The selling dealer is offering a low-mile 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500, which means it’s powered by the 5.0-liter V8 teamed to a five-speed automatic transmission. He describes it as a local car that’s had just two owners from new, as confirmed by the Carfax vehicle history report, which also indicates no reported accidents or other issues for this car. The car received suspension service, wheel refinishing and an alignment in October 2022.
Following many years of stagnation with its R107 series SL, Mercedes-Benz got with the program and unleashed its technical might, first with the R129 series in 1990, and then, pulling out all stops, the 2003-’11 R230 generation. The SL had now become a pinnacle luxury grand touring convertible, with a rakish yet clean design that seems elegant than subsequent models. And, thanks to its retractable hard-top roof, it was also a secure and snug coupe when the owner wanted it to be. At the touch of a button, the aluminum top folded into segments and lowered into the trunk in 16 seconds, reportedly leaving room for two golf bags.
The car was a techno-wonder throughout. Active Body Control air suspension borrowed from the S-Class used hydraulic “rams” above each coil spring to continuously adjust the spring rate, helping give the car flat cornering. Inside, the COMAND system panel combined controls for the audio, phone (if so equipped) and GPS navigation. This was 20 years ago, so the navigation system accessed maps from CDs using a changer in a compartment behind the seats.
The 5.0-liter, SOHC, 24-valve V8 was rated at 302 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 339 lb-ft of torque at 2,700 rpm by the manufacturer when new. The seller affirms the engine is original, has no smoke, leaks, or weeps and no servicing needs. The 5G-TRONIC five-speed automatic transmission is said to operate as designed. The Carfax report shows a record of regular maintenance at Mercedes-Benz dealers and specialists.
The seller rates the Brilliant Silver paint as 9.5/10, and photos support the description. He indicates a “very small” dent on the right rear fender, though this is difficult to see in photos. No other blemishes are noted or seen in photos. The retractable hard-top roof is affirmed to operate as designed. Glass and seals are described as excellent, with no leaks, and all lights and signals are affirmed to operate as designed.
The R230 interior offered more room and comfort than the R129 and featured classic sports car design cues, especially in the dual-pod instrument cluster. The gray leather seating, the wood trim, and the carpeting are described as “very good” and appear so in photos. The automatic climate control (heat and A/C) is affirmed to operate properly. The power seat controls work as designed, per the seller. The headliner is also said to be “like new.” Gauges, power windows and locks, and the audio and COMAND system functions are affirmed to all be “100 percent working.”
The seller reports that this Mercedes received new Arnott shocks in October 2022, along with an alignment. (Arnott Industries is a major supplier for air suspension systems.) He says the original factory alloy wheels were refinished at the same time. The Sumitomo HTR ZIII tires show 2017 DOT date codes, and the seller estimates they about 80 percent of tread remaining. The power-assisted steering is said to work “like new” and does not leak. The seller reports no issues for the Sensatronic Brake Control, an electro-hydraulic brake system introduced for the R230. Mercedes eventually extended the warranty on the SBC system to 25 years.