The Straight Pipes: I BOUGHT a $200,000 Mercedes… for $20,000

Posted: 2023-08-15 12:00:01
Author: TheStraightPipes
1997 Mercedes SL500 review by The Straight Pipes. The R129 Mercedes SL 500 is putting down 315 horsepower and 347 lb-ft of torque from a 5L V8. At about $20,000 CAD, would you take it over Jakub’s old Fiesta ST or Yuri’s Plymouth Prowler?

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The Straight Pipes Video Transcript

Foreign 1997 Mercedes-Benz SL500 with no launch control There we go Oh yeah oh yeah that torque speaking of torque horsepower and door 315 horsepower 347 pound-feet of torque from a 5 liter V8 all right all right uh this is yours yeah so I just bought this uh very shortly after our SL63 review and it’s just taken us a

While to get to the point of reviewing this car for several reasons so uh what’s the buying process how much did this cost you why’d you buy it I don’t want to say exactly what this cost me but I did sell my Fiesta ST and then I

Took that same exact amount of money and then I bought this with that same money and then you didn’t have to put anything into it it worked perfectly right out of the purchase right we’ll get into that very soon so you helped me buy this you actually had to drive my Raptor because

The owner had so many spare parts for this car that I needed my Raptor to put all the spare parts into the bed I’ve got original Wheels I’ve got uh random spare parts and bags I have the original hardtop and the hardtop stand and a bunch of other random stuff so after we

Registered it Jacob I’m gonna buy everything I like right here actually buying everything he likes thanks for your Fury this guy I took it to Hot Rod Scots within 24 hours of owning this because when I bought this it was straight piped it sounded so bad and it sounded

Terrible it drone like crazy and yes I added a muffler so let’s take a listen to the outside our hot rod Scots yo what I’ve got Jacob here from Street pipes this one’s a little too loud for me we’re gonna quiet it down foreign So fresh it hurts baby you already know and I think you’re becoming an adult now because you didn’t get a valve exhaust yeah I just I wanted something that sounded good but not too crazy so this is like still a straight through Muffler that you can tell it’s a V8 but it’s not

Obnoxious so here And there’s a lot of induction that sounds almost as vacuuming as my convertible yeah I want it to be nice and quiet because I bought this appreciate that I appreciate that thank you so just to look up just to listen to music I have my other stupid cars this

One’s just for cruising okay next step was to take it to European Automotive for an inspection and that’s where things kind of fell apart a little bit so the initial inspection I thought honestly it would take about maybe three thousand dollars to get this thing like

Up to Snuff and because it felt really good I noticed that the steering was a little bit off the suspension the alignment the tires because now there are Continental extreme contact sport dws06 on here and I specifically chose these because I wanted an all-season Tire to push this into fall in early

Spring so did you test drive this before buying it yes a very short loop around the block and that’s where I noticed like a couple little things nice at least you got to do that I did ask the owner if there was any leaks and he said

No uh so let’s get into that did you did you plug in an OBD reader to see if there’s any check engine lights because the lights weren’t on when you got it no there were absolutely no lights when I bought it except on my drive home the

ESP and abs lights came on which was very interesting okay so anyways we took it to European Automotive they discovered uh a significant amount of problems more than I expected several leaks nothing crazy that they haven’t dealt with for an old German car and they told me that this is actually in

Pretty decent shape for a 97 SL because they deal with these kind of cars all the time it was a lot of suspension stuff bushings all old worn out stuff control arms steering things like a lot of oil leaks and things like that did your engine have to come out no did your

Transmission have to come out yes had a rear main seal leak which is very common on these which the actual seal costs very little but the labor to get the transmission costs a lot and then there’s a lot of while you’re in there kind of things so Yuri uh I have the

Total bill from European Automotive is it more than the original Fiesta that you purchased uh it’s very close it may even it may even cost the same amount okay look at the total down here you want me to say it out loud yeah say it out loud 11 490 Canadians yeah

So let’s just say if we added that to the price that I paid for this car it’s around the price of approximately thirty thousand dollars how does this open uh you have to just do this from the side oh side yeah yeah don’t look in there don’t look in there

