19th Jun, 2024 13:00

Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

Lot 74

2001 Mercedes-Benz SL500 'Silver Arrow'
1 of a limited run of 100 UK market cars

Estimated at £30,000 - £35,000

Lot details

Registration No: LC51 ELX
Chassis No: WDB1290682F204658
MOT: March 2025

  • 1 of a limited production run of just 100 UK market cars
  • Warranted 59,000 miles from new and just three former keepers
  • Very nice example with the book pack in stamped service book
  • Offered from a private collection

One glance is enough to tell you just how special this glorious car is. So special, in fact, that only 100 models will be produced for the UK – with each one certified as authentic by Mercedes-Benz and Sir Stirling Moss” (Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, limited edition brochure)

Unveiled at the March 1989 Geneva Motor Show, the fourth generation (R129-series) Mercedes-Benz SL was styled in-house by Bruno Sacco. Often cited as the highlight of his career, the sleek Roadster was beautifully engineered. Based around a two-door monocoque bodyshell, its sophisticated all-round independent suspension was augmented by a host of active and passive safety features including: electronic stability control, ventilated ABS disc brakes, adaptive-damping shock absorbers, front airbags and an integral rollover bar that deployed in less than a third of a second (if the car ever sensed an impending flip). Suitably cosseting, the convertible's impeccably built cabin was protected by a fully automated power hood and featured such niceties as memory seats, electric windows and mirrors and an adjustable steering column. Yet, lurking beneath all the luxury and refinement was a performance orientated grand tourer. Launch flagship, the mighty 500 SL (known as the SL 500 from 1994 onwards) was powered by the first of Mercedes' four-valve per cylinder, dual-overhead camshaft V8 powerplants. Credited with 326bhp and 332lbft of torque, this fearsome 4973cc unit was allied to four-speed (later five-speed) automatic transmission as standard. Reputedly capable of over 150mph and 0-60mph in 6.3 seconds, the model was updated with a more emissions friendly but marginally less powerful 4966cc engine from June 1998 onwards.

Intended to be a fitting send off for the R129-series, and to pay homage to one of the greatest Mercedes-Benz works drivers, Sir Stirling Moss, the special edition SL500 ‘Silver Arrow’ boasted a unique specification which included: Silver Arrow ‘777’ paintwork, Black / Silver Nappa leather upholstery, AMG body styling, bespoke 18-inch multi-piece alloy wheels, Silver brake calipers, chrome-sheen aluminium exterior trim, illuminated door sills, ‘engine-turned’ aluminium instrument and gearshift surrounds and Bird’s-Eye Maple Black wood trim. Mercedes-Benz only allocated 100 special edition SL500 ‘Silver Arrow’ cars to the UK market. Manufactured in 2001, ‘LC51 ELX’ was one of the 100 UK Silver Arrows, being registered new on the 20th of September that year. Having now covered a warranted modest 59,000 miles from new, the SL 500 has had just three former keepers and is offered from a private collection. Recently benefitting from a service by a specialist in March this year and was supplied with an MOT certificate in March too, with no advisories.

A very nice example, the Silver Arrow is offered with a large history file that includes the original book pack in the Mercedes-Benz wallet that contains the owner’s manual, supplementary manuals, and stamped service book which displays ten entries, all completed by specialists, with an additional service invoice in the history file. The file further contains a large selection of MOT certificates, numerous previous invoices, a selection of former tax discs, sundry paperwork, copies of previous logbooks, ‘Own A Limited Edition Mercedes SL’ sales literature, and a current V5C document, as well as having two sets of keys. Silver Arrows are surely a must for the Mercedes-Benz collector and to honour the great Sir Stirling Moss is something all enthusiasts and petrolheads can resonate with.

For more information, please contact:
Paul Cheetham
07538 667452


Auction: Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 19th Jun, 2024

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars held at the iconic and visually stunning Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Venue Details 

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