Certain car and owner combinations go together perfectly. Gordon Murray, famed for his lightweighting innovations, couldn't drive any other modern car than an Alpine A110. Of course Jay Kay, (in)famous for his exploits as a rock front man, had a green LaFerrari. And what else could the Queen roll around in than a Bentley Mulsanne?
Here's another pairing that goes together like strawberries and cream. Or maybe that should be bratwurst and Weissbier. Because this Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series, perhaps the meanest, maddest Mercedes of the modern age, was purchased new by Toto Wolff - stakeholder, Team Principal and CEO of the Mercedes-AMG F1 outfit. As well as the neat manufacturer link, a car as imposing as the Black suits Herr Wolff down to the ground. You wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of him, would you?
Much the same could be said of the Black when new. Announced in 2008 and launched in 2009, nobody really knew what to expect from the uber SL. Like the wayward SLK of a few years previously, it replaced a folding metal roof with a fixed carbon one and boasted the sort of crazy-wide bodykit that Liberty Walk would be proud of. However, AMG had also produced the CLK63 Black Series by that point, and that was sensational - there was an expectation that the SL would follow in that car's footsteps, rather than the SLK's.
As it transpired, the 65 Black was rather more an AMG of the old school. With this sort of look, a 670hp, 737lb ft twin-turbo V12 and a kerbweight knocking on the door of 1,900kg - even with the folding roof gone - it would have been unrealistic to expect a delicate handling experience. Even with just a five-speed automatic (because none of the newer gearboxes could handle a thousand newton metres of torque) the Black was monstrously, absurdly fast - there aren't many cars that are limited to a top speed of 199mph.
With just 350 Blacks made and a £250k asking price, finding any example is no mean feat. That this was purchased new by Toto Wolff - who apparently lent a hand in development driving at the Nordschleife - makes it all the more notable. Given the schedule of an F1 team principal, that this SL has notched up a little over 5,000km is impressive, as it's hardly like they have many spare summer Sundays for a drive. Presented in black (what else?), the car looks to have been doted on for the past decade and a bit. Currently located in Switzerland, it's being sold with the original sale agreement to Toto and, you would have to assume a detailed history as well. He's never seemed like the kind of guy to cut corners.
Price on application makes sense, given the provenance and the simple fact it's a SL65 Black - they really don't come up for sale very often at all. This will surely have bucked the legendary tradition of V12 Mercedes to depreciate; on the other hand, it's unlikely to be quite as coveted by the market as the later SLS Black. Think comfortably in excess of the £250k launch price and that's probably a sensible place to start. And ensure you suit an SL65 Black as well as Toto Wolff, of course.
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