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2018-04-14 21.26.48

Attention K-Mart Shoppers: The Mercedes-Benz R230 SL55 AMG is a Bargain Supercar

Net-net is a value investing technique developed by Benjamin Graham in which a company is valued based solely on its net current assets. The net-net investing method focuses on current assets, taking cash and cash equivalents at full value, then reducing accounts receivable for doubtful accounts, and reducing inventories to liquidation valuesTotal liabilities are deducted from the adjusted current assets to get the company’s net-net value. –Investopedia

If Ben Graham were alive today (and if he was a rabid car enthusiast) he would agree that  the 2003-2008 Mercedes-Benz R230 SL55 AMG is trading below its net asset value. In investor parlance, this equates to a screaming buy! Buy! Buy! Buy! as CNBC’s Mad Money host Jim Cramer is fond of saying. Indeed, the Mercedes-Benz SL55 is currently priced like a deep value stock. This 500-hp land missile is powered by a hand-built AMG supercharged V-8. The sleek SL55 features a raked grill, a retractable hard top, anti-rollover protection, leather galore, and svelte aluminum bodywork.

Many SL55’s that are currently on the market (or have recently sold) have low miles and are one or two owner vehicles. Good examples of SL55’s are currently trading from between $20,000 to $34,000. For the price of a new Hyundai you can have an affordable (and reliable) Mercedes supercar. Recent sales on Bring-a-Trailer show a 7,000 mile one-family owned car recently sold for $34,000.

With its throaty growl, tank-like build, and absurd horsepower, it’s basically a Chevelle SS with German engineering and style. Steve Jobs was known to drive his SL55 all over Palo Alto with no license plates. Each engine was hand-built at AMG in Affalterbach, Germany, and autographed by one of their 50 Master Engine Builders. The 8-cylinder motor has a twin-screw Lysholm-type supercharger and is mated to a durable, tractor-like 5-speed automatic. In a road test review in 2003, Car and Driver lamented that no tires existed to handle the SL55’s theoretical 208 mph top speed. The retractable hard top is a praying-mantis-like sensation of engineering in motion.

When the car was introduced in late 2002, it was the fastest Mercedes ever produced up until that point. You can read the Car and Driver review from 2002 here. Road & Track also did a full review of the SL55 (also back in 2002) which can be accessed here.

If I could only have one car in my garage this would be it. German engineered. More power than you could ever consume. Comfort, speed, style, and durabilty all in one package. The top goes down but it looks and feels taut like a coupe. If you have the means I strongly suggest you pick one up! The Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG….there is no substitute!

The 5.5 liter supercharged AMG V8 is more than enough power….for anyone!

The interior is sumptuous and is reminiscent of a modern Porsche 928.

Liberal use of leather, stitching, and alcantera make the SL55 feel luxurious.

Other than the “V8 Compressor” badge, its hard to tell a 55 AMG from a pedestrian SL500

Four chrome AMG-tipped exhaust pipes have a subtle but serious look

SL55’s came with a variety of wheel options. Mine is configured with the old-school Monoblock staggered wheels.

The raked grill has been lost on newer R231 SL models.

Even today, my 2003 SL looks contemporary.

The window line has a great swoop to it.

The only real way to tell its not a pedestrian SL 500….

The SL 55’s cockpit has really supportive perferated seats.

The interior has a slight (and more contemporary) resemblance to the Porsche 928.

Ignition….lift off!

Even the floor mats are something special….

With the top up or down its stunning….

Just watching the top go up or down is a sight to behold…..

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4 Responses to Attention K-Mart Shoppers: The Mercedes-Benz R230 SL55 AMG is a Bargain Supercar

  1. Dean Laumbach May 6, 2018 at 9:44 pm #

    Nailed it Philip. The SL55 is THEE best bang for the buck in the European Sportscar market. Shhhhh !!!

  2. Mark Greene May 6, 2018 at 1:51 pm #

    I agree. A friend jut found one of these cars and given what he paid vs the original price, plust he low miles, what a deal. Wonderful car to drive.

    • Philip Richter May 7, 2018 at 10:35 pm #

      Mark,
      It’s an amazing car! I’ve owned mine for about four years and I’ve had zero problems. There is nothing like it in the car market right now….a bargain!