Here we have an amazingly clean example of what is arguably the best looking Mercedes SL this side of the Gullwing, yours for the price of a moderately equipped 2015 Ford Fiesta. It's a hardtop convertible and does 0-60 in less time than it took you to read this sentence. Fiesta owners, time to get jelly.
This 2003 Mercedes SL55 AMG was, when it was released, the fastest automatic car in the world. Under the massive hood slept a hand-built 5.5 liter supercharged V8, producing 400 horsepower (493, but who's counting?). Derestricted, it could top 200 miles per hour. It was no slouch.
This one has around 83,000 miles on it, and it looks to be in great condition. The Adaptive Body Control (ABC) hydropneumatic suspension has been lowered slightly to give the car a better stance, but it can be raised at a moment's notice to go over tall curbs or speed bumps.
The interior is an amazing array of leather and wood, with separated gauges to pay homage to the SLs of yesteryear, and dual-zone climate control with actual knobs instead of LCD readouts. Heated/ventilated and massaging functions are also present in the AMG perforated leather sport seats. It also has a panoramic glass roof, because why the hell not. Brand new, this car cost over $150,000.
In my humble opinion, it was the last truly good looking SL Mercedes ever made. Its proportions were just right. The wheels filled the arches perfectly, and you could see those massive Brembo 6 piston front/4 pistons rear brakes in all their overengineered glory. It was such a great car that the posterchild of automotive hoonage, Jeremy Clarkson owned one.
Yes, this car may be more technologically complex than a Fiesta, and probably orders of magnitude more thirsty, but as long as you do your homework, make sure to do all the required maintenance on time, and save some extra funds, this car isn't any less reliable than any new car today, although some bespoke parts can get expensive. I think it's worth the price of admission to have a 200-mph supercruiser that can devour miles effortlessly. If I had the money, I'd buy it. Seriously.
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Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world's cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he's the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn't feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.