SPOTTED: MERCEDES-BENZ SL60 AMG
Rare V8 SL bridges the gap twixt old- and new-school AMG
C63 is not far off this price threshold), would anybody entertain spending £25,000 on a 15-year-old SL? Of course, this isn't a common-or-garden R129 that's on offer. It's an SL60 AMG, one of only 49 right-hand drive British cars and a model with a fascinating history.
After being absorbed into Mercedes in the early 1990s, the SL60 AMG was launched in 1993. But whereas now any AMG derivative immediately becomes the Mercedes range flagship, Mercedes was keen that its V12 SL600 remained top dog; this meant 381hp for the AMG SL (against 389hp for the SL600), and a claimed 0-60mph time of 5.6 seconds.
But that was the official line. If the rumours are true, AMG didn't like playing second fiddle in the power stakes. Many argue the true power figure for an SL60 was actually somewhere in the region of 410hp and the benchmark sprint time was nearer five seconds.
Which is why we're talking here about the SL60 and not the SL73 AMG also lurking in the PH classifieds. And that isn't a model designation mismatch in the modern Mercedes way. That's an SL with a 573hp 7.3-litre V12, the same V12 that powered the Pagani Zonda. But the 60 is the more competent all-round package says our in-house Mercedes geek.
V8 SLs available for nearly half this amount, later R230 AMG SL55s are also well within budget.
So, as ever, it's a case of pay your money, take your choice. How far improved the SL60 is over a standard R129 could only be truly established in a direct comparison, and the lure of a supercharged SL55 can't be ignored. Either way, let's just hope the AMG blood and thunder remains undiluted in Mercedes' flagships, and leave us with many more potential dilemmas like this in future!
Mercedes-Benz SL60 AMG (R129)
Engine: 5,956cc V8
Transmission: Five-speed automatic, RWD
Power (hp): 381@5600rpm
Torque (lb ft): 428@3750rpm
MPG: Very few!
First registered: 1998
Recorded mileage: 53,000
Price new: £110,000
Yours for: £24,950
See the original advert here