- An incredible collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and McLaren; wearing the pedigree of the timeless "SLR" name
- Purchased new by Robert Petersen and displayed in the world-renowned Petersen Museum
- Two owners and exceptionally low mileage; only 134 miles from new
- Virtually “as-new” condition throughout
- Includes stunning Silver Arrow Package
- A contemporary of the Ferrari Enzo and Porsche Carrera GT, offering tremendous value
617 bhp, 5,439 cc SOHC supercharged V-8 engine, five-speed AMG Speedshift R automatic transmission with three manual modes, four-wheel independent coil-spring suspension, and four-wheel Sensotronic hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 110 in.
As two of the most successful teams in motorsport, people tend to take notice when Mercedes-Benz and McLaren work together.
With each having an enviable racing record, few partnerships in the automotive world have been more fruitful. Mercedes-Benz had been supplying engines to McLaren in Formula One since the mid-1990s, and over the course of the following 15 years, McLaren F1 cars racked up numerous wins. Mercedes-Benz eventually acquired 40 percent of the McLaren Group, and at this time, the two companies produced their first road car together, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. When introduced in November 2003, the Ferrari Enzo was set to do battle with the Porsche Carrera GT, and accordingly, the car’s performance and 206-mph top speed firmly put it into the upper echelon of supercars. Yet, there was much more to the story.
Rather than creating an all-out, no-compromises supercar, Mercedes-Benz and McLaren decided to go a slightly different route. Instead of placing the engine in behind the cabin, the car had a front-mid-engine layout, with the engine sitting behind the front wheels and just ahead of the cabin. This not only helped to improve the SLR’s handling by giving it near-perfect weight distribution, but this also gave the car a rather spacious boot and cabin, which was not common in cars boasting such performance credentials. As it was supremely engineered and built to incredible standards at McLaren’s facilities in Woking, it boasted a very high level of fit and finish, the kind befitting of any Mercedes-Benz. To many, it was the perfect automobile for cruising across Europe at a very high speed.
In order to attain its top speed, the SLR McLaren was powered by a hand-built 5.4-liter V-8 fitted with a Lysholm-type twin-screw supercharger. As the car could produce 617 brake horsepower at 6,500 rpm, it goes without saying that acceleration was phenomenal, with a dash from 0 to 60 mph taking just 3.8 seconds, leading to a quarter-mile of 11 seconds. Of course, a car with such impressive speed credentials also requires an equally impressive braking system. An automatic airbrake and Mercedes-Benz’s Sensotronic “brake by wire” system assist the massive carbon-ceramic disc brakes and help bring the SLR McLaren down from 120 mph to a stop in less than 240 feet.
THE PETERSEN SLR MCLAREN
The SLR McLaren presented here is undoubtedly one of the most historic and lowest-mileage examples in existence. It was sold new by RM Specialist Vinnie Mandzak, during his time at Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills, to Robert Petersen, the legendary and quintessential California “car guy” who founded both Hot Rod and Motor Trend magazines. Mr. Petersen assembled one of the world’s finest automobile collections in the namesake Petersen Automobile Museum, which had a focus on hot rods and performance machines. Accordingly, he would often add new supercars to the collection, one of which was this SLR McLaren, finished in the quintessential color combination of Crystal Laurite Silver SLR over Silver Arrow 300 SL Red leather, a $9,900 option.
The car remained in the Petersen Automotive Museum until 2013, when it was acquired by its present owner with only 123 miles on its odometer at the time. Today, the SLR McLaren shows only 11 additional miles, all of which were accumulated in transit or during short drives to ensure that everything remains in working order. It has been properly serviced at regular intervals, and it retains service invoices from both April 2013 and February 2015. The car is accompanied by its original manuals, first aid kit, and Mercedes-Benz-branded trickle charger, as well as the online key to the special SLR owner’s website.
The SLR McLaren straddles the line between grand tourer and all-out supercar, but rather than leaving one of those borders disappointingly unfulfilled, it performs on both counts, delivering the best of both worlds: incredible performance and exclusive luxury.
More importantly, it also delivers in terms of value and collectability. Though the partnership between McLaren and Mercedes-Benz to produce a road car was a brief, it was also a spectacular moment that may never occur again. Given the significance of this venture and the skyrocketing appeal of the SLR’s direct competitors, namely the Ford GT and Porsche Carrera GT, there is no doubt that this is the moment in time when a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren should be considered for one’s collection. Enthusiasts rightfully recognize that cars of such importance aren’t available indefinitely and need to be seized when the opportunity presents itself, especially when the car on offer shows only 134 original miles, making it the lowest-mileage example RM Sotheby’s has ever had the pleasure of presenting.