Black & Blue Custom Benz Will Certainly Spark Any Purist’s Rage

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Modified SL55 AMG

SL55 AMG is one of the best bargain-per-horsepower cars around, but does this Craiglist find deserve any love?

The Mercedes M113 engine is a 5.5-liter supercharged V8 and one hell of an engine. As close as you’ll get to bulletproof while, in the early years of this century, also pushing out close to 500 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque. While the term “German muscle car” never does any Mercedes justice, AMG or not, it’s hard to deny the SL55 AMG has plenty of muscle. It’s also a luxurious beauty with the folding hardtop up or down. However, this 2003 SL 55 AMG Craigslist find has us sitting on the fence due to the smoked light lenses all the way around.

We are down with that satin blue wrap, but the original white would go a lot better with the gray interior. Of course, that’s a matter of preference, along with running the chrome-lipped black HRE wheels. We love its poise lowered by 2 inches, but the seller doesn’t mention who did the work or what suspension it now actually has. The advert says, “Custom suspension lowers 2 inches with button” so we can probably assume it’s now on airbags.

Modified SL55 AMG

We definitely appreciate a set of Brembo calipers though, and AMG high Flow Cats, although we very much doubt they are solely responsible for the claimed 60 horsepower bump. We do know it’s relatively simple to get more horses out of the M113K though, so that bump isn’t unrealistic. The price could be unrealistic as, right now, we’re seeing same model years with almost half the 95,000 miles on this one for a lot less than the $25,000 the seller wants.

We suspect he or she just put the cost of his modifications on the book price and, as much fun as it is to see what people are doing with their Mercedes, this is a case of it probably being better to find a clean and well-maintained stock SL55 AMG and building it out exactly to your own taste. Think twice about blacking out all the lights though, eh?

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Ian Wright has been a professional writer for two years and is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum, Jaguar Forum, and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

His obsession with cars started young and has left him stranded miles off-road in Land Rovers, being lost far from home in hot hatches, going sideways in rallycross cars, being propelled forward in supercars and, more sensibly, standing in fields staring at classic cars. His first job was as a mechanic and then trained as a driving instructor before going into media production.

The automotive itch never left though, and he realized writing about cars is his true calling. However, that doesn’t stop him from also hosting the Both Hand Drive podcast.

Ian can be reached at [email protected]

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