A Magical Sunday In A Surreal Mercedes SL
A drive to remember
Last Sunday morning, the 10th of November, was a date saved by car enthusiasts alike. More specifically, it was a date saved by Mercedes Benz owners. Why? Because just like Christmas, the Mercedes Classic Car Rally is a one-day festival that celebrates the legacy and motoring heritage of the three-point star.
Held annually by Autocar India, the Mercedes Benz Classic Car Rally is an event that brings classic Mercedes cars from all over the sub-continent under one roof.
This year’s sparkling edition was held Mumbai’s Sofitel Hotel at BKC, and boy oh boy was it worth waking up early on a Sunday morning! This was my first year attending the ‘star-studded’ event and there’s no better way of saying this - it was just spectacular!
Classic Mercs such as the 300 SL (W198), W123 Limousine, the SSK, Pagoda(W113) 190E, Maybach 62 and the famous W126 S Class along with the C126 coupes, among many other eye-dazzling Mercs were on display.
Lots of W123 and W124 including the station wagon’s and the two door coupes were there as well.
The SL series manufactured by Mercedes have always been my favorite two door cars of all time. The SL series, have always had a timeless and evergreen design, both inside and out. The SL series are Gran Touring (GT) cars. SL in German means Super Light.
A good friend of mine and a mentor proudly owns the R129 SL. It is the 4th generation of the SL and I was extremely lucky to be a passenger in my most favorite SL made. This particular one is a 1994 car and a convertible.
The engine in this is a 3.2 litre (3200CC) mated to an automatic transmission and clocked just 60k kms, it is a survivor car with no alteration done to the engine and transmission. Although the one owned by my friend has the Brabus spec.
Brabus rims, brabus exhaust system, brabus steering wheel and a brabus gear knob, this SL is in absolute pristine condition and drives like a brand new car. The car does not feel or look like it was built 25 years ago and that’s what makes the Mercedes SL cars so special.
The interiors are wrapped in leather and wood and being a person who admires and drools over older cars, the dashboard and the gauge cluster design blew me away. The dashboard despite having two SRS Airbags was not wide, it was infact very small in length, just like how I like it.
The seats however are out of this world for a car of this age. Electronically adjustable with memory, and everything working, the interiors are as if the car had just rolled out of the production line.
The car has a two tone paintjob of silver and dark silver thus making it look very fast and sleek as she even sits. The Brabus rims add a lot of character and enhance the exterior presence and look of the SL.
The ride quality as a passenger, the seats as I mentioned above were super comfortable. The suspension felt very strong just as how it should be in a GT car. Being a SL 320, the power delivery was very smooth and decently quick. The Brabus exhaust system makes the car sound very meaty and powerful and has a very sweet tone with no droning sound. Even at higher speeds, as a passenger I really could not feel the speed until I looked at the cluster.
The drive we did was with the top down and I got the “wind in the hair” experience after a very long time. With the AC temperature kept at the lowest, 14 degree Celsius and the roof down, the feeling of being in a Mercedes Benz SL was something I always cherish.
At first, the drive felt like a dream to me, I felt I was a child in the candy store.
It really is a shame that the new SL cars aren’t selling that much compared to its rivals. It really is one of the best cars I have ever been in.