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CURRENT BID: £23,000
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RESERVE REMOVED - 1987 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL

Guide Price: £22,000 - £26,000


﹒Large history file
﹒Excellent rust-free bodywork
﹒Original and unrestored interior
﹒Rare factory-fit air-conditioning
﹒Will come with 12 months MOT 

The Background

In the annals of motoring heroes, few carry quite the might and majesty of the R107-generation Mercedes SL. Production of this perennially popular model spanned an incredibly long period; the R107 SL debuted way back in 1971, and remained in production right up until 1989. People couldn’t get enough of them then and, judging by the number of these cars still on the road in 2020, that’s very much true today.

The SL’s enduring appeal is attributable to the fact that its crisp and clean-cut design has a timeless quality, shrugging off the years with its sober and elegant lines. In addition, the mechanicals that underpinned it were seemingly hewn from granite; cribbing notes from the dependable W114 saloon and offering a broad range of six- and eight-cylinder engines, the SL roadster served up vivid performance in a solid and playful package, with class and reliability fused with effortless style.

A great many variants were offered over the R107’s lifetime, each one offering a fundamental universal truth: quite simply, an SL is an SL. Reliable, well-built, comfortable, entertaining machines, with exemplary style in spades.

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The History

This SL has evidently been cherished throughout its life. The history shows that it’s only ever covered between 1,000-3,000 miles a year for its entire existence, suggesting a life of doting and leisure rather than day-to-day slogging, and this is clear from the manner in which it presents itself today. The exterior is wonderful to behold, the interior a period-perfect snapshot of the late-eighties, and the mechanicals ticking along like a Swiss watch. The documentation details all manner of servicing info and necessary remedial work being carried out throughout its time to keep it running as it should, creating the impression of a car that’s always been given what it needs. With a sizeable file of paperwork to back it up, this is a thoroughly attractive and honest example of a bona fide 1980s classic.

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The Paperwork

It’s clear when a car has been owned by a chain of keepers who adore the car and want to keep it running as it should, because you’ll find a file of paperwork like the one with this 300 SL: all of the original manuals are present, including the handbook, service book, and even the original fold-out map of the dealer network. The service book contains many stamps from the original pre-delivery inspection onward, and there are lots of invoices and receipts for work carried out over the years. An invoice from late-2012 shows that the valances, sills and arches were tidied up and repainted, and there’s also a great many documents from the specialist Monaco Motors of Surrey, who carried out a variety of jobs over the years including reconditioning the radiator, replacing the exhaust and overhauling the braking system, as well as general servicing and MOTs.

The seller is very keen to mention that a12-month MOT will be provided with the vehicle for the lucky new owner.

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The Interior

This car’s interior is very well presented, and appears to be fully unrestored and original. The seats are in excellent condition, very supportive and with no missing trim pieces, and it’s obvious that this car has spent a lot of time being garaged by virtue of the fact that the dash-top is free from cracks, and there’s no lacquer peel on the wood of the centre console. The car is fitted with factory air-conditioning, a rare and desirable option. The carpets are in good condition, the seats recline back and forth as they should, and the windows wind up and down correctly. The stereo is an aftermarket radio-cassette with removable fascia, and the speakers have been upgraded.

Everything is correct inside the boot, with a carpet in good condition, no evidence of water ingress, and a full-size matching spare alloy wheel. There’s also a Kenwood CD changer, next to the hideaway compartment holding the jack and tools.

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The Exterior

Resplendent in Champagne Metallic, the SL cuts quite a dash here in its urban surroundings. With work carried out in 2012 to eradicate any hint of surface corrosion from the valances, sills and arches, the body presents very well today; all of the correct trim is in place with nothing missing, and the bumpers are in good condition – always something to look out for on R107s, as the corners are easily scuffed and the chrome can corrode, but all appears well here. The front number plate surround is a little misaligned but this would presumably be very simple to straighten.

The hood (untested on this occasion) is reportedly in excellent order, and it’s clear by the way the coach-lines line up that the shell is arrow-straight – the doors hang perfectly, as do the bonnet and boot. The alloy wheels are unmarked, with 3 new tyres recently being fitted for good measure. And it’s equally good news underneath, with the chassis all appearing pleasingly solid with no signs of serious corrosion or damage. A splendidly honest and tidy example of this desirable classic.

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The Mechanicals

The 300 SL came equipped with a 3.0-litre straight-six, offering up a handy 187bhp, mated to a 4-speed auto with switchable ‘economy’ mode, and this is all in excellent working order. The service history shows that the mechanicals have always been correctly looked after, and as such the super-smooth motor purrs like a kitten; it’s torque-rich for urban wafting, and amusingly eager when you hit the country lanes.

Throughout the chassis we find evidence of maintenance in line with that of the drivetrain; the brakes and suspension are all in excellent working order with no rattles, leaks, undue noises or other areas of concern. It’s a sweet little runner – one that’s always been looked after, and it shows.

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The Appeal

It’s obvious why the R107 endures as a popular classic, and why we’ve seen so many of them selling above reserve this year: an SL of this generation looks, sounds, feels and smells like the proper thoroughbred classic car that it is, but it can readily be used like a modern car too. A well looked-after SL will always start on the first turn of the key, be equally happily trundling around town as taking in epic cross-continent jaunts, won’t throw a hissy-fit if it gets stuck in traffic, and will cosset its occupants in sublime comfort as well as unleashing a sporting edge when the mood demands.

This particular example represents the zenith of what an R107 should be: the exterior is beautifully presented, the interior is just as it should be, and the mechanicals are in excellent running order with a solid paper-trail to back it up. There’s no gamble here – this is, in essence, an excellent example of an excellent car.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

See our Terms & Conditions here.
Vehicle specification
  • Year 1987
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model 300 SL
  • Colour Gold
  • Odometer 105,932 Miles
  • Engine size 2962
  • Location London
Bidding history
13 bids from 7 bidders
  • ni•••• £23,000 19/12/20
  • co•••• £22,000 18/12/20
  • go•••• £20,500 17/12/20
  • Se•••• £20,000 17/12/20
  • go•••• £18,500 17/12/20
  • Se•••• £17,500 16/12/20
  • go•••• £14,000 16/12/20
  • Br•••• £12,000 16/12/20
  • co•••• £10,000 16/12/20
  • Sg•••• £5,000 16/12/20

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