Mercedes-Benz R129 Hardcover book – Car’s history


Mercedes-Benz R129 Hardcover book is part of a series dedicated to the legendary cars of the Mercedes-Benz brand.
It contains hundreds of original photographs and drawings of Mercedes-Benz R129 (SL-Class) series sports cars from the company’s advertising brochures published from the late 1980s to the late 1990s. The images are accompanied by dozens of technical and historical facts about the SL series cars.
The book will certainly be a great gift to all present, past and future owners of Mercedes-Benz SL, as well as anyone who is not indifferent to the classic models of the company.

Format 160×210 mm, hardcover, spine rounding, ribbon, full colour printing, premium quality matte coated paper, 222 pages.

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Mercedes-Benz R129 Hardcover book (fragment of the text)

The first four generations of the SL family sport roadsters, which made a significant contribution to popularizing the Mercedes-Benz brand, were produced from 1954 to 1989 (read about these cars in the corresponding volume of our book series).

The history of the 5th generation, designated R129, began in 1983 under the leadership of the concern’s chief stylist, the outstanding Bruno Sacco. The talented designer Johann Tomford, who joined the Mercedes- Benz creative team 13 years earlier and had already worked on other models for the company, took a direct part in the project.

By mid-1984, out of two dozen sketches and promising design options, the Tomford version was chosen as the basis for the final version of the new roadster. “We dreamed of creating a sports car that we would like to drive ourselves,” Johann recalled. “Aesthetic appeal is very important, and we kept in mind at all times that it had to be relevant for at least 10 or 12 years.” Today, it is safe to say that the creators of the new roadster succeeded to the fullest extent. Looking at this elegant car, it is hard to believe that its production began more than a third of a century ago.

Its balanced forms and timeless design still attract the attention of connoisseurs of beauty. However, work on the model’s exterior was only part of the labor-intensive process of designing the new car. Creating a car “from scratch” (and that’s exactly what they did for this model) required great efforts from the company’s engineers who worked on the body design, paying special attention to safety.

The most important element in protecting the driver and the single passenger was the complex design of the safety arc, located between the seat backs, and the drive mechanism elements for the folding top. Interestingly, in addition to automatically triggering in case of danger, it could be activated manually by a button on the transmission shaft.

This design was realized for the first time on a production vehicle. Important active safety elements such as ESP and Brake Assist were also used on the R129 vehicles.

The new generation of SL sports roadster was presented at the prestigious Geneva Motor Show in March 1989. Buyers were offered several variations of the model with gasoline engines of different displacement and power: 300 SL, 300 SL-24, and 500 SL.

Conceptually and ideologically, the new car continued the development of the previous theme of a luxury sports car, but differed with fresh solutions both in construction and design. To increase production capacity, SL production was moved from the Sindelfingen plant to the Bremen facility.

But the car aroused so much interest that the annual production volume of 20,000 vehicles was not enough to meet the demand, and the queue to purchase one was several years long. Wealthy buyers were ready to overpay speculators more than 10,000 DM for the opportunity to immediately get the coveted roadster.

Read the continuation of Mercedes-Benz R129 story in the book.

Other books about history of Mercedes:

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Mercedes-Benz W186-W100

Mercedes-Benz W202

Mercedes-Benz W163 (ML)

Mercedes-Benz W108-W112

Mercedes-Benz W115/W114

Mercedes-Benz W201

Mercedes-Benz W210

Mercedes-Benz W116

Mercedes-Benz W140

Mercedes-Benz W126

Mercedes-Benz W124

Mercedes-Benz W123

Mercedes Benz G-Class