BaT Auction: 5K-Mile 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 US 500 Edition

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This 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 shows just over 5k miles and is one of 40 cars made by Mercedes to act as open parade cars for the inaugural US 500 race. All were optioned with the Sport Package, AMG Monoblock wheels, and ESP, though they were split between being finished in red, white, and blue. This example was owned by Roger Penske and displayed from 1996 until 2006, when it was purchased by the current owner with 300 miles. A certificate signed by Emerson Fittipaldi, Paul Tracy, and Al Unser Jr. verifies this R129 as an original parade car. It is now being offered on behalf of the current owner with the original window sticker, manuals, a removable hardtop, materials from Penske’s dealership, and a clean California title.

The exterior is finished in Imperial Red (582), with a color-matched removable hardtop and contrasting black convertible top (740). Per the seller, the front bumper appears to have been repainted, though the reason is unknown. The R129 was updated in 1995 for the 1996 model year with new fascias and two fender vents rather than three as on earlier models.

BaT Auction: 5K-Mile 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 US 500 Edition

The 18″ Monoblock alloys are fitted with Dunlop tires, and a small curb mark is present on one wheel.

BaT Auction: 5K-Mile 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 US 500 Edition

The cabin is trimmed in Parchment leather (265) with burlwood veneers. The Mercedes-branded floor mats have embroidered logos for the US 500. The stock Becker radio is still in place, and detailed photos are provided of the interior trim and surfaces. Interior features are said to work correctly, including the power features, heat, and A/C.

BaT Auction: 5K-Mile 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 US 500 Edition

The car was built in March 1996 and was used in the US 500 in May of that year. Just over 5,000 miles are shown on the digital odometer. Per the seller, the car showed 300 miles when it left Roger Penske’s collection in 2006, and the rest have been added by the current owner.

BaT Auction: 5K-Mile 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 US 500 Edition

The car is powered by a quad-cam 5.0L V8 paired to a 4-speed automatic transmission. Mercedes-Benz rated the SL500 at 315 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 347 lb-ft of torque when new. Service records are available since 2006, and the seller notes that only routine maintenance has been required. An oil and filter change was recently performed.

BaT Auction: 5K-Mile 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 US 500 Edition

Photos of the underside are provided, and factory paint markings are visible on the suspension components.

BaT Auction: 5K-Mile 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 US 500 Edition

A ceterificate signed by Emerson Fittipaldi, Paul Tracy, and Al Unser Jr. bears a matching VIN and confirms that this SL was used as an official parade car for the US 500 at Michigan International Speedway on May 26, 1996. The race was run the same day as the 1996 Indianapolis 500 by CART teams who felt they were being deliberately locked out of the event.

BaT Auction: 5K-Mile 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 US 500 Edition

The original window sticker is included, as is documentation from Penske’s dealership. Extra-cost options include the Sport Package (SL1) and electronic stability program (472). The original MSRP was $98,265, and the factory manuals are pictured in the gallery.

BaT Auction: 5K-Mile 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 US 500 Edition

The Carfax is attached and shows no accidents. A mileage inconsistency is noted in 2016, which the seller indicates is a clerical error.