Okay there’s there’s cool stuff in there it needed about ten thousand dollars uh worth of Maintenance and it’s still not exactly done that was just the general maintenance to get this thing like up to Snuff just normally Road ready that it like feels good and shifts right and the

Suspension feels great and you told me that this came with a surprise check engine bulb delete yeah so a lot of little surprises when we got into it and that’s why the bill just kept skyrocketing is because the check engine light bulb was deleted which hit a lot

Of other things like the O2 sensors and camshaft sensors and a bunch of other things and that clicking sensor uh no that’s separate okay so we still can’t find one part so if anyone in the world has this part because apparently I can’t order it anywhere and Mercedes does not

Have stock at this part there’s like an ESP ABS pump that we hit with a hammer and it started to work and it is currently working uh but we can’t buy a new one because it doesn’t exist and it cost approximately six thousand dollars for one little pump oh heck yeah half a

Fiesta ST yeah uh so that’s still broken but it currently does work it’s just a little bit loud sometimes yeah yeah and then the top really needs to be replaced because there’s a lot of holes in the top however I don’t drive with the soft

Top up ever it’s a big shout out to European Automotive for fixing this stuff and big shout out to you I’d like to congratulate you and welcome you to the convertible club now thank you there’s a couple tests as a convertible owner that I need to run you through

Okay okay have you taken your soft top car through a car wash touch this car wash no I’ve only hand washed it in my driveway why is that because mine mine leaked and you gotta accept that sometimes I see visible holes okay and I don’t want to take this through an

Automatic wash at this point okay that’s test number one test number two it looks like you don’t have a hat on and I have a hat covering the back of my neck what’s I am wearing SPF 50 everywhere okay you have it on you in your car at

All times we need to we always have our sunscreen and then you always need to have multiple hats so we got our Dominican and then we got another neck hat that covers the back because you can never be too safe yeah I could tell you’re in your first year of ownership

Because you still have the top down in the summer yes when you should really be rocking just top down in the spring and fall on like cloudy days so you don’t get sunburned I have literally not put the soft top up once I took the hardtop

Off when the car got home put it on its stand and I just park it in my garage with the top down at all times no me first three years I was driving in a winter with the top down now I don’t even drive in a winner okay next thing

Do you have a matching lawn chair for sitting in front of car meets that’s great because I’ve got my yellow one here no I don’t and I have been to some Mercedes meets with my E55 and I’ve been invited to other meets with my SL500 shout out all the clubs that have been

Inviting me they’re not really parking lot meets they’re like they go to Wineries and stuff yeah so like you sit inside a winery have your sampling and like you don’t sit in front of your like car with a lawn chair yeah give me that Wubba dub car meets on Saturday that

Would be a problem or Oblivion yes or or a Corvette meat okay and I noticed you’re wearing a Hawaiian shirt I’m also wearing my Hawaiian shirt because I drove my convertible today so there’s a shadow okay next thing I see you do not have the stock deck I wish I did does

This have a six disc changer like my convertible it has a multi-disc changer and I don’t know how many discs it changes because it currently doesn’t work but it is in the trunk all right very similar to mine so I brought you some oh yeah your seatbelt’s a little tight

There I brought you some CDs I’ve got Blink 182 okay we got uh Beach Boys which you must have in a convertible Sun Gem and Classics we got the cars maybe some green day all right all right we’re going to get you using CDs none of this

Bluetooth stuff you just gotta be period correct so I am using Bluetooth and I’ve exclusively been playing uh 90s West Coast hip-hop Tupac Picture me rolling I also got like ludicrous because he had an SL500 in the videos okay where do you keep your sunglasses uh on my eyes at

All times no is there uh no sunglass holder no oh there’s even money in there I haven’t even opened that money all right I got my sunglasses ready for me also I want to close right now oh God did I break it no no there push in the

Middle and the last convertible thing do you have a matching Hot Wheels of your car in your car at all times I don’t yet and I don’t even know if I can find one produced exclusively for the prowler Owners Association honestly that is sick you need to get one I do an ESL

