Former Sultan of Brunei SL60 AMG | Spotted

R129 started life as an SL500, but the Sultan insisted on V12 power. Canny

By Sam Sheehan / Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Imagine being the Sultan of Brunei. Then imagine buying a shiny new R129 SL500. Then imagine coming round to the possibility that you might be outgunned by an SL600 owner who probably isn't the Sultan of anything. Oh the shame. You'd want to fix that, no? You'd want to return it to Germany to have the already unique spec car equipped with a number of Sultan-specific features, including the V12 from the SL600, right? Of course you would, and the Sultan did too – behold the result, a 400hp Agatha Grey SL60 to trump all other R129s – until the 1999 SL73, anyway.

Some of you will likely note that the car’s output is higher than the officially claimed one for the SL60, which produced 381hp at 5,600rpm from its naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12. Despite being a performance product from the team in Affalterbach, the SL60’s output was said to be restricted so Benz’s SL600 could remain top dog with its 389hp peak. But it’s a bit of an open secret that the AMG motor was in fact more potent, producing 400hp at its peak and enabling a 0-60mph time of 5.6 seconds.

We wouldn’t be surprised if the Sultan's car was tickled to offer even more, what with fuel economy hardly likely to have been of concern for the ruler of Brunei. Not only that, but the right-hand drive layout makes it rare, too, with only 164 R129 500SLs built to cater for the right-thinking half of the planet. There can’t have been many – if any – uplifted to SL60 format, let alone finished in a bespoke spec. 

For starters, the car wears a full AMG bodykit to go with that monstrous V12, with deep dish wheels to set it all off. But barring the switched out dials, the interior is essentially standard SL500, giving it arguably the most compelling mix of performance and comfort in an R129 package. And before you point to the subsequent SL73, a 525hp machine that shared its 7.3 V12 motor with the Pagani Zonda, we prefer the comparably restrained look of the Sultan's car, which has just the right amount of AMG muscle to ensure that no palace guest could possibly arrive in a more fitting Mercedes. 

Moreover, the R129 design has aged remarkably well. Ditto the car underneath given that, even now, 28 years after it was first produced, it has only covered 5,750 miles. Coupled to the specialness of its spec and regal past, the asking price is predictably steep – just fifty quid short of £70k. For less than half that price, you can step into the world of hot SL R129s with this SL500.

But not only is this SL60 rare to the point of unique when it comes to R129s, it is also the former plaything of a man who can justly claim to have owned everything worth playing with. Nobody is going to upstage you in the pub car park when you tell them that, are they?


MERCEDES-BENZ SL60 AMG (R129) | SPECIFICATION
Engine:
5,956cc V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 381@5,600rpm
Torque (lb ft): 428@3,750rpm
CO2: N/A
MPG: Sultan does not care
First registered: 1992
Recorded mileage: 5,750
Price new: £110,000 (for the normal, non-Sultan-spec car…)
Yours for: £69,950

See the original advert here

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