• Dick Vitale owned this SL550
  • The sportscaster bought it new
  • It's covered just 3,981 miles

Shoppers interested in an eye-catching convertible with a unique history will find exactly what they're looking for in this 2012 Mercedes SL550. Not only is it finished in the automaker's flashy Mars Red paint, but it was previously owned by legendary sportscaster Dick Vitale -- an interesting anecdote to tell passengers as you cruise around with the top down on a warm summer day. Best of all, it's available for sale on AutoTrader.com.

According to Matt, a salesperson at Crown Eurocars in St. Petersburg, Fla., Vitale purchased the car new less than one year ago. But the famed broadcaster didn't drive the SL550 very much, instead trading it in with fewer than 4,000 miles on the odometer.

"[Vitale] bought the car from us back in December," said Matt. "He had us put the gold emblems on, but he didn't keep it for long."

Although Matt wasn't sure what prompted Vitale to trade in the SL550, it's possible that the 73-year-old sportscaster tired of the car's vibrant exterior color. While some buyers enjoy the unique Mars Red paint job, Mercedes sells most SL-Class models in silver, black or white -- a testament to their owners' desire to keep a relatively low profile, even in an expensive luxury car.

But it's not surprising that Vitale was attracted to the Mercedes SL550. In addition to a power hardtop that's perfect for shielding the sun on hot days or enjoying a breeze on warm nights, the SL550 boasts a tremendous power plant. That engine, a 382-horsepower 5.5-liter V8, propels the SL550 to 60 mph from a dead stop in just over four seconds on its way to a top speed of more than 150 mph. The SL550 also boasts classic lines and enjoys a status as one of the automaker's flagship models.

One of ESPN's original broadcasters, Vitale called the network's first-ever college basketball game in 1979. Vitale regularly announces college basketball and NBA games for ABC Sports, where he famously and enthusiastically injects the word "baby" into many of his calls.

What it means to you: If you're looking for a Mercedes convertible with some flair, consider this lightly used example with an exciting ownership history and a bright color.

Oh baby! Would you buy Dick Vitale's Mercedes SL550 convertible? Tell us in the comments below.


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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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