Mercedes-Benz SL500 whose owner lost the keys and never drove again sells for world record price

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A 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL500 whose owner drove only 80 miles before losing the keys and never using it again has just been sold at auction by international auctioneers Coys for the record price of £56,640 (including premium).

Purchased from Normand of Mayfair as a birthday present for its sole lady owner, it was driven just 80 miles before being stored in an underground garage in Knightsbridge. The owner lost the keys and never drove it again.

Twenty-one years later it was found and sold by Coys at their Spring Classics auction at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London.

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Chris Routledge, CEO of Coys, said: “This is a fantastic price bearing in mind that a normal version of this car, with reasonable mileage, would probably be worth 20% of what this SL500 made today. An exciting sale and a new world record!”

The Mercedes-Benz SL500 R129 roadsters were produced from 1989 through 2002, featuring many innovative details for the time, such as electronically controlled damping and a hidden, automatically extending roll-over bar, electric windows and mirrors.

This is one of the more powerful and sought after M119 engined cars and also boasts a number of optional factory extras, including heated front seats, 6 CD multi-changer, upgraded radio and wood-leather steering wheel.

The car has just recently been subject of a light re-commission and is supplied with books, manuals and an MOT certificate until March 2018.