View Full Version : 2004/2005 SL500 (R230)

October 4th, 2015, 07:50 AM
Is it a crazy idea for me to buy one of these? It's pretty much the only post-2000 Merc that I really like the looks of, and I know the owner.

While the car would be cheap, I appreciate that maintenance won't be cheap, and I'd probably have to upgrade the head unit. Maybe I'll just go all the way and put a Lorinser bodykit on it, chrome surrounds around the lights, ground-effect lighting, 20" deep-dish rims...

OK, I kid. But I'm considering doing it, to add to my collection of mid-2000s cars. I really prefer a lot of stuff put out during that period to some of the stuff produced over the last 5-7 years.

Alan P
October 4th, 2015, 09:55 AM
Ask here: http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&t=1538790&d=13060.50520&nmt=#seperator as there are loads and loads of owners and experts. The main Mercedes section will have loads of info too.

Also, http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=1131392

October 4th, 2015, 05:07 PM
The R230 is pretty much the best looking Merc to me, and i'm hoping to one day own an SL55. Could buy four R32 Skyline GT-R's for that money (seen a few for 80k NZD, they came out here at 200k...) , but that Merc is just mega nommy. And take the speed limiter off it and it'll do the exact same speed as a Ferrari F50 (my ultimate dream car), 202mph/325km/h.

The 500 still looks pretty much the same. Remove the badges, chuck on a push button supercharger whine and you'll have a 55. ;) Unless you're happy with the 500, then just ignore what i wrote.

October 4th, 2015, 07:19 PM
Thanks Alan.

Given that I can lose my licence in a Micra I doubt I'll need an SL55. :P

October 5th, 2015, 12:07 AM
US$7500 was spent on routine maintenance of it last year (including shocks, so I suppose the ABC) and the licence fee every year is around US$1,500 due to the engine size, so it's not a particularly good idea for what would be, in effect, a fourth car that (once the rent for another parking space is included) would cost me the equivalent of 75% of one child's annual school fees.

A Honda S660, or an Elise, would seem to make much more sense for open-air thrills.

October 5th, 2015, 09:57 AM
I've never been a big fan of the SLs, but from casual reading on various forums I understand they are pretty reliable. I think the big bugaboo - as always - is the adjustable suspension. Generally reliable, but not a lifetime component and $$$ when it fails. All cars that feature this stuff end up costing like $1k per corner. I think the only other major specific to the SL are the roof seals. Without care they fail and let the interior get wet, which ruins expensive electronics. Given a garaged, sunshine-only car it may not be an issue. :)

Not sure whether an Elise is a better or worse car, but it's definitely a different car. After several experiments I'm definitely more of a 4-place convertible person. I'd take a CLK or a Mustang over an SL or an Elise for the convertible factor. I want a fixed hardtop for a sports car of any type.

October 5th, 2015, 10:47 AM
Is this Steve Jobs' car?

October 5th, 2015, 10:58 AM
Pretty sure he doesn't have a car anymore. Not legally, anyway. California does not recognize rotting corpses.

October 5th, 2015, 11:24 AM
I meant is this the same kinda car he's been leasing every few months to avoid having a real license plate?

October 5th, 2015, 06:30 PM
Yeah, well, with costs like that I might as well spend the money on other stuff. It'll also only get more expensive as time passes. What do you mean by a 4 place convertible though? 4 seat? I already have the brz as a tiny 4 seater...

And yes, I think it was the model he used to lease and release to avoid having a number plate.

Alan P
October 5th, 2015, 06:37 PM
I sat in a GT86 last week. Felt nice, low slung and comfortable. I wasn't sure what the back seats were for though as with the drivers seat back far enough for me to be comfortable there was precisely 1" of space between the back of the seat and the leading edge of the rear seat. I'm not sure my kids would approve.

October 5th, 2015, 07:06 PM
The back seats are more for storing stuff, like an emergency umbrella (which you often need in Scotland) and the sunshade (not something you often need in Scotland). Also for carrying small children, or adults in emergencies. Good thing I have a short wife and that my kids are also pretty young. It's also a way to introduce them to the joys of a sports car at a young age. I look forward to both of kids enjoying it with me!