This is the Mercedes Mille Miglia Special You've Never Heard Of
This SL 320 is a very special model. One dear to the company's heart.
Take a first glance at this 2000 model year Mercedes-Benz SL and it might not look like much. The boring silver paint doesn’t catch your eye, and the SL 320 badge on the boot lid (along with the 3.2L V6 that comes with it) isn’t exactly going to capture the imagination of the driving enthusiast. But this SL 320 is a very special model. One dear to the company’s heart. And it’s one of just 12 ever produced.
Take a look beside that SL 320 badge and you’ll start to see what’s going on. That’s the badge of the Mille Miglia. A 1,000-mile open-road race that started in 1927 and tore through Italy 24 times before the first incarnation ended in 1957. It was a test of driver and machine like no other, one Mercedes-Benz was proud to have won twice. Once in 1931 with an SSKL, and the far more famous time in 1955 with Stirling Moss behind the wheel of a 300 SLR.
The company has made many Mille Miglia editions to celebrate Moss’s victory in the race, going back as far as the 40th anniversary in 1995. But this is likely the rarest. Just the second time they’d done it, this one was built not as a commemoration, but for more practical purposes.
Mercedes-Benz was entered in the rebirth of the Mille. The Rally 1000 Miglia held in Italy, now the Mille Miglia Storica. The cars were built to shuttle VIPs around the event. They didn’t need many, so they didn’t build many. Just 12. Which makes it pretty cool.
The 320 represented a 3.2L V6 that put out 221 hp. So this wasn’t a rocket ship, but it was the Mercedes-Benz flagship model (if not engine) of the time. Aside from the badges, there’s not much telling you that this is anything special. There’s another pair of badges on the front fenders, there are special Mille Miglia sill plates, and there’s printing on the ashtray lid that tells you this is one of the 12. It also has the wheels, seats, and other interior trim that would go on the special Silver Arrow editions two years later
It’s for sale directly from the Mercedes-Benz museum. Part of the company’s all time stars program where they sell off some of the special and museum cars in the company’s collection. Which in this case includes a comprehensive service from the factory, a full service record, and even a warranty. How many 55,000 km, near-20-year-old cars come with a factory warranty?
But that’s not the cool part of this car. The coolness of this car is that it could have shuttled some of the most famous sports car racers in the world around Italy during that year’s historic race. And that it wears features that wouldn’t see wide production for two more years in any other cars.