Association if anyone has one just let me know where I can buy one because I haven’t seen one for sale the next thing is um speaking of me owning a convertible yes we’re looking at the MotorWeek footage from when these cars came out the prowler and this dude the

Prowler is faster in the quarter mile and zero to 100 than this this V8 yes isn’t as fast as my four speed six cylinder Auto stick to be fair I did not buy this for the speed I have my Speed cars I wanted it to be slow I actually

Wish they made it even slower a little embarrassing I’m just saying but I can I can still do a bit of a burnout so uh here’s a burnout So there you go slow rear wheel drive sports car and it is an SL which is sports leaked AKA sport light which um this weighs like four thousand pounds and your Prowler weighs like two or three thousand pounds so this is not light by any stretch okay and the 315

Horsepower does not feel like 315 horsepower although that 347 pound-feet of torque once you get going is pretty nice yeah the thing I didn’t feel like this thing wasn’t going to shift uh so the five-speed Auto does shift pretty slow but it does shift better than the old four speed let me

Get into why I bought can you shift gears on your own uh yeah like this wait oh like that okay yeah it works we’re in second now baby yo what is this double watch this watch what there it goes oh that was it okay so let me get into why I bought a

Specifically a 1997. so the r129 spanned multiple years the early years had multiple problems with like biodegradable wiring harnesses I didn’t want to get into that they had four speed Autos the five speeds are obviously preferable there were some changes in like 96 to 98 which is exactly what I wanted I originally

Wanted an AMG package but after seeing this one without the AMG package but with the upgraded slightly newer AMG Wheels I knew I wanted this one because it had like the older Body Lines without the roundedness of the AMG packet it does look really cool and then the later

Years 99 plus also got a different engine so I wanted this older engine which is like a quadcam really nice engine they went to an m113 which is actually the same code minus the supercharger as my E55 so it’s a simpler engine but this is the better more

Complicated Engine with the better newer transmission so it’s kind of The Sweet Spot and everyone kind of agrees that’s bought one of these everywhere review And even Chris Harris owns one of these I think still Matt Farah owned one of these multiple journalists I think second to the Miata this car has been

Owned by that many journalists looks wise I like Dan golson’s SL the most SL 300 the older one which one okay so the two-tone disappeared for like 97. I like the look of that the two tones look really good because the early years also had the Amber Corner Corners which the

Owner deleted the half ambers on this one but gave me the originals in a bag and so I kept these clear ones because I think I think these look really good especially with the spec because I wanted silver and I wanted the AMG wheels so I think this looks perfect it

Does look good it’s a very and you’re saying people give you like thumbs up constantly which surprises me I was honestly I was shocked the moment we drove out of the guy’s driveway I got a thumbs up I was like really you like people care about this cliche Corners

Okay okay here suspension so nice the suspension has been upgraded which I’ll get to right after kill corner and not that much body roll definitely body Roll But like it’s a good amount yeah and so it does handle pretty well it’s got a bunch of torque it’s obviously nothing

Close to a modern car but like probably comparable to your Prowler probably maybe that’s exactly the same yeah so I mean it feels really good and it’s comfortable so that upgraded suspension from the previous owner I have Bilstein shocks and then h r Springs which are

Actually I think the Euro spec ones and they actually lower the car to the point that it looks like the European one and looks perfect with these wheels and I’ve always really liked the r129 generation it was famously designed by Bruno Sacco which he always said that it was the

Most perfect car of his career this car was designed perfect it’s got lasting looks for sure and one of the things that he really wanted and needed was no roll bar so we have a roll bar that I can actually deploy myself with a button that still works and what if you get

Into an accident or a rollover it’ll detect the rollover self-deploy within a split second which was the first of its kind and it’s a hydraulic system and the whole top is also a hydraulic system which has like 11 or 12 hydraulic cylinders which are known to fail and

Then leak all over you so the previous owner apparently had these two cylinders fail on him and piss hydraulic fluid on him so those have been replaced oh that’s fine okay but the hydraulic rollover bar is actually held in place opposite as soon as pressure releases it

Pops open so it’s very safe Mercedes also famously dragged this car upside down and to show the strength of it upside down in an accident and it looks like it could be a four-seater but I think you said all these are two seaters except for a few weird European models

