In short - yes. In fact, the R129 is a current classic. It was a classic the day it was born in 1989.
Perhaps the more pertinent question is, will the R129 SL prove itself to be a good investment?
I’ve noticed that the SL is beginning to get more attention from investors, and not just your typical enthusiasts. Bruno Sacco's range of two door R129 SL roadsters are renowned for their fantastic build quality, timeless design and sophisticated craftsmanship; lazy owners have sent most shaggy examples to the scrapyard, meaning the market is rich with well maintained examples that have aged like the finest of wines.
The R129 SL is seen today as a highly desirable classic, but impressively practical and modern car. It commands an impressive average price in comparison to its successor, the R230 SL, not least due to its mechanical simplicity.
The value of the R129 has not declined for quite some time, in fact the trend is unequivocally upwards. Recent estimates suggest V12 models have surged in value by over 150 per cent in the last 5 years, with V8s not too far behind in excess of 75 per cent, and a conservative 30-35% increase in the value of mid-spec six cylinder examples.
With Generation X well and truly grown up, sporting grown-up sized pockets, the usual cycle is in full swing - ‘finally, I can get myself one of those SLs’ - that, coupled with the sweetest icing (it’s an SL dummy), means the R129 is becoming something of a no-brainer for investors.
History dictates that decent examples of this model will continue to appreciate, with the very best rising to many times their initial value. Facelifted models are generally more sought after, which come with a number of higher quality fixtures, fittings and parts.
"The [R129] SL is handsome and has plenty of smooth power from its V6, V8 or even V12 engine. Best of all, it’s half the price of its SL R107 predecessor yet much easier to live with. Rare AMG models and special editions will increase in value more than standard cars" - Jeremy Clarkson
R129 Model Investment Comparison Chart
Here is a summary of the good and bad habits of each R129 model, from the perspective of an investor.
|R129 SL Model||The Good||The Bad|
|300 SL (M103)|
|300 SL-24 (M104)|
|SL 280 / SL 320 Straight-6 (M104)|
|SL 280 / SL 320 V6 (M112)|
|500 SL (M119)|
|SL 500 (M119)|
SL 500 (M113)
|600 SL / SL 600 (M120)|
The SL 500 (1997-1999) has by far the best build quality of the R129s. The Motronic engine is easy to diagnose and is near enough bomb proof. In my humble opinion, this is the best R129 to buy and a sure bet for investors.
Thanks, and good luck!
- Read our other R129 articles
- Our latest R129 parts stock
- The R129 Co Owner's Portal (private Facebook group)
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