2002 Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 Kompressor


  • Fast becoming a classic, ready to enjoy
  • Desirable colour combination
  • Beautiful condition throughout with MOT until December
  • Low ownership and mileage

The Background

Mercedes-Benz was later in producing a small, open-topped sportster than its rival BMW, but when it arrived, the SLK had a feature that no one else had; that folding steel ‘Vario’ roof. Its underpinnings were less revolutionary; the car was based on a shortened version of the W202 C-Class platform, and much of its chassis componentry came from that. Introduced in 1996, the roadster was available (depending on region) with a choice three engines; 2.0-litre and 2.3-litre four cylinders – both available with superchargers – and a 3.2-litre V6. 

Most often found with a five-speed automatic gearbox, the SLK could also be had with a five or six-speed manual. In 2001, a full-on AMG version, the SLK 32 AMG, boasting some 345bhp and some very credible performance figures.

Popular right up to its replacement, the first generation SLK was produced until 2004.

The History

This smart silver Mercedes roadster has been virtually one family-owned from new and passing from parents to daughter. Much of this time (due to parents age and daughter’s other commitments), the car has been garaged/dry stored for most of its life. 

The last owner is a quite fastidious German car enthusiast, and, like his predecessors, has used the SLK very little, while, like them, seeking to maintain its upkeep to high standards.

The car is currently part of a very large private collection and has been enjoyed recently by the directors sister while her own car was off the road. The collection is having to be reduced due to lack of internal space so the decision to part with this one was made on the basis that the car is too good to just sit outside. 

The Paperwork

Unsurprisingly with so few miles driven, there isn’t a lot in the way of service records with the Mercedes, though it is good to see that the stamped services were undertaken by main agents. It’s also nice to see that the car has very recently been given a fresh set of tyres. 

Also, the car has never failed an MOT. (The certificates corroborate the mileage). The SKL also comes with all its original manuals, two sets of original keys and the obligatory Mercedes-Benz first aid kit in the boot.

The Exterior

Brilliant Silver over black is always a good choice for a first generation Mercedes SLK, made all the better when the example on offer is in as nice a condition as this car is. Paintwork and panel fit are truly excellent across the whole of the car with no variation in colour across steel or plastic parts. Although it may look a simple shape at first glance, the SLK features quite a few panel details and inserts, all of which, on this car, remain perfectly mated to the main panels, allowing the contours of the design to remain smooth and even. 

No dirt and grime has been allowed to accumulate in crevices and folds in the panelwork, and, even in hardly noticeable places, the paint remains clean and bright. It’s also worth noticing just how clean and corrosion-free those front wings are – not always the case in a car that has been neglected. They, like all the car’s panels, remain smooth, with joins and shutlines that are narrow and even.

The high standard of finish and condition extends too to the ‘Vario-roof’, which clamps itself firmly and evenly to the windscreen and bodywork. Its seals are tight and its black window surrounds show no corrosion or discolouration. You can also inspect the near spotless condition of the roof mechanism as it folds smoothly and quickly into the boot as it did when it was new – only some 20 seconds. Both the mechanism and the stowage area are impressively clean and free from damp or corrosion.

A really great example all round.

The Interior

The Mercedes’ cockpit is equally as nice as the exterior, with the black leather displaying the muted lustre of well cared-for hides. The perforated leather seats show only the lightest creasing and no stains , fading or tears. Looking around the cabin in general, it’s reassuring to see how clean carpets and mats are, as well as the often neglected areas such as down behind the seats and even storage pouches and cubby holes. 

The joins between leather and the high quality interior plastics remain even and there no inconsistencies in colour have developed over time. Both on the floor and on the rear bulkhead, the carpets remain a good colour and are clean, and door seals too appear to be in good health and remain very much intact.

The steering wheel and gear selector – two other potentially high wear areas – are also in excellent shape, showing no ring marks, fading or nail scratches. Another area that see a lot of wear are the door cards, but here again, the leather is virtually unmarked with handles and switches that are virtually unworn and remain firmly mounted.

The Mechanics

The Mercedes’ engine bay is exceptionally tidy, with only the odd brush of surface corrosion one one or two bolts to suggest this is an older motor. Under-bonnet plastics retain a deep black cover, the ‘Kompressor’-embossed rocker cover plate remains a very vivid shade of red, and the heat shielding is clean and in no way distorted. 

There are no signs of leaks around the engine, and no areas of accumulated crud hiding in creases and recesses. The paint around the engine bay is in very good order, and the inner wings and the seams appear very sound. By the way; this is the later M111.983, slightly more powerful version (194bhp) of the engine and, should anyone be of a mind to do it, would take little effort to be a detailed show motor.

The underside of the car shows only a little weathering commensurate with the limited miles driven. There is one small cosmetic scuff on the nearside under the rear valance but otherwise there are no scrapes to speak of at either end.

Those tasty (wider) AMG wheels are in fine condition, showing no corrosion, though a few of the wheel nuts a little surface corrosion. It doesn’t spoil the overall effect of the car.


People are starting to realise what an appealing, practical and versatile car the first generation SLK is, and the car is fast becoming a sought-after ‘youngtimer’ classic. And that folding steel roof still looks chic. There’s enough performance to make it fun while not being intimidating or temperamental. 

It’s as easy to live with as any ‘modern’ without possessing the slightly mind-numbing driver ‘aids’ of the latest vehicles.

As prices rise, it’s the best, ‘no-questions’ examples such as this one that will gain in value the most And it will fit in most any garage.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 2002
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model SLK230 Kompressor
  • Colour Silver
  • Odometer 32,820 Miles
  • Engine size 2295
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Location Somerset
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
13 bids from 8 bidders
  • townera•••• £3,300 27/06/22
  • Mark.no•••• £3,100 27/06/22
  • townera•••• £3,000 27/06/22
  • Kirch99•••• £2,750 27/06/22
  • luke-sh•••• £2,500 26/06/22
  • GSwind £2,300 26/06/22
  • kamran_•••• £2,200 26/06/22
  • GSwind £2,100 23/06/22
  • freecli•••• £2,000 23/06/22
  • GSwind £1,850 22/06/22

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