Or something yeah I think it was an option in Europe but North America did not get that probably good for throwing a dog back there yeah and you can actually use this as lockable storage so those two are actually storage bins and when you you they’re currently locked as we’re driving

And when you park the car and you insert the key or use the key fob because this does have keyless entry it’ll actually lock all of the Interior Cubbies like this one so that you can store stuff here in here and leave the top down oh

That’s pretty sick yeah yeah it got a little overcast so now I can switch over to a different hat oh Punta Cana I thought that’s a Barbie girl for a second okay the seat belts are integrated into the seats with magnesium frames which is a very uh safe option and it actually

Got multiple Awards however earlier today you couldn’t unlock that seat because I think the child seat was a lot of child assisted lock thing which I guess it makes sense for locking in uh child seats and stuff yeah and if you adjust your headrest using that button

Over there it actually moves the seat belt up the appropriate amount with it which is like a famous feature yeah I like these Mercedes C controls not like those new Mercedes C controls that suck in memory on this side and that side and these door panels shut amazingly well

Even in slow-mo especially the passenger side which hasn’t had enough wear like the driver’s side does but still better than the usl63 yeah the rattle yeah foreign and like it’s got a solid clunk like this whole car feels very solid and then now I want you to feel this steering

Wheel from the driver’s seat I can’t feel it from the passenger seat no no please no all right yo the embroidery or whatever it is on the floor mats is pretty cool with that I mean a set of tux mat would be nice which I do have in

My E55 those are now available go to talk the straight pipes am I legally allowed to move my steering wheel yes everything for the most part works now I’m going to ask you to not adjust the mirror I know I know I just gonna look forward it works left and right it

Doesn’t work up and down you have to manually adjust it so I can just floor it yes take it to redline baby You know this this might like be dead even with the prowler still because I think the prowler’s got harder shifts but I know it’s it’s yeah it’s it’s in that ballpark for sure steering’s good now car guys for no reason yeah this feels like a nice big old boat

Okay I’ve been saving some surprises for you yo by the way I love this cloth gray interior same here I did not want black especially with these leather seats which apparently according to the vindicoder these are upgraded leather seats you gotta go light interior yeah

Yeah I was like if I saw a black one I was like nope okay so first secret which is actually the best one are you ready for this Born Ready push this button right here oh what the heck is that a dial pad Yuri is that a telephone bro open this now

What’s in here oh no oh yeah dude we got a phone yeah don’t give this to Savage he’s bad you know how many business deals were made on that phone 8.97. that is amazing yeah dude I’m so stoked when I saw that I have a phone car I genuinely

Wanted to save that for this video today yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah obviously it doesn’t work because like the satellites for like 1G or 2G don’t exist but you know would that have been one g or 2G I don’t know somebody oh let us know what the heck that was called yeah

I mean that was the biggest secret because that’s the most fun uh the cup holders are also pretty cool so they they do pass and I specifically bought a small and it’s got this really cool cover for it and they actually like adjust and they can obviously be hidden

Because they’re German and they’re over complicated yeah which is nice and the visors I have not tested I have very low hopes and be careful please three two one hey whoa it’s crazy because most convertibles don’t even do that worth it worth it what just gets better

And better what heated seats with the back and the butt which is optional and they both do work that is really good yeah next thing we got a touch screen in here for the climate control you see how the off the the little part over there doesn’t really light up would you push

Against it does it start working yeah see it’s a touch screen classic yeah yeah so okay so the AC does work so I’ll turn on auto right now and the two is missing so whatever if you put it down the 19 works perfectly uh and then if

You touch it wherever the more parts illuminate which is really nice but the AC does work as the previous owner replaced the compressor and all the other components so you as a new um convertible owner you’ve gotten used to experiencing AC while the top is down

Right uh as of today where it’s like 30 degrees all the time I I’m gonna grow accustomed to using it and we do have the windows up because it’s just for airflows with the noise but I have been rolling with the top down and the windows down air conditioning while top

Down you get that little cool air on your legs on your hands like worth it I don’t mind it one bit and when I first got was a little like a little bit cold one day and I just rocked heat I was like this is really nice am I in sport

