• One of the most iconic Mercedes
• Highly desirable colour combination
• Excellent condition inside and out
• Blue chip residuals
Produced between 1971 and 1989, the third generation (R107) of the Mercedes-Benz SL roadsters are widely regarded as not only some of the best-engineered cars M-B ever produced, but also some of the best riding models.
Beginning in 1986, the SL family received numerous upgrades including more modern four-pot brakes, larger brake discs and upgraded suspension, which was derived from that of the W124 saloons. There was also a minor visual change, with a new lower front splitter and redesigned 15” alloy wheels.
Despite its lower power output, the 300 SL as seen here is often praised as being the best-handling of all the R107 thanks to the lighter weight of the six-cylinder engine.
When an owner fits an OEM exhaust (in 2017) at a cost of a good few hundred pounds over an ‘ordinary one’, you know they are probably quite particular about how they look after their classic.
That has been the case with this particular 300SL, which has lived in Lancashire for the past eleven years. Although driven quite sparingly, the Mercedes has enjoyed regular servicing and, when needed, mostly original Mercedes parts when required.
The same level of enthusiast care seems to have followed the car through its life. Deemed good enough to have been sold by the SL Shop, it has been well looked after and covered what is quite a reasonable mileage for one of these very capable long distance cars.
The Mercedes retains a good sheef of paperwork, including its original documents and handbooks. The service book is well stamped, and there are many other itemized invoices from throughout its life.
Servicing appears to have been regular and thorough and any mechanical issues have been dealt with. A long trail of MOT certificates also helps to verify the mileage.
The Mercedes R107 SL has plenty of straight and parallel lines that will let you know if any of the panels are off kilter, but everything lines up very well on this example. Panel gaps are narrow and shut lines true. That same neatness can be seen in the trim strips and bumpers too, where different materials run parallel with one another. With either roofs on or the top down, the car maintains a good stance overall.
The metallic silver paintwork maintains a deep shine and luster across the whole of the car. The areas around and under the headlights (which can be a concern on these) look very solid. Likewise, the seams in the rear valance and the front spoiler look clean and the spoiler scratch-free. Wings appear solid.
The chrome is in excellent condition, as are the black rubber seals around windows and doors. The windscreen is showing a little delamination in a couple of corners, but, according to the owner, this hasn’t crept any further over the period of his ownership.
Both soft and hard tops are in fine condition, the latter having the benefit of a garage stand supplied for when not in use.
The interior of this particular example is finished in the legendary MB-Tex fabric, probably Mercedes’ most resilient material. In dark blue, it complements the silver coachwork perfectly. The inside of this convertible has weathered pretty well. The perforated leather of the seats, both front and back, retains a good colour and shape and is clean. As usual, the folding rears look pretty unused, while those in front show only the lightest patina.
The carpets are quite clean, and while the rubber cushioning underneath is cracked in places, it still maintains its thickness.
The wood veneer has not faded and retains a good colour. That in the centre console shows a few handling scuffs but remains very presentable. The gear selector and steering wheel too, show only a few very small handling marks, and still retain a good colour to their leather.
The interior door handles and arm rests are pretty big structures. Again, these are looking good, with few, if any handling marks. The panels behind – MB-Tex again – are also very tidy, retaining good texture detail and straight stitching lines. They fit flush to the metal panels.
The interior chrome and brightwork is good – there’s probably more than you would think, with no dents in the larger plates from roof panels being interchanged. The SL also has a wind deflector, which is in good condition.
Lifting the bonnet reveals a workmanlike engine bay. Everything appears present correct, and in good condition. Hoses and cables appear healthy and of a good colour, while fasteners and junctions are clean and tidy. There is some oxidation on parts, though the bay as a whole is free of rust and the bulk head/fire wall looks to be in good shape. There appear to be no leaks and nothing looks neglected.
The air box atop the engine shows a few spots of surface corrosion, but pretty superficial. The radiator is brand new. The motor fires up readily and idles smoothly.
At the other end of the car, the boot spaces look similarly sound. The full-size spare (good condition) sits in a pretty clean cavity below the boot and, again, the removable panels are sound and tidy enough.
The underside of the car appears pretty solid with undersealing that is largely intact. (Remember that SLs from’86 were better protected than their predecessors. The floor pans and chassis area appear free of any serious corrosion. There are a couple of spots of surface rust, but the car appears very robust.
The SLs have always been Mercedes most elegant cars; reserved, poised and understated – in one word; classy. They are the consummate tourer, with a roof (or absence of) to suit your every mood.
The 300 may lack the V8’s power, but it retains all its other virtues, and costs you less at the pumps.
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