Pick of the Day: 2005 Mercedes Benz SL55 for performance, daily usability

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The Mercedes is fitted with a retractable hardtop

One of the most interesting developments in the enthusiast car space in the past 15 or so years is the concept of a daily driver supercar, an exclusive high-performance car that is as good on track day as it is driving to work. There are a number of these cars available, but the single car that truly offers the best of both worlds is the Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG.

The Pick of the Day is one of these fantastic cars, a 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG, finished in Diamond Silver Metallic paint with an Ash leather interior.

The SL55 AMG when new in 2003 had a list price of $134,200. While not crazy money then it was definitely expensive. In performance, the SL55 AMG was at the top of the class with a 0-100 mph time of 9.9 seconds, just a 10th of a second slower than the Ferrari 575M Maranello, which cost several times the price of the SL55 and with considerably more-expensive service costs.

At the same time, the SL55 is achieving this level of performance, it could give the driver and passenger back massages, and if it’s too warm out, air condition the seats.

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According to the San Ramon, California, dealer advertising this convertible on ClassicCars.com, the Mercedes has covered only 49,000 miles from new.  It is optioned with a Panoramic Roof, power-adjustable heated seats with memory and the massage package for ultimate luxury.

The build quality of this generation is also phenomenal, and you see the quality of the materials used and of the cars construction everywhere you look. Also, unlike a lot of modern cars, the engine in the SL55 AMG actual looks great and is not completely covered by plastic bits; as an added touch, it carries a plaque with the signature of the person who built it.

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I used an SL55 AMG as my Monterey Car Week ride for two years, and the car is simply flawless. It is also the last Mercedes SL model that is a bit wild to drive. The driver aids will keep you out of trouble but are not so invasive than you can’t get the car sideways.

Combined with a trunk that is able to carry a week’s worth of luggage, camera gear, laptops and even all the books and such that I buy in Monterey every year, and this car is a winner on all counts.

If you think you desperately need the Ferrari 575 instead of this amazing Mercedes, consider that the starting price for a used 575M Maranello is around $100,000, and this SL55 is priced at only $22,995.

I do not see that the Ferrari is worth four times the SL55, and your wallet will thank you when you get the first service bill from the Mercedes mechanic instead of the Ferrari mechanic. And the Ferrari is incapable of providing a massage.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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