT certificate expires in August 2021.
It has a sheaf of invoices and bills to confirm the work that has been done to it over the years, along with a fully stamped service history booklet, the original owner’s handbook, book pack and wallet.
Please visit the documents section of the gallery of this listing where you will find photos of this and other paperwork to support our claim that this car has been maintained to an impeccable standard.
If you’d like to inspect the car prior to placing a bid – something we would encourage – then please use the Contact Seller button to arrange an appointment.
And please be reassured, we’ve undertaken a full COVID-assessment and put into place strict control measure to enable us to safely facilitate a no-contact, socially distanced viewing that includes disinfection of the vehicle before and after your viewing.
However, if you’d rather not come to see the car in person, please give us a call and we can shoot a personal video of the car honing in on any areas you’d like us to concentrate on.
Or, even better, why not contact us with your mobile number and we can set up a WhatsApp video call? You get to direct us in real-time, giving you a virtual personal viewing experience while maintaining the lockdown. We like to call it ‘The Market’s 2020 Vision’…
What We Think
With an impeccable service history, an almost unblemished condition and one of the best engines in the business, we can’t think of a safer or better way to blow four-year-old Mazda MX-5 money.
Yup, that’s right; this incredible sportscar could probably be yours for somewhere between £12,000 and £16,000, which is a ridiculously small sum for a car that was the epitome of performance and style when it was new.
Barely run-in, we should think it’s got another couple of decades of life in it yet too, which should bode well for its future value.
You see, sometimes you can have your cake and eat it - and then go back for seconds…
Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car and an array of regional providers for transporting it.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.
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