Is the R129 SL 500 a good investment in 2018? Is the R129 a future classic?
In short - yes. In fact, the R129 is a current classic. It was a classic the day it was born in 1989!
I'm noticing that the SL is beginning to get attention from investors, rather than just enthusiasts. Bruno Sacco's range of two door R129 SL roadsters (wiki), in production '89 - '01, are known for their fantastic build quality, timeless design and sophisticated craftsmanship.
The value of R129's is steadily rising. As appreciation grows, so will desirability.
Which Mercedes Benz R129 SL models are good investments in 2018?
300 SL: GOOD - entry level price. BAD - agricultural performance
300 SL-24 Valve: GOOD - pure classic. BAD - KE-jet tronic fuel system is tricky to diagnose
500 SL: GOOD - big grunt. BAD - Again, KE-jet tronic fuel system tricky to diagnose
SL 500: GOOD - superb M119 engine. BAD - it can bite you in the wet
600 SL & SL 600: GOOD - top of the range. BAD - pre ’96 running issues complex to diagnose
SL55 AMG / SL60 AMG / SL70 AMG / SL72 / SL73: GOOD - rare and desirable. BAD - nobody knows their value!
So which R129 model should I buy?
The SL 500, years 1997 - 1999, is by far the best build quality of the R129’s. The Motronic engine is easy to diagnose, and the build is pretty bomb proof. This is the best R129 to buy.
For a more detailed guide on which engine sizes to go for, as well as other things to look out for when buying an R129 SL, see these two great buyer's guides - one from Klipnik, and another from Octane.