Would You Pay $24,900 for This 1998 Mercedes SL600, or Are You Yella’?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

With its untraditional yellow paint and Lorinser bodywork, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe W129 is sure to stand out. We’ll just have to see if it’s outstanding enough to justify its asking price.

If you’re of a certain generation then ‘The Drifters’ probably elicits images of the R&B band of the same name that, over an active career spanning 20 years, featured over 40 different lineups. Should you be from a younger generation however, drifters are more likely in your mind, racers that like to go sideways.


One of the staples of the Drifter equipage is the rear-wheel drive chassis. Yeah you can drift a FWD car, but it’s not nearly as much fun nor as impressive to watch. The drifter marketplace is what has eaten up tons of cars like that, including a bunch like yesterday’s 1992 Nissan 240SX. It is a prime candidate for that sideways lifestyle.

That fact wasn’t lost on the majority of you who marveled at the car’s beat-down but serviceable condition and its seemingly modest $2,800 asking price. That resulted in a solid 70-percent Nice Price win and based on the disappearance of the ad, potentially a sale . Did it go to someone who with strip it and slide it? That’s an mystery that we can’t solve because we have a lemon yellow Mercedes to contemplate.

There’s something magical and somewhat privileged about a 12-cylinder engine. I mean, they’re not at all common, you can count the number of post-war makers with just your fingers. They also offer an auditory and tactile experience like no other, providing gobs of torque and a delivery as smooth as twenty five-year old Whiskey.


Mercedes offers a V12 engine. In fact, they’ve had several iterations over the years. Today Mercedes only lets you get your 12 on in the uber S-Class, the Maybach, but back in the day they were not above dropping the dozen in just about anything with a six-figure price tag.


That included their SL sports car where the 6-litre M120 all-alloy DOHC mill powered the top W129 edition, the SL600.

This 1998 Mercedes SL600 features not only that aspirational engine, but also unique yellow paint and a bit of bodywork by German tuner house, Lorinser. It also looks to be in exceptionally nice condition.


That’s not frequently the case with W129s on the market. Many have not seen the level of care and attention they deserve and hence look a bit ratty and in need of work. This one seems free of issues for its age and modest 116,000 miles.


These were generally stout cars. A two-ton two-seater isn’t really going to be flingable, but they have a rep for being very capable at eating up the miles. The big twelve pumped out 390 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque when newish. That’s backed up by a standard five-speed automatic with your equally standard Benz shifter. The seller says that he has $6K in receipts covering recent work to keep the car in his words ‘in top running condition.’

Speaking of top and condition, the ad also notes that the power convertible top is in excellent shape and has seen the repair or replacement of its many motors to ensure it does its up-down thing for a good bit more. The factory aluminum hard top also comes with the car.


That’s a bright yellow, as is the rest of the car. It’s a unique hue and one that’s probably going to elicit polar responses amongst the comments below. Regardless, it seems to be without flaw. The front and rear bumpers, spoiler and exhaust are all Lorinser parts, while the ad notes the sideskirts are AMG. The two-piece monoblock wheels are also AMG-sourced, and are wrapped in fresh Contis.


The interior presents equally well with dark grey leather almost everywhere, and fancy burlwood where it’s not. The only issues seem to be some heat-realted crazing on the steering wheel rim, and an aftermarket stereo that’s not a Blaupunkt.

The seller is the car’s third owner and says that the original owner may very well have been baseball player, Luis Castillo, but he has no proof. That’s okay by me because honestly Luis Castillo doesn’t really move the needle when it comes to interesting former car owners.


You could be the fourth owner of this nicely maintained but uniquely hued SL600. All you’d have to do is come up with its $24,900 asking price. The question of course, is whether you—or anyone else—should.


What do you think, is that a premium price for a premium example of a premium car? Or, is that just pissing away good money on an SL that’s too-yellow?

You decide!


Roanoke, VA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to twowheelsev for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send a me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.