Words by Kevin Knight
I was drawn to the 55 AMG by the aggressive yet compact shape of the body and also the addictive noise that is generated by the AMG fettled 5.4 litre V8 engine. The intricate mechanism of the fold down metal roof is just amazing to watch. The fact that it was the official Formula One pace car when it was first released also gives it bonus points. Its relatively conservative look and small size means it is easily mistaken for a lesser model SLK. I have enhanced this “sleeper” look by de-badging the car too.
If you know what you are looking for though, it is still easy to spot a 55 AMG by its rear quad oval tailpipes, side vents in the front bumper and distinctive multi spoke alloy wheels. It took a while to find my ideal specification and colour. I definitely wanted a 2005 model because it would qualify for cheaper road tax than the post March 2006 cars, a saving of around £200 per year! I wanted a car that was fitted with the larger six piston front brakes, there is some variation in the brake sizes from year to year.
The SLK 55 AMG shape looks amazing especially when approached from the side or rear. I always notice the subtle rear spoiler that finishes off the rear really well. As you get in, the window drops slightly to fit under the roof line and as you close the door the window closes. It’s a small feature that other cars have too but it reminds you that this is a well engineered machine. Once in the seat, putting the key in the ignition causes the drivers seat to move into the driving position. The opposite happens when you take the key out, making it easier to get out. Again, this small clever feature reminds you of the level of thought that went into this car and making it an everyday prospect.
I really love the exterior looks of the 55 AMG, both with the roof up and down. The amazement from bystanders when the roof opens never gets boring. Most convertibles look like a pram when the roof is up, this looks like a coupe. It is a real feat of engineering to fit the whole mechanism and metal roof into the compact shape of the SLK. The features I love about the interior are the heated seats and air scarf, in combination they keep a warm bubble of air in the cabin no matter what the outside temperature is. For me, it is a rare day when the roof remains up. It only takes 22 seconds to put the roof up and if fitted with the Smart Top upgrade you can do it remotely too. It is as much fun in the winter as it is in summer. Full owners experience can be found in the magazine.
Why buy one?
★Formula One safety car and styling provide motorsport link that appeals to car collectors.
★Solid build quality and good reliability make this a sought after used purchase.
★5.4 litre V8 AMG engine emits an intoxicating sound.
Full list of reasons to buy can be found in the magazine.
Full production history of the car can be found in the magazine.
Full analysis and advice of the ideal specification can be found in the magazine.
Prices start at around £15,000 for a 2005 and go up to £30,000 for a 2010 model. Most cars have Air Scarf and satnav installed and are also finished in either Obsidian Black or Iridium Silver. Full valuation details and examples on the market found in the magazine.
The performance on offer and complexity of the 55 AMG translate into high prices for parts. One area to watch out for is the
front brakes. Full breakdown of prices can be found in the magazine.
The hand-built AMG V8 engine is regarded as pretty much bulletproof if regularly maintained. Check for oil leaks as the
engine rocker covers can leak if incorrectly torqued.Full breakdown of buyers checkpoints for engine, clutch, gearbox, steering, suspension, brakes, wheels, tyres and servicing schedule can be found in the magazine.
To view an example full feature article click here.