1992 Mercedes Benz 300SL (R129)


  • A handsome example of the popular R129 presented in Signal Red over beige leather
  • In the same ownership for the last 9 years and having enjoyed a full service history
  • Complete with an advisory free MOT until May 2023

The Appeal

The R129 superseded the much-loved R107 in 1989. By the mid 1980’s the R107 was getting noticeably long in the tooth and, with the world poised at the gateway of a computer age, the R129 was appropriately packed with state-of-the-art technology.

The R129 was overseen by Mercedes design guru Bruno Sacco and it certainly succeeded in bringing the venerable SL lineage bang up to date. Innovations at the time included the electro-hydraulic hood operation with hard tonneau and a safety roll bar that deployed in less than 0.3 seconds in the event of the car turning over.

The History and Paperwork

  • The car was supplied new in August 1992 via the Mercedes Benz dealer network
  • The car was subsequently used and enjoyed by 9 owners 
  • The current owner acquired the car in 2013 at around 116,000 miles
  • During his ownership the vendor has covered around 2,700 miles a year on average
  • Excellent history file, confirming provenance
  • This includes the current V5 in the name of the owner
  • The current hard MOT is present in hard copy
  • This is advisory free and valid until May 2023
  • The original owner’s manual and service book are also on hand
  • The latter documents the excellent service history during the current ownership
  • The service book contains 12 stamps with the last one dating from 08/21 at 137,814 miles

The Interior

  • Finished in beige leather with contrasting hues for carpets and dashboard
  • A well-equipped cabin with a number of useful refinements fitted
  • Some signs of wear are evident but commensurate with the car’s age and mileage

The R129 features a well-considered cabin design with only high-quality and durable materials in evidence. The bulk of the cabin is trimmed in beige leather. The commodious front seats feature perforated centre panels arranged into two wide box pleats. The driver’s seat bolster is worn into a hole of approximately 2cm in diameter, additionally the centre arm rest exhibits some wear and deterioration.

Other than those obvious areas the interior presents very well for the age of car. Carpets are reported to be in fine used condition and are currently protected by dark carpet mats. The centre console, areas of the dash and sections of the door cards are accented with dark wood veneer.

The small rear seats feature folding backrests that deploy forwards to provide a useful and additional carpeted storage shelf. The usefully sized and shaped boot is carpet lined and provides a home for the, seemingly, unused full-sized spare, the original tool set and reflective safety triangle.

The usual SL refinements fitted include electrically adjustable front seats, electric windows, mirrors and electro-hydraulically operated soft top. 

The roof on this example while it does lower and raise at the touch of a button, just at the end of its operation when raising it there's a brief two/three second that stops before it fully shuts this also causes the roof light to flash while driving, but this does not detract from the way the the roof or the car performs in any way. It is also reported to retain its insulating and plush fabric beige headlining. 

The Exterior

  • This example benefits from bright and vibrant Signal Red paintwork
  • Recently sourced OEM 16-inch, 8-hole alloy wheels with Signal Red centres
  • Some age-related patina is present but only obvious upon close inspection

The vibrant Signal Red paintwork of this example suits the Sacco overseen design very well indeed. The famous “Sacco panels,” along the flanks and over the bumpers, appear to be in great condition with little paint fade in evidence.

The current owner recently sourced and fitted the familiar 16-inch, 8-hole alloy wheels that would have been the original fitment for this car. All tyres are new, too, with 225/55 Rotalla items fitted all round. The wheels feature centre caps with body-coloured backgrounds to help tie everything together.

The aforementioned black fabric hood and RCM have been replaced by the current owner at the cost of £1800 and while it does not operate as the factory intended, it is nevertheless in very good condition. The vendor informs us that the electric aerial has also been replaced. A new Coverzone car cover is also included.

We are informed that a new front windscreen and instrument cluster have been fitted during the vendor's ownership.

The current owner has kept on top of most body related issues, having commissioned repairs to the rear wheel arches as well as the replacement of the front offside wing. There are a few age-related imperfections remaining, however. These include a couple of minor rust patches to the nearside rear wheel arch, some minor lacquer peel to the bonnet and front bumper.

The Mechanics

  • This example is fitted with the robust M103 3.0L 12-valve SOHC inline six engine
  • Power is fed to the rear wheels via a four-speed 4G-Tronic automatic gearbox
  • The owner reports that the car starts, ticks over, drives and stops very well indeed

During its current long period of ownership this R129 has seemingly wanted for nothing in terms of mechanical upkeep and it still displays plenty of oil pressure. As well as the regular servicing documented by the service book, the current owner has attended to a number of other mechanical repairs.

These include the replacement of the catalytic converter, water pump, drive shaft couplings, brake pipes and various bushes and dust covers. Additionally, an ignition barrel and accelerator cable / linkage have also been fitted. There is a new Exide battery which apparently remains under warranty for two years.

We understand that while the central locking functions, it only does so from close range. 

Both the under-bonnet presentation and underside of the car appear to be very good and should give reassurance as regards the mechanical condition of the car.


The R129 was a superbly engineered car arriving, as it did, at the zenith of Mercedes Benz’s legendary engineering prowess. It has stood the test of time well, too, still retaining its original style and sophistication without looking dated.

These cars remain impressively attainable as well, really defining the much-used term “a lot of car for your money.” This example will likely be an exemplar of that truism in its well-used yet very well-loved condition. It has been faithfully maintained and cared for by its current owner and so should go on to provide many years of enjoyable and comfortable service for its next owner.

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All items in this listing are sold on an “As Is - Where Is” basis. Photos and listing descriptions should be used as a guide only.  Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information in this listing and Car & Classic performs a level of due diligence prior to the auction, we do not warrant the accuracy of the listings. The seller assumes all responsibility for this listing. Inspection is highly recommended prior to bidding. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1992
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model 300 SL
  • Colour Signal Red
  • Odometer 140,726 Miles
  • Engine size 2960
  • Town Clacton-on-Sea
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Essex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
11 bids from 5 bidders
  • ry•••• £6,800 29/09/22
  • ev•••• £6,700 29/09/22
  • ry•••• £6,500 29/09/22
  • ev•••• £6,300 29/09/22
  • ry•••• £6,100 29/09/22
  • ev•••• £5,900 29/09/22
  • ry•••• £5,700 29/09/22
  • mo•••• £5,500 29/09/22
  • ev•••• £5,200 28/09/22
  • To•••• £5,000 22/09/22

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