Mercedes-Benz SL500 driven only 80 miles because owner lost the keys sells at auction

1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 auctioned with just 80 miles on the odometer

1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 auctioned with just 80 miles on the odometer

Imagine the year is 1996. You’ve just acquired a new car. You’re the proud new owner of a Mercedes-Benz SL500. The car’s classically boxy lines are indicative of the period but also show off some great simplicity from the design mind of Bruno Sacco. Under the hood sits a big stonking Benz-built V-8 engine, which is good for 315 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque. It’s a droptop dreamboat…and you’ve lost the keys to it.

That’s what happened to the owner of this specific car. Just 80 turns from zero had taken place on the odometer, yet the owner decided to move on with their life. They didn’t conduct an exhaustive search for the keys, or create a new set of keys or locks. Instead, this oddball owner simply let this 1996 SL500 sit parked for decades.

1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 auctioned with just 80 miles on the odometer

1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 auctioned with just 80 miles on the odometer

The car has been lightly refreshed, given a new set of keys, and sent off to auction with Coys of London. As you might imagine, there’s some interest in an essentially brand-new Mercedes-Benz from 1996. This car sold for £56,640, which is around $73,000. That’s a ton of money to fork over for a 21-year old Mercedes, even a top-line convertible line the SL500. The fact that this one has just 80 miles on the odometer and an oddball story clearly ups the value quite a bit.

1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 auctioned with just 80 miles on the odometer

1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 auctioned with just 80 miles on the odometer

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If you were the new owner, would you start putting miles on it? Would you keep it as a time-capsule piece in your climate-controlled garage? Or would you just sit and wonder why you just removed a lot of money from your bank account for a car the previous owner clearly didn’t care about?

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