The first generation SLK prompted a lot of mixed reviews and feelings regarding the entry-level roadster. The non-AMG variants have not received the appreciation we believe they should have and the early examples seemed to fall short in quality and design. Fast forward to the later models (2001-2004), Mercedes managed to update the styling, improve the interior quality, and attach a 6th gear to their three-pedal models. Today’s SLK can be found listed here on Craigslist for $7,900 out of the Hudson Valley showing only 71k miles on the clock.
Finished in Alabaster White (960), this SLK is a no-frills Roadster that proves less is more. The stock 16” wheels don’t appear to be out of place surrounded by the face-lifted ground effects and don’t seem terribly far off the previous Sport look on the SLK. A happy single exit exhaust nicely compliments the rear bumper while the car presents itself as a proper german 2 seater. No issues or imperfections stand out on this SLK and we’d bet a thorough bath would really make this car pop.
Transition to the interior and this R170 presents itself as the quintessential SLK. The black leather seats and dashboard display beautifully while the typically problematic center console appears largely scuff free. The entire cabin is appointed nicely in Burl Walnut on the center console, door cards, steering wheel, and 6-speed shift knob. A few wires around the cabin indicate aftermarket navigation or satellite radio but everything’s been tucked and hidden nicely. These later SLK’s, although small, were very easy to spend several hours in either on highways or back roads.
By 2003, BMW had evolved their small Roadster into the heavier, more digitally based Z4 which left the small, manual Roadster segment wide open for the SLK. The M112 V6 cranked out an ample 215 horsepower and propelled the 2 seater to 60 miles per hour in just over 6 seconds. That’s not bad considering it was carrying a full hardtop at all times. These SLK’s are surely bound to become future classics and if they’re as well kept as this example we expect values to rise in the next few years.