Nov 23, 2017

One Of The Rarest Mercedes-AMG Ever Made: Henri And His 1996 SL60 AMG

A couple of months ago during my visit in Paris, a Carphiles friend from there, Alex, kindly introduced me to Henri, who owns a timeless piece of the design, a very rare SL60 AMG Mercedes-Benz in a Special Edition. I remember this car was ‘’the thing’’ back in the 90’s and everyone had a scale model of it, it also appeared on posters and even was featured in a music video. Personally, I’m a big fan of SL’s.  Having the opportunity to shoot this rare version of this R129 in one of my favourite areas of Paris among the stunning examples of brutalist architecture was pure pleasure. 

I asked Henri some questions about the entire story behind this nice example of the 90’s Benzes – hope you enjoy it!

What was your first car?

My first car was a 2003 Alfa Romeo 3.2 V6 GTV Spider with the last evolution of the fabulous V6 Busso.

Tell me about this rare SL60 AMG SPECIAL EDITION?

The SL60 was produced from 1993 to 1998. It is the first AMG SL produced after AMG was purchased by Mercedes making it a verify specific car in Mercedes and AMG history. Only very few were produced (probably less than 400) making it one of the rarest Mercedes AMG ever.

Its engine is a V8 of 6.0L which is officially delivering 381 CV (280 kW; 376 hp) at 5500 rpm which was phenomenal at the time (a Ferrari F355 was delivering 380 CV and a Porsche 911 was delivering 285 CV…). AMG later unofficially conceded that the engine produced between 405-410 bhp.

AMG unofficially claimed a 0–62 mph (100 km/h) speed of 5.0 seconds. Top speed was limited to 250 km/h (155 mph), but with the limiter removed, it was capable of approximately 185 mph (298 km/h). 

Some V12 SL AMG (SL 70 and SL 73) were also produced. They were also exceptional cars but were also known for being less sporty because of the weight of the heavy V12 on the front wheels.

How did you first become interested in cars and why especially this SL60?

I have been a car enthusiast since I was a child and I have always admired the splendid and timeless line of the SL R129 which for me is the most beautiful Mercedes designed over the last decades. 

When I decided to buy one, I made enquiries about special versions of the SL R129 and I discovered the existence of the very rare SL60 AMG. I just fell in love with this very rare and exclusive car and resolved to find it in perfect condition. I couldn’t believe my luck when I succeeded to buy one. 

How and when did you come across the SL60?

It was a late 1996 model produced after AMG was purchased by Mercedes. It is a phase 2 SL R129 with very low mileage (around 60.000 km). I bought it in 2016 in London. It was ordered new by a Japanese customer and originally exported by AMG Japan. It is original in an almost brand new condition. I had it fully inspected when I bought it from Mister Da Silva (DSA Automobile) who is a French renowned specialist of SL R129. He confirmed that the car was in its original, exceptionally good condition.

What do you enjoy most about the SL60 AMG? 

The car’s incredibly powerful and ultra-smooth engine which allows you to drive it like a luxurious limousine or like a supercar.

The comfort and manufacture quality of this car is incredible. When you drive it, you just want to continue for days and travel far away. 

But what I really love is its incredible line. The AMG specific line adds an inconspicuous sporty feel to it. 

What’s your favourite detail of the car?

The original AMG plate next to the gear selector. 

The R129 was the last model with a removable hardtop in the Pagoda style – it’s like owning two cars in one, depending on the weather, of course. Do you think it’s practical or rather the contrary?

I really like the hard top spirit of the car and the fact that you own two different cars. I am a real fan of the line with the hardtop which is so perfectly designed that most people are not able to see that it is a hardtop. Of course, the hardtop is not really practical when it comes to taking it off, but it goes with the specificity and originality I like in this car.

How does it feel to drive inside of Paris, do you use your car every day or just on the weekends? 

It is a real pleasure to drive this car in Paris as well as on the highway or on a small countryside road. Its driving comfort is exceptional in every circumstance.

Is there any other car you would like to have?

Of course, a lot! Among the cars I’m dreaming of are a V12 Ferrari (330 GTC, 4456 GT, Maranello, 599 GTB)…

Would you like to be featured like Henri with your car and story on Carphiles? Contact me at alex@carphiles.net 

8 Comments

  1. Thomas A Goodwin

    What a absolutely beautiful Mercedes-Benz! Nice presentation.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      I had an SL60 in RHD, 1995 model, and had the engine played with, ECU and titanium / sports pack added – so it made 485 Bhp, took it to France to compare to the TGV and found it topped out at 192 Mph. Lovely cars. Sold mine as moved back to Australia and only had room for my Db9. But loved the German Rocket…

      Reply
  2. David

    Just Stunning!

    I have a 01 R129 in silver with the black interior and absolutely love this car and cannot part from it!

    Awesome shots – Great Article!

    David

    Reply
    • alexberlinetta

      Thanks! Yeah, I think black interiors are the best!

      Reply
  3. Stephen

    Pleasure to read as a SL500 owner (1998, special edition). Most pleasing photo? To see my steering wheel on the SL 60. Still, I can dream.

    Reply
  4. Charbel karam

    This is the most beautifull AMG , i own one like this black on red .

    Reply

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