Is This Ultra-Rare Mercedes The One For You?

There is a 1995 Mercedes-Benz SL72 AMG on sale. What makes this car so special? Pagani was so impressed by the engine, he chose it for his Zonda.

Also, only 35 were ever produced, of which the Sultan of Brunei added 25 to his collection. So only 10 hit the market. This one is now for sale.

Illustration for article titled Is This Ultra-Rare Mercedes The One For You?

From the seller’s page:

“The rarest AMG model ever conceived and built, a completely original SL 72. Over 525bhp! Two-owners from-new, 58K original kilometers. One of just a handful built!


AMG first redesign of Mercedes Benz flagship 500SL came about in 1991 when AMG was still privately owned. By 1992, now owned by Mercedes Benz, the open-top AMG variant was now being offered as the SL60 AMG. These were the most numerous of the AMG models being built and sold and they were available from 1993 to 1998. These all used a 6.0-liter, 376 horsepower V8. Further tuning saw bhp rise to 405/410bhp using the same 6.0-liter V8 engine.

In 1995 AMG made available to a select few clients their most powerful speciality vehicle ever produced. This was the legendary SL 72 which was later given the designation SL 73.

There were two distinct versions of the SL 72 and later SL 73. The original AMG SL 72 was available with a modified 7.3-liter V12 which was given the designation “M120.980.981 E72.” This engine produced 525 horsepower and an incredible 740NM torque! Using the same basic engine but tuned slightly less, an “M120.982/983 E70” version produced 496 horsepower and 720NM torque. Both engines used titanium connecting rods but despite their exotic nature, these V12 monsters were utterly reliable and given the same warranty as a regular production SL 600.

The SL72 designation was used initially when orders were first received for modification to a standard SL600. At that time the higher output engine could be ordered and fitted to three different MB vehicles, the R129 Roadster or C140 or W140 sedans and coupes. By the end of 1995, the SL 72 designation was dropped on the R129 platform and changed to SL 73. The body modifications were far more subtle and gave little indication of what was under the skin. Just 35 SL 72 and 50 SL 73 models were completed for a total production run of only 85 vehicles, 25 of which were purchased in a package deal by the Sultan of Brunei.

From AMG’s design department came the following press release:

“Mercedes-AMG presents the SL 73 AMG, undoubtedly the leader in the small, exclusive segment of open super sports car. With a performance output of 525bhp, the vehicle accelerated from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.6 seconds with a top speed of more than 300kph.

Even today the AMG 7.3 liter V12 engine continues to impress: Its V12 engine of 7,291 cubic centimeters is without equal. But despite its emphasis on speed, the SL 73 AMG will stun the customer with its litheness and – of course – its typical Mercedes-Benz style sporting AMG styling at the front, sides and rear, plus the 18-inch lightweight alloy AMG wheels.

Let it also be noted that to this very day, the SL was the only vehicle among any competitors to be equipped with an automatically extending roll bar that offered open-air driving with optimal safety.

Enjoy our selection of SL 73 AMG bliss!”

Do to the incredible built cost of the SL 72/73, AMG offered a less exotic and more affordable variant from 1998 to 2001. This was given the designation SL 70. The SL 70 used a less exotic and smaller 7.0-liter engine. These were still very impressive machines, producing just shy of 500bhp from an engine with a slightly smaller bore and stroke and standard steel-alloy connecting rods rather than the titanium ones used in the SL 72 and SL 73.

As a testament to just how incredible the engineering was behind the SL 72/73s, when famed engineer Horacio Pagani was in search for a power train for his new Pagani Zonda he made a licensing and purchase agreement with AMG to acquire SL 72/73 V12 engines for use in the Zonda.

This particular SL 72 was ordered and completed new on March 10th, 1995, it is a relatively early build example and one of the very few to receive the SL 72 rather than the later SL 73 badging and identification. AMGs records are somewhat conflicting as they site a production of 25 SL-72 models in early press releases but most experts believe a total of 35 were competed with 25 being bought by the Sultan of Brunei. All of the SL 72s are identify as 1995 models but several are believed to have been built as well in 1996 when production was halted. Besides the rear badging of the SL 72, the later SL 73 models built from 1999 to 2001 carry far more tame body modifications.

This SL 72 was completed with a standard white exterior and full AMG body conversion as well as interior treatment, engine, suspension, gearbox, special alloy-wheels and rear limited slip differential. A copy of the original German registration documents remain with the vehicle and they note that the car was certified completed with the M120 7.2-liter (7,291cc) 525bhp V12 engine. This vehicle was ready for retail delivery on July 24th, 1995 and issued temporary certification which expired upon export to Japan where it was sold new on August 7th, 1995. This AMG was initially registered to a private museum collection on August 8th, 1995 on Japanese plates “34 7935.” The original Japanese department of motor vehicle records confirm ownership and registration thereafter in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2015 when the registration was changed to Japanese plates “399 5295.” The Japanese records further confirm mileage statements showing that in 2004, this AMG had covered 31,500 kilometers and in 2006 when it was sold to the second owner, the mileage was now recorded at 49,000 kilometers. Earlier this year our company purchased this AMG with total mileage now recorded at 58,544 kilometers.

This AMG SL 72 is one of just 35 examples completed and one of only 10 sold privately in 1995. this is a completely rust and accident free example with just two owners from new and known history going back to the original ordering details. All services are completely current and up to date and this vehicle is fully legal for road-registration and use in the States and of course any European nation.”

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