It's been 25 years since Mercedes-Benz took the wraps off its R129-series SL roadster at the 1989 Geneva Motor Show. While it may look dated now, it was a revolutionary product in its day – a day that lasted a good eleven years.
Compared to the R107 series it replaced, the R129 was a technological tour de force. Though the shape may appear boxy to modern eyes, it won awards upon its debut and was exceptionally aerodynamic for its time and bodystyle. Underneath the sheetmetal, with its squared-off lines and flared wheel arches, the favorite luxury roadster of the 1990s packed such advancements as electronic stability control, advanced seats that were integral to the design and warranted 20 patents, a fully automatic roof mechanism and a pop-up roll-over bar that deployed in less than a third of a second.
The R129 was also the first SL to offer a V12 engine and the first to be offered in an AMG version – both features we can't imagine a modern SL roadster to do without. But it all started with the R129, a series that saw nearly 240,000 units produced. See the image gallery above and the press release below for a wind-in-your hair drive down memory lane.