Most of my mates start off by making gay jokes, then when they are in it with the roof down and the exhaust making that lovely noice they all say, "its a lovely car" so............
I just dont care...........I LOVE IT.
I would say to them, "Well, maybe it is. In the same vein that you don't go to St. Peters or La Louvre to see what a straight man painted; the fact no straight man has ever equaled Alexander's Generalship, etc. Greatness comes in Gay!"
Besides, tell your mates we "gays" generally prefer BMW's, Porsche's, and very large pickup trucks. I personally am partial to Camaros, what you call "murderer's cars"...
In South Florida, the SLK is not sold as a performance car, manuals are never stocked. Neither is any color that is not a version of silver, white or black. In fact the majority of SLK55 AMG cars, according to the dealers here, are sold to women, or to guys buying them for wives / mistresses, and never see anything more crass than a Nieman Marcus parking lot.
If you are a straight man, I will guarantee you, you can go all over the world and not see as many "beautfiul" SLK interiors as you will here in South Beach. Of course, many of them do not really need airbags! ;-)
As far as the soft top argument... Bring it here, and it will be slit. Not to be stolen, or even your CD's you left on the seat taken, just slit from people being an ass. The security of the hard top, even in a non-winter environment is welcome for a car driven every day. I doubt he drives his 7 to work and piles in computer servers as I do.
An SLK350 has 50 more HP then an original 300SL, but weighs almost 1,000 lbs. more. It IS the closest successor to the original 300SL's, and the SLK55 the SLRs. The SL has changed from sports car to luxury grand tourer. The SLK will hold the sports car moniker, at least until the SLA comes along.
But really, it was all a setup for the "no wood" joke! Ugh, I suck at comedy!