New Mercedes SL500 unused for 20 years after owner loses keys

When you lose your car keys, the dealer can usually procure you a new set based on the vehicle’s VIN. It’s sometimes expensive, but it’s not as wasteful as letting your car sit for 20 years because you’ve lost your keys.

The latter is what a British Mercedes-Benz SL owner appears to have done. The lady owner of the bright red Benz had received the car as a birthday present some time earlier, and unfortunately she says she misplaced her keys immediately after. As a result, the SL500 sat in a garage in Knightsbridge, central London, until very recently, with only 75 miles on its digital odometer. Due to laying dormant for decades, the R129 bodystyle SL needed “a light re-commission,” which most likely meant replacing all consumable items such as gaskets and fluids, and cleaning off 20 years of dust. The owner has included a letter verifying the car’s mileage.

The car is being offered at a Coys Spring Classics auction on Wednesday, with a few miles added to bring the odometer reading up to 80. Depending of what kind of money commands, we’ll see whether it was smart to let it sit instead of driving it. The CEO of Coys, Chris Routledge, says a regularly used 1996 SL500 would be worth between $6,200-$8,700, but because this one’s virtually brand new, it could easily command 10 times that price range instead. Routledge also assures us that whomever ends up getting the car will receive new keys.

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