Mercedes with 80 miles on the clock expected to sell for $90,000
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Immaculate SL500 left in garage for 21 years
A 1996 Mercedes is set to sell for more than £50,000 (NZ$90,000) at auction after its owner lost her car keys and didn't drive it for 21 years.
The lady who owned the SL500 sports car parked it in a garage in Knightsbridge, central London, having driven it just 80 miles.
But she somehow lost the keys to her birthday present and, instead of getting a replacement set, decided to never drive it again.
As a result, the 21-year-old car is in brand-new condition and is expected to sell for $100,000 on Wednesday when it is auctioned by Coys at the Royal Horticultural Society in London. This is around ten times the price of a normal SL500 of the same age.
The car now has a set of keys and is being sold with a letter from the lady's butler verifying its mileage and provenance.
Chris Routledge, CEO of Coys, said: 'This is a car with a fantastic story. Purchased as a birthday present and driven only 80 miles before the owner lost the keys and never drove it again.
'It even comes with a letter written by the owner's butler verifying its mileage and its provenance.'
Mr Routledge added: 'Had she not lost the keys and used it regularly, we estimate it would now be worth between $9,000 and $12,000, but the fact that it has kept such a low mileage and has not been driven in more than 20 years makes it worth between $80,000 and $100,000.
'What happened with the keys remains a mystery but the car comes with new keys for the new owner.
The Mercedes-Benz SL500 R129 convertible was produced from 1989 until 2002 and featured a number of innovative details for the time including electronically controlled damping and a hidden, automatically extending roll-over bar.
This is one of the more powerful and sought after M119 engined cars and also boasts a number of optional factory extras, including heated front seats, six CD multi-changer, upgraded radio and wood-leather steering wheel.
It can do 0-60 mph in around six seconds and hit a top speed of more than 150mph.
The car has just recently been subject of a light re-commission and is supplied with books, manuals and an MOT certificate until March 2018.