How a pristine 1100-mile 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500 SL ended up at a salvage auction

If you browse through auctions is a leisurely Monday evening activity (seriously, try it), chances are it’s not in search of an absurdly low mile, well-preserved 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500 SL. But hey, there it is, and boy does it have an interesting story.

The Ice Blue Metallic over Andorblau Metallic exterior with no damage hints at what makes this car such a strange story. The well-preserved condition continues to the tan interior, which features an impeccable VDO gauge cluster with an odometer reading a scant 1180 miles. The description states the car has lived an indoor life, seemingly the removable hardtop never being removed.

So why is this pristine piece of German engineering on a salvage auction site? Theft. According to the information provided by Copart, the two-seater was stolen from a dealer in November of 1991 and only recently recovered. Now the insurance company is listing the 500 SL for auction  and, as of this story’s publishing time, the high bid is in excess of $23,000. A bargain compared to the $33,600 #1-condition values that 500 SL models are commanding currently, but right in line with the #2-condition values.

The description has more information than typical for salvage auctions like this one, likely because the seller hopes it will bring a higher sale price. but it also brings up more questions than answers. How was it stolen and why did it sit undisturbed for so long, just to start? Also, this SL500 is being sold on a clean title, not a salvage or salvage-theft title which is common for theft recovery vehicles.

There might be better 500 SLs for sale but, like Jay Leno says, the best cars are the ones with great stories. By that measure, this car could be hard to beat.

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