2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 F1 (R230)

Highlights


  • An entirely original example of the SL range topper in excellent used condition
  • Including the so called “F1” AMG P30 Performance Pack based on the 2002 official FIA Safety Car
  • A highly specified car which would have cost north of £100,000 in 2005

The Appeal


The fifth generation of the venerable SL range had some big shoes to fill and some illustrious forebears to live up to. A key development for the R230 was the fully retractable hardtop, known as the Vario Roof, a first for the SL class.

Another key differentiator for the R230 was the emphasis on its performance prowess, dramatically underscored by the development of the SL55 and SL65 models by the performance gurus at AMG. This car, for example, is powered by a mighty 5.5 litre V8 producing nearly 500bhp and good for a sub-five second 0-60 time and a top speed approaching 190 mph.

SL55-8753.jpg 10.17 MB

The History and Paperwork


  • This car has been used and enjoyed by a total of six owners
  • Highly specified by the original owner with all the key extras
  • Chief amongst these is the “F1” AMG Performance Pack at an original cost of £8,500
  • The car is complete with a good level of provenance providing paperwork
  • This includes the current V5 and a hard copy of the MOT
  • The advisory free MOT is valid until October 2022
  • The original book pack is present
  • There are a number of high value invoices present detailing the part-service history
  • A detailed build record document is included showing all relevant codes and extras

The Interior


  • The sumptuous interior is entirely appropriate to a range topping AMG sports car
  • The “multicontour” AMG seats are dressed in perforated leather in dark grey
  • The seats are fully electrically adjustable with a three-setting memory function
  • The “climatised” seats are heated and ventilated with massage functions
  • The door cars are exquisitely trimmed in stitched leather with brushed aluminium accents
  • The dashboard is fully specified with factory satellite navigation / entertainment system
  • The white centred AMG dials are housed in a deep, hooded binnacle dressed in suede, anti-reflective accents
  • The steering wheel is a sporty, multifunctional item in excellent, original condition
  • Behind the hi-tech seats are two useful storage lockers, one containing the original CD changer
  • Everything in the cabin appears to be in excellent used condition with no areas of concern noted or reported
  • The interior boasts a huge specification providing for every need 
  • Highlights include Harmon Kardon hi-fi system, TV tuner, panoramic “Vario” roof, keyless-go and tyre pressure monitoring
  • The boot is nicely carpeted and includes all original Mercedes Benz accessories

You would expect an impressive interior from a car costing in excess of £100,000 in 2005 and this SL55 doesn’t disappoint. The seats are as comfortable and supportive as they are technically accomplished. The perforated, box pleated leather and signature “AMG” branding sets the tone as soon as you open a door.

Just about every need and want is catered for here too with a specification sheet that reads like a petrol-head’s wish list. The innovative, panoramic glass “Vario-roof” is a key feature too. When in place the glass panel helps flood the cabin with light, yet at a touch of a button you have a fully fledged convertible supercar at your disposal.

The Exterior


  • Presenting very well in Brilliant Silver Metallic paintwork
  • The bodywork appears to be in excellent condition with no blemishes or scuffs reported
  • The build quality and panel gaps are as “vault-like” as would expect from a range topping Mercedes
  • Some features of the sought-after “F1” pack can be spotted on the exterior
  • These include the SL65 front bumper and the sublime Type-4 AMG 19-inch wheels
  • The split-rim, five spoke AMG alloys present in excellent condition with no obvious signs of kerb-rash or dents
  • The wheels are AMG branded with the open-spoke pattern showcasing the AMG branded callipers
  • The wheels are fitted 255/35/19 front & 285/30/19 rear
  • The tyres are reported to offer a good level of remaining tread all round

This SL55 cuts an imposing figure. The combination of its low, muscular stance, big AMG alloy wheels, flank and bumper mounted air vents and quad tail pipes leaves onlookers in no doubt that this is a performance flagship of a car. The Brilliant Silver Metallic paintwork suits the car so well, providing just a hint of subtlety to a very “overt” sports coupe. 

SL55-8739.jpg 11.6 MB

The Mechanics


  • The big 5.5 litre V8 supercharged engine is definitely the headline act of this car
  • Pushing out close to 500bhp and torque to match
  • Power is fed to the rear wheels via the AMG Speedshift, 5-speed automatic gearbox
  • The “F1” AMG Performance Pack fitted here further enhances the mechanical specification
  • These enhancements include additional cooling for the supercharger, uprated “Nurburgring Sports” suspension and uprated brakes
  • The “gentleman’s agreement” 155 mph limiter was also lifted to a heady 186 mph
  • This car appears to have been well maintained in its recent history
  • The current owner attests to the mechanical condition being in good overall condition

The “F1” performance pack represented a hefty investment back in 2005, even by the standards of those who could afford a range-topping AMG sports car of this nature. As a result, most SL55 owners did without it and, as a consequence, did without some very mechanically significant enhancements. The performance pack is a key element in making this car such a sought-after and thoroughly dynamic modern-classic sports hero car.

SL55-8892.jpg 11.44 MB

Summary


The SL55 really represents the performance pinnacle of SL series development. Engineered by AMG to a standard and specification which were previously unimaginable. Add to that recipe this car’s “F1” AMG Performance Pack and you have a car that epitomises Mercedes Benz transition from sensible saloon car purveyors to performance specialists with genuine Formula One heritage.

This is a great example of the breed, too. It has all the key options and presents in excellent condition throughout. It is a highly useable example and will offer the new owner a huge amount of thoroughbred car at a surprising attainable price-point.  

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 2005
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model SL 55
  • Colour Brilliant Silver
  • Odometer 122,334 Miles
  • Engine size 5439
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Location Essex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
36 bids
  • Ba•••• £19,500 28/06/22
  • am•••• £19,250 28/06/22
  • Ba•••• £19,000 28/06/22
  • am•••• £18,750 28/06/22
  • Ba•••• £18,500 28/06/22
  • am•••• £18,250 28/06/22
  • Ba•••• £18,000 28/06/22
  • el•••• £17,000 28/06/22
  • am•••• £16,750 28/06/22
  • es•••• £16,500 28/06/22

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