7.3 litre AMG R129

A V12 Mercedes SL not enough?

Don’t worry, we’ve found an AMG R129 with a whopping 7.3 litres.

MercedesSL72_A.jpg

A Mercedes-Benz AMG SL72, one of just 35 built, is to be auctioned at Bonhams’ Goodwood Festival of Speed sale in June 30th.

Based on a 1995 SL600, AMG bored the V12 engine out to 7.3 litres, which meant that the performance grew to 525bhp and 553lb-ft of torque. That means the SL can surge to 185mph, with 60mph just a memory after 4.6 seconds. It was such a potent package that Horacio Pagani chose it to power his Zonda.

It was also such an appealing package that the Sultan of Brunei ordered 25 of them... in one go! This, however, is one of only 10 sold privately, and is one of very few badged as an SL72.

It was serviced last year and found to be faultless, and comes with a panoramic glass sunroof – to see if any helicopters can keep up, obviously – and has wonderful 18in alloy wheels.

Up for grabs with Bonhams at its Goodwood Festival of Speed sale on June 30, it’s got an estimate of £70k-£100k. Do you reckon that’s an accurate estimate? 


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Why ‘90s supercars beat the best the ‘80s had to offer

Everybody waxes lyrical about 1980s supercars. They’re great – don’t get us wrong – but the sheer diversity that followed in the 1990s means that there’s something for everyone. It’s also the era of car that’s currently providing the hottest gains in the market.

We have properly old-school V8 brutes, six-cylinder screamers and even a rotary wonder. All of these cars will quicken the pulse faster than Pamela Andersen in her 1990s prime.

The Porsche 911 Turbo 993 is the last of the air-cooled hooligans, and offers synapse-splintering speed. And though it has four-wheel drive, it’s not a numb experience as our journalist finds out. Values have risen considerably – but is there still more to come?

The Ferrari F355 brought Maranello back from the brink – and how. With truly beautiful styling, spine-tingling sounds and fantastic handling, it won back many enthusiasts. Now those former teenage enthusiasts have money to spend – but has the market topped out?

The Honda NSX was the car that caused so much trouble for Ferrari – quick, slick and easy to use, it was a supercar that could be used every day. Prices have started to firm up – but where might they go now?

The TVR Cerbera married light weight with a huge V8, with truly eye-popping styling. For years it’s been the preserve of a hardened core – but could its time for wider appreciation be just around the corner (sideways)?

The Lotus Esprit V8-GT provides precise handling and turbocharged V8 shove, this is possibly the most exotic car to come out of Hethel. But does that mean it’s worth taking the Lotus position – as in, in your garage?

The Mazda RX-7 FD is the curvaceous, drift-inclined, stripped-down rotary-powered alternative to the norm. But does its reputation for histrionics hold it back as a true supercar contender?

FIND OUT BY READING THE FULL FEATURE IN OUR JUNE ISSUE


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B-Road weapons attack the tarmac

The May issue of Modern Classics is on sale from May 5th and, as usual, is over-brimming with features

We take a group of the smallest and most engaging hot hatches to Wales and remember what these cars are all about… having fun behind the wheel. But which of the five junior hot hatches is the fastest and most furious?

The poster supercars that adorned your teenage bedroom wall were invariably highly multicylindered, possibly Italian, bewinged and incredulously fat of tyre. Ultimate Top Trumps winners, they remain the perfect willy-waving ‘mine’s bigger than yours’ choice.

But here, on a seriously showstopping sequence of north Welsh roads a car such as a Lamborghini Diablo would be maximum overkill. Power thunderously out of a tight corner in first gear, and, er... remain in first; next bend, brake hard, accelerate in first and repeat, over
and over again…

What’s the use of hitting 65mph with your initial cog or doing 98mph in second? Pah, it’d be as entertaining as carrying out a Prince Albert on yourself using a javelin. No, up here, much less is much more. Time to invert your thinking and vote SNP (Small, Nimble and Punchy).

We’ve gathered five of that party’s finest candidates for you to consider. So will it be BMW’s new take on the old Mini Cooper S, the cutesy VW Lupo GTI, Ford’s hot Fiesta ST150, Pug’s stripped-out 106 Rallye or the Suzuki Swift Sport sleeper that takes the miniature hot hatch honours?


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