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Top Gun: 2005 SL65 AMG


The year is 2005: a video streaming site by the name of YouTube is launched, George W. Bush is sworn into office for the second time and a 19 year old Lindsay Lohan has abandoned her SL65 AMG somewhere along Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles after piloting the beast directly into a tree. With the words “V12 Biturbo” emblazoned across the front fenders, the SL65 was the Mercedes to have in 2005.

This particular example is not Lohan’s exact LA cocaine sled, though it is listed here on Autotrader in the Los Angeles area. Despite higher mileage and a mismatched front grille it appears to have lived an otherwise charmed life with a clean Carfax report showing two long term owners, no accidents to speak of and regular dealership service.

With a starting price of $182,000 2005 dollars, these V12 SLs came well optioned from the

jump. This example is spec’d in 040 black over 581 black leather interior and has the optional

DISTRONIC cruise control box checked - one of the few available extras.

Yes, it’s sitting on a used car lot in the San Fernando Valley but the full leather interior presents well without any real wear on the seat bolsters and the two piece AMG wheels show few blemishes. A quick eBay search and $400 will fix the subpar nose job and get you a Genuine Mercedes grille restoring all of its 2005 glory.

At $28,990 with 89k miles there is no arguing that this is a lot of power for your dollar but as with all higher mileage exotics, service history is paramount. A stack of dealership invoices, or a VMI report, would help quell the nervousness that comes along with purchasing a 16 year old M275 V12 product. Expect to budget for a mechanic to ensure no hydraulic leaks or coil pack problems, both of which are common weak points on these cars.

Some might argue that R230 was the last real SL, or at least the last real desirable SL before

the model got lost in a crowded lineup. Although this example might not be one to appreciate as miles rack up it represents Affalterbach muscle for the brave buyer. The R230 will have its day in the sun as all other SLs have, because ultimately the market has never met an SL it didn’t like.


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