Mode uh you’re in sport shifting there are no other modes okay okay yeah see you a little body Roll But like not the worst I I’m not very comfortable okay look it felt like a little delay in there there is some weight transfer that has to happen

This is big and like the bump up here watch this you can take this full speed and nice and soft with those lower suspension it does feel a little sketchy like to drive it like a sports car yes it is not an SL63 of new yeah but like I

Mean this is a nice car once you get used to this you can probably think but it’s a nice like cruising around and this was a lot of money brand new which I’ll get to at the end of the video but like this interior is really nice we got wood trim It’s Not

Over the Top imagine if they were rocking piano black how gross it would be we do have some storage in here which is actually nice and hidden see right here where are the ashtrays uh well this one but I don’t want to open it again because it might break that’s an ashtray

With money in yeah yeah there’s no there’s actually no cigarette smoke in there no this car just cost me like two dollars and change four dollars and change less and I didn’t even mention that there was a six cylinder version of sl320 and then there was also a V12

SL600 and me having an all V8 garage the choice was made very simple yeah I mean I would go SL 600 but I also wouldn’t go any of them because I don’t want to deal with it and if I was to go with the Mercedes I’ve been telling you

The yellow SLK manual or whatever it is yeah for me I think that is like the cool like yeah and if you are shopping for any Mercedes go to you can buy used ones I did look for these down south because it would be

Nice to find like a nice clean one from down south but when we had this up on the lift this is actually very clean and does not look like it was driven in the winter which is really nice and apparently the first owner was a doctor

Or a surgeon or something like that so uh you’re dead yeah he’s an old guy it was probably like an estate sale that I bought from the second owner and like it’s fairly low mileage 192 000 kilometers was pretty good and the sound system is actually really good the

Speakers work really well so when I’m blasting my West Coast rap Tupac it sounds really good get a stock deck and use that six dish changer 10 to go up or not no not with this deck probably because you need the original that I mean yeah yeah I did kind of think about

Getting carplay in here it would be nice oh yeah and you see it’s pretty comfy no massage what the heck yeah yeah you got your window rolling buttons in the middle like a PT Cruiser which are One Touch look at that although they’re not one touch up yeah because that costs

More yeah well yo good job thank you but like not money wise money-wise this is a poor decision yeah probably uh I it is such a money pit and I can’t believe how much more you’re spending just to make this thing work and it’s like not even

Perfect yet although to be fair with all the current fixes and if you didn’t touch anything else you could drive the heck out of this thing for a long time I think and be worry-free for the most part yeah yeah you probably could have yeah I just like and the amount of

Things that were broken and the car still drove like 80 to 90 great is impressive let me just say be careful if you’re looking for one of these yes buy this one eventually when I sell it just kidding because I kind of want to keep this one for a really long time but

Might as well once it’s sorted there is a completely secret reason as to why I bought this car and I can’t reveal it yet I’ll probably reveal it maybe in a year or two on Instagram so you’re gonna have to follow us on Instagram and

That’s all I can say at this point right now demolition derby I don’t know man trade for three Fiesta’s we’ll see we’ll see I think that’s about it other than what this cost brand new let’s get to the price so in Canadian dollars it started at 126 500 in 1997. Canadian

Which was about eighty nine thousand nine hundred dollars and that was before inflation so adjusted for inflation in Canadian dollars this cost 220 000 Canadian or 190 000 U.S which is exactly in line with the current SL63 that is all this is insanity isn’t it

The price that you can get it for the president put into it the price it used to cost inflate oh my goodness yeah what people are crazy back then and they’re crazy now yo rich people got too much money yeah yeah bro buy this because the new SL63 doesn’t

Have this it’s got Bluetooth it’s got carplay it doesn’t have this yo if you want to buy this car in 50 years give me a call at four hundred thousand dollars maybe 500. good job man good job thank you thanks for watching hope you guys enjoyed my new SL uh 500

Because I sure as heck dude it’s my first convertible and thank you Yuri to explaining convertible life for me because I’m enjoying it yeah which one this one yeah yeah now you actually look like a convertible owner I like it