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

Leave a Reply to alexberlinetta Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Reliable, comfortable and a very unique two-tone Benz: Rudi and his 250

I always think that the world of cars is so unique. It gives me so many opportunities to meet people who share the same passion as me and thanks to social media I can connect with them instantly.

The Ultimate Dream Dwelling of Every Car Lover

by Alexberlinetta While I was in Thailand, I had the unique opportunity to take a closer look inside one of the most stunning houses I’ve ever heard of - already the first glance at the astonishing residence of Tenn made me literally breathless. I could barely remain...

A True Italian Gran Turismo in Berlin: Dirk And His Maserati Indy America

by Alexberlinetta Spring/Summer in Berlin could have a very special weather. One of those special days, Dirk invited me to meet and go on a ride in his FANTASTIC 1971 Gran Turismo Maserati Indy America 4.7. Dirk was one of the first Carphiles that I met in Berlin,...

Bought in 60 Seconds: Ole and his 1970 Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior

I have to admit that Hamburg is one of my favourites cities in Germany: good vibes, nice surroundings and of course A LOT OF CLASSICS CARS! On one of my visits to the city my best friend from Berlin, Martin kindly introduced me to Ole and his wonderful Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior.

The Good Son Always Returns Home: Pille And His Porsche 912 

That is what the classic car hobby is about nowadays – buy yourself an old car and make something out of it you’re happy with, hit the road, be cool and use it as often as you can!

80’s Fashion Meets German Function: Gregory And His 944

    by Alexberlinetta     A few months ago, while in Brooklyn, NY, I stumbled upon a magnificent 944 driven by a very young guy- the fact that in such a young age he drove a car like that made me curious about his story and I knew immediately I wanted him on...

BMW 70s icons at one of the most Iconic places in San Francisco: Bengt and Alex’ sheer driving pleasure.

Back in 2018, while I was in San Francisco for the first time, I met Bengt, an Instagram friend who I’ve been following for a long time, and his E9. On this day he drove me to one of the most iconic places in town The Golden Bridge.

IT’S BOXY, YET SPORTY AND STILL VERY CLASSY: NICO AND HIS BMW 1600-02

In Berlin, it’s really rare to find many cool locations in one specific district. The government district is the big exception. I remember that I saw Nico one day at a red light in this district. Immediately I wrote to him to finally meet and do a shooting. When I saw the 1600-2 with all these buildings in the background I thought that it’s the perfect location. It really matches with the car!

A significant coincidence with a DMC12-DeLorean

I spent the first days of October 2015 exploring Berlin for the first time. I was biking in Mitte, on Axel-Springer-Straße, and all of a sudden a voice in my head urges me to look up to my right and at that moment I see a very beautiful 1981 DMC-12 DeLorean standing right in the middle of the park of the Axel-Springer building. What a coincidence to see one of my favorite cars there, waiting for me to photograph it and of course admire this piece of history that I’m sure we all know.

Beyond The Beauty Of The Steel And Glass: Kevin And His Bahammer 912

A while ago during my time in Los Angeles, I woke up one day very early at almost 5 am to go with Kevin and his 912 around the city to have the streets of Downtown LA almost to ourselves.

There are a lot of emotions coming together in this photoshoot.

The Contrast Of Now And Then Of A Country With The Largest Oil Reserves: William And His 911 Targa

A few years ago during my visit to Venezuela, I had the opportunity to photograph this great Porsche in a location that completely reflects what it once was and what it is today, one of the countries with the largest oil reserves. To put it in context, Venezuela between the 70s and 90s had the best moments in terms of economic growth, caused by the oil boom. But since the 40s, there was already a huge development in that industry. Somehow, it is relevant to point out that in the 50s, during the dictatorship, the president Marcos Perez Jimenez was passionate about cars, racing, and competitions. For instance, he used to close the entire streets of Caracas for racing, inviting renowned figures from the automotive world like Fangio to race with him.

read more

The Smoothness of a Classy V12: Oliver and his BMW 750i

Last summer in Berlin, I met Oliver and his wonderful 1990 BMW 750i. I’m a fan of big BMWs from the 80s/90s, they are very spacious and classy. One thing, in particular, I like about this car, was its red interior. I think it makes the car much more special.
Looking for the perfect location, as I always try to do, I found several options to make the car look great. As you know I am a big fan of coupes, but a sedan like this one always wanted to photograph. Here is part of what we did that sunny afternoon and some questions to Oliver about his 7 Series.

read more

PART OF:

SOCIAL MEDIA

WRITE US