More than 20 years ago, a 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 was purchased at the Normand of Mayfair dealership as a birthday present for a woman in England. After driving the car only 80 miles, the new owner lost her keys — and never drove the car again!
After being stored in an underground garage in the upscale Knightsbridge area of London, the car was rediscovered (underground garage find?) and was offered up for bidding this week at Coys’ Spring Classics auction at the Royal Horticultural Halls.
The car sold for an auction-record £56,640 ($70,864), the price including the buyer’s premium.
“This is a fantastic price bearing in mind that a normal version of this car, with reasonable mileage, would probably be worth 20 percent of what this SL500 made today,” said Chris Routledge, Coys’ chief executive. “An exciting sale and a new world record!”
Mercedes produced R129-generation of SL500 roadsters from 1989 through 2002. The one sold at Coys carried an early and preferred M119 engine and all sorts of factory options.