Manage episode 355258775 series 3340893
In this podcast, Jason Cammisa and Derek Tam-Scott ("Hyphen") cover everything you didn't realize you wanted to know about the R129-chassis Mercedes-Benz SL.
The R129 comes in many forms: 300SL, 300SL-24, 500SL, 600SL, and then the renamed SL320, SL500, and SL600. It had three different body styles and two interiors thanks to two facelifts, three different transmissions in the U.S. — a 4-speed automatic, a 5-speed automatic, and a 5-speed dogleg manual transmission.
And the 500SL/SL500 had 3 different engines: a CIS-E "K-Jetronic" tall-deck M119, a LH-Jetronic short-deck M119, both with 4 cams, 4 valves per cylinder, and VVT; and then a 2-cam, 3-valve, non-VVT M113.
So which is the one to get? Which variants drive the best? Which R129s suffer from the dreaded wiring-harness failure?
How much did Jason's 300SL 5-speed weigh?
These are important questions. But the Carmudgeons also talk about the R129's fascinating development history including — why the car that Bruno Sacco himself described as "perfect" was 10 years late. They discuss the R129's world-firsts, like the first-ever fully automatic roof mechanism (and its failure-prone 11 hydraulic cylinders), the first-ever popup rollover protection, the world's first seat-mounted seatbelts (with magnesium-frame seats); and the first time the world ever saw a convertible wind deflector.
The R129 was a technological tour de force, combined with a timelessly elegant and stunningly beautiful design and absolutely impeccable build quality, making it the high point of every generation of Mercedes SL — excepting of course the original W198 300SL Gullwing, which wasn't an SL at all.
Huh? Yeah, you're going to have to watch the episode to figure that one out.
The Carmudgeon Show is part of the Hagerty Podcast Network.
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