The perennial Mercedes-Benz R107 series is one of the most iconic luxury cars of the 70s and 80s. In movies, television, