2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster
$350,000 - $400,000
- One owner from new; only 2,280 original miles
- Special-order metallic red, reportedly the only such example
- Optional Sand Silver Arrow leather and black carbon trim
- Supercharged 5.4-liter engine, 617 bhp, and 575 foot-pounds of torque
- Factory registered top speed of 206 miles per hour
When a titan in the automotive world teams with a legendary Formula 1 team, the result is bound to be extraordinary. Mercedes-Benz and McLaren combined their collective engineering talent to develop a devastatingly fast and seductive supercar, one with direct visual roots and mechanical lineage tracing its way to classic Mercedes racing machines of the 1950s.
The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren was first unveiled as a concept vehicle in 1999. This initial show car, the Vision SLR, borrowed styling cues from Mercedes' iconic race car, the 300 SLR. Based on the German automaker's all-conquering W196, the 300 SLR proved to be the top of the class of the sports car world when it was campaigned during the 1955 season.
Piloted by racing legends that included none other than the likes of Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio, the 300 SLR was a dominating force during its short racing career. From its powerful straight eight-cylinder engine to its slippery aerodynamic shape, this Mercedes-Benz "Silver Arrow" scored victories in some of the most grueling and arduous races of the era. The SLR's greatest success undoubtedly came in the 1955 Mille Miglia, when Stirling Moss and his co-pilot, Denis Jenkinson, established a record-setting pace and took overall victory in the 900-plus mile endurance race. The 300 SLR would eventually prove inspiration for one of the automaker's most famous production models of all time, the 300 SL Gullwing.
Decades later, Mercedes-Benz honored its past by teaming with McLaren Automotive, one of the world's most successful Formula 1 teams, to bring a completely modernized SLR to life. Introduced in 2003, the production model came powered by a supercharged, 5.4-liter aluminum V-8 that produced a staggering 617 hp and 575 foot-pounds of torque. This hand-built engine was pushed back as far as possible in the chassis, endowing the SLR with the unusual distinction of having a front mid-mounted powertrain layout.
Constructed of lightweight carbon fiber reinforced plastic and sporting side-exit exhaust pipes located just behind the front wheels, this rear-wheel-drive supercar snarled and bellowed its way to a top speed well in excess of 200 mph. To come to a safe stop from these velocities, Mercedes-Benz equipped the SLR with massive carbon ceramic brakes, clamped firmly by eight-piston calipers at the front, and four-piston calipers at the rear.
During its production run from 2003 to 2010, only 2,157 SLR McLarens were built in total. This car is a pristine example of the even rarer roadster variant, which was introduced in 2007. Like the coupe, the SLR roadster has the same thrusting hood, massive side vents, and taut tail-end that includes a rear diffuser and active airbrake.
The factory-estimated top speed of 206 mph - along with a 0-60 mph of 3.8 seconds - makes the SLR roadster one of the world's fastest and most desirable convertibles. Finished in special-order one-of-a-kind "Custom Paint" at an additional cost of $15,000, the doors swing skyward to reveal a tasteful gran turismo cabin finished in Sand Silver Arrow leather ($9,995) with optional carbon trim ($1,575). The car was also equipped with a 19-in. brake system with silver calipers for $6,920 and includes its original window sticker and set of spare keys.
This car represents the perfect opportunity to own a Mercedes-Benz supercar that's steeped in history, along with extraordinary Formula 1 pedigree.