A modern classic Mercedes SL with just 80 miles on the clock from new is coming up for auction with a bizarre back-story.
The owner of this 21-year-old SL500 was so filthy rich that when she lost the keys shortly after being given the car as a birthday present, she never bothered to order new ones and the car simply got forgotten. For two decades.
Even more astonishing is that the letter that comes with the car, confirming the car’s history, is written by the owner’s butler. This is, well, unusual. Chris Routledge, CEO of auction house Coys, said:
“This is a car with a fantastic story! Purchased as a birthday present and driven only 80 miles before the owner lost the keys and never drove it again. It even comes with a letter written by the owner’s butler verifying its mileage and its provenance.
“Had she not lost the keys and used it regularly, we estimate it would now be worth between £5,000 and £7,000, but the fact that it has kept such a low mileage and has not been driven in more than twenty years makes it worth between £45,000 and £55,000.
“What happened with the keys remains a mystery but the car comes with new keys for the new owner.”
The 1996 R129 SL is reportedly ‘unblemished’ and forms part of Coys’ Spring Classics auction on Wednesday. Also on offer are several classic Aston Martins and Jaguars, a 1923 Rolls-Royce 20HP, a Lamborghini LM02, a 1989 AC Cobra and a number of supercars from the 1980s and 1990s. The sale is being held at the Royal Horticultural Society in London’s Vincent Square.