Spotted: Mercedes SLR McLaren

Having taken the time to go and see Mercedes' in-house SLR specialist Steve Perrett at Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands for some background for our main feature, it was inevitable we'd also end up discussing the market for the car.

£165K for a low miles, 'official' 2007 coupe
£165K for a low miles, 'official' 2007 coupe
First some numbers. 130 SLRs were sold in the UK between 2004 and 2011, 30 of which (15 each) were 722 coupes and 722 S roadsters. Two of the mad looking runout Stirling Moss Editions also found homes in the UK at £1m each. Of the 100 'regular' SLRs Mercedes says the split was roughly 70:30 coupes to roadsters. Steve reckons many were exported and slightly more than half of that total number remain in the UK, many tucked away in collections barely into four-figure mileages despite the fact the SLR's generic Mercedes running gear means they'll comfortably stand everyday use.

A shame then that this sector of the market is so acutely mileage sensitive. Well, a shame if you want to use it. 'Official' cars that go through M-B World - the only Mercedes dealer authorised to sell and maintain SLRs - will all be sub-25K and with full histories. Put some miles on the fully Mercedes certified £164K, 11,500-mile car shown here and, though you'll have a lot of fun, you'll murder its value. Steve knows of an equivalent car that racked up 65,000 miles or so and went for around £100K at an independent. Which, if you're not afraid to use it, makes a high-mileage SLR a very tempting proposition.

Merc drivetrain is tough and not scared of use
Merc drivetrain is tough and not scared of use
No reason why you should be scared either. Service intervals are annual/10,000 miles and this costs around £2,800 + VAT with the real cost the time and effort required in bolting the car to the lift and removing the 250-odd fastenings that secure the aerodynamically sealed undertray. An equivalent service on an SLS costs £600 + VAT. The big one is in the car's eighth year and costs around £12K but is pretty much a full mechanical strip-down requiring 40-50 hours of work.

There's a reasonable spread of SLRs currently in the PH classifieds, ranging from £200K for a 2007 Roadster to £120K for a Dutch-offered coupe with a few miles. For comparison top-end for a low-miles, main dealer offered SLS is £130K.

There are a few modified cars out there too, ranging from ones with power upgrades to four or five (Steve's guess) that have been to McLaren Special Operations for a more extensive makeover that costs in the region of £200K. Sadly the later paddle shifters aren't a factory recognised retrofit but many owners change the lights for the smoked 722 ones or go for different wheels. Worth noting that the lightweight wheels fitted to pukka 722s aren't certified for the heavier standard car.

Independent cars cheaper but beware originality
Independent cars cheaper but beware originality
So, there are cheaper cars than this officially offered coupe. But non-standard wheels and a few other alarm bells make this M-B World example seem like a safer, if slightly more expensive, bet. Going independent saves you about 10per cent.

Still serious money. But for the status, performance and potential for actual usability a more tempting proposition than you may have thought.


PHers are already talking about SLRs in response to our Tell Me I'm Wrong piece -join the conversation here!

5,439cc V8 supercharged
Transmission: 5-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 626@6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 575@3,250rpm
MPG: 14.8mpg (NEDC combined)
CO2: N/A
First registered: 2007
Recorded mileage: 11,500
Price new: £313,465
Yours for: £164,450

See the original advert here.

P.H. O'meter

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