On the Rise: 2003 SL55 w/16k miles


The SL55 is an excellent and powerful roadster. With the venerable M113k stuffed into the engine bay of a stoutly-stanced, hardtop convertible, these cars bring plenty of fun and performance and are still a great value on today's market for the most part. If you're a fan of the R230 SL platform, its hard to ignore the value proposition in a well-maintained SL55 AMG roadster which can often be found for under $25,000. Today's example is quite a bit different.

Offered for sale on Craigslist out of Los Gatos, CA, this first-year example of the R230 SL55 claims to rise above the competition in a few distinct ways: But is it enough to justify the market-making asking price? Or is it even accurate?


This example is finished in Black over two-toned gray nappa leather interior and both appear to be in excellent condition as represented in the photos. With only 16,000 miles and a two-owner history, the car's condition presents appropriately.

What sets this car apart from the pack is the the claim that it is a P030 Performance Package optioned car. This pricey option takes the already excellent performance of the SL55 AMG and ups the ante by adding a bunch of AMG performance and aesthetic goodies such as a thicker AMG sport steering wheel, 186 mph top track speed (electronically limited), AMG Active Suspension with "Nurburgring" calibration (which is approximately 20% stiffer than the "stock" SL55), AMG compound braking system, AMG staggered-width 19" two-piece double-spoke alloy wheels and an AMG locking differential.

But the keen eyed among you might be asking: Did they offer a P030 option on the SL55 in 2003?

No, they didnt. The P030 option didn't come along until a few years later. So, what we have here is a seller falsely claiming the P030 option and conveniently not providing the VIN to verify as such. This is just a low-mile SL55 with the upgraded P30 wheels and an aftermarket steering wheel, sadly. Even with the low miles and if it were an actual P030 car , the seller's asking price of $37,000, however, is more akin to SL65 numbers in today's market. If this were a 2007 example in the same mileage and spec (and a real P30), we'd tend to be more agreeable with the seller's aspirational ask, but for a 2003 non-p30 - even with the great mileage - we think this number is still a bit lofty considering the price of competing SL65s available.


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