Tyler Hoover has had a good year. Evidently the YouTube ad revenue is ramping up enough to net him not just an $80,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom, but also a $105,000 McLaren MP4-12C. Which is still broken and hasn’t been delivered yet. Ahem.
Now there’s this, an R171 Mercedes SLK 55 AMG. It’s a gift for his fiancee, would you believe, and at $19,000 that’s arguably a notch above the traditional perfume gift set. It’s also a cracking car whether you’re more interested in the electric folding hard-top or what’s under the bonnet.
A really compact platform hid a 5.4-litre normally-aspirated M113 V8 that had been hand-built and signed-off by a single AMG technician. In this generation the rear-driven convertible boasted 355bhp – perhaps not that much by modern uber-hatch standards, but 10 years ago it was plenty. The small size and weight of the SLK meant that it was plenty quick enough.
I once took a trip to the seaside in this car’s 416bhp R172 replacement, my girlfriend in the passenger seat. I’ll never forget her terrified string of expletives when I spotted our first chance for an overtake and floored it. I’m positive the future Mrs Hoover will enjoy her shiny new red convertible just as long as she keeps it on the black stuff.