Carl's Blog

Carl's Blog

Hi, I'm Carl Burgess, owner and founder of The R129 Co.


Nov 2nd, 2020: 320 or 500?

From 1999, the last generation cars had the V6 M112 and the V8 M113 engines. Both were bombproof and had similar maintenance costs. 

However, up to 1998 the M104 straight 6 was a startling reliable, strong engine. Pretty straight forward to service and maintain. As is the 1996-1998 M119982. 

The early M119960 and the later M119972 V8 up to 1996 require very good friends who are mechanical wizards or a good relationship with a Mercedes independent garage near you. If you are happy to spend money you are in for a treat. These are classic, complex beauties but the rewards are wonderful. 

If you have trouble agreeing with me then walk away and buy a later car. But, if you embrace this paragraph then I salute you as would an RAC motorbike and sidecar!


June 2nd, 2020: Time to get to work?

Well there’s been a flurry of activity this month in the R129 world.

An enthusiasm for research possibly only matched by the number of dictionary hits on the word “furlough”. So that's what it means…. You can spend more time on your SL.

The roads were so quiet you could here the chatter of finches and the occasional cry of a “slipped spanner warbler” as blood drips from his knuckles onto the ground around his SL.

That soon to change.

So… Moto for the Month is patience and understanding. RESEARCH the task at hand and NEVER force the issue. You have one of best engineered cars we will ever see. If it wont come off, find out why….strength wont do the job.

And as always… if we don’t have what you need.. you don’t need it.


May 2nd, 2020: Carat Duchatelet

I recently acquired a 1990 SL500 Carat Duchatelet conversion.

Back then Carat had a contract in place with Daimler Benz to take factory-fresh cars and work on them to the new owners specification. They are still operating in Belgium.

I have never seen an R129 Carat. They did also send out a very few kits for SL’s but is there another factory-original car? I have contacted the company and Benoit (the director) is intrigued and looking through the (paper) records to see what he can dig up. I will update with any news I receive!

This car was bought by an English guy living in Saudi Arabia and shipped there in 1990. It's Left Hand drive. He brought the car back to the UK around 10 years ago and it remains a one-owner car. It's done around 120,000 kms (74,000 mls).

The seats, dash, carpets, hardtop roof lining, boot spoiler, instrument cluster and door cards are all bespoke.

And, I think, an excellent colour combination here.

We have serviced the car and given it an MOT. It’s a non cat version and as quick as any 500.

So what to do now? It needs some TLC to the interior and has some nicks and stone chips in the paint work. There is no rust so a running restoration is the way to go I think. I could sell it as it is or do the recommissioning and place it in one of the International Auctions..

Hmmm.. would enjoy any feedback or ideas for its future!

Thanks, Carl.


(See more photos here)

2nd May 2020 Carl Burgess

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