1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL Convertible

Mercedes-Benz has always had a tremendously diverse portfolio. From passenger cars to heavy trucks and buses, Mercedes has built just about every type of four-wheeled vehicle conceivable. Yet with only a couple of notable exceptions, it has never really been a maker of sports cars in the purest sense of the term. So when faced with a decision to replace the 300SL (very much a real sports car) and its junior 190SL sibling with a new sports car in the early 1960s, Mercedes chose to forge its own path. The exotic, tubular-chassis 300SL was very expensive to produce, and more standardization was needed to keep costs in check. The 190SL was seen as more of a fashion statement than a true sports car, and it too was costly to build. A replacement for both came in the form of the R113 230SL, which combined the six-cylinder status of the 300SL with the compact, comfortable sporty-tourer nature of the 190SL. This all-new car was less of an all-out sports car, and more of an all-weather GT car with superior refinement and quality in comparison to its rivals. And since it shared components with regular production Mercedes sedans, it was much more efficient to produce.

The R113 proved a great success through three generations and in 1971 was replaced by an all-new SL, known internally as the R107. The R107 carried on the spirit of the R113, but with an all-new chassis design that utilized shared suspension and drivetrain components from mid-sized Mercedes sedans but clothed in unique sheet metal designed by Bruno Sacco. The R107 offered greater luxury, performance and modern refinement than its predecessor and while it still was not a hardcore sports car, it could be thrown around a fast, flowing road with aplomb yet deliver its occupants to their destination unruffled.

The 107 SL proved to be a runaway success for Mercedes, thanks to the exceptionally well-engineered chassis, excellent performance from the V8 engines, and unrivaled build quality. Such was its commercial success; it served as the longest-running production passenger car in Mercedes-Benz history and went on to become an iconic period status symbol.

For the final version of the R107, engineers took the 5.6 liter V8 from flagship SEL sedan and shoehorned it into the roadster body to create the 560SL, in turn creating an instant classic and the very best of the R107 SL family. With the benefit of nearly two decades of development and refinements such as ABS brakes, limited slip differential, leather upholstery and driver’s airbag, along with stout performance from the alloy V8, these great SLs provide a fine balance of style and performance. Few roadsters can compare with the 560SL for its year-round capability, exceptional refinement and legendary build quality. Paired with timeless styling and brisk performance, it is easy to see why this generation of SL has become so collectible.

This exquisite 1986 560SL has covered just 13,491 miles from new and remains in exceptional, beautifully maintained condition from top to bottom. Presented in its original and very attractive color scheme of silver over blue leather with a blue soft top, this is fabulous example of Mercedes’ legendary roadster. As one would expect from such a low-mileage SL, the body is arrow-straight with factory-precise panel alignment and beautiful quality original paintwork. Exterior chrome and plastic trim is in excellent condition and it rides on a set of original alloy wheels polished to a mirror shine. The luxurious cabin is trimmed in original blue leather, again in superb, totally original condition and in keeping with the remarkably low miles. All power functions work as they should and the car feels every bit as fresh as the odometer shows. The sale includes the matching original hard top, hard top stand, window sticker, tool kit and books. This superlative 560SL has the look and feel of a new car and is certainly one of the finest of its kind available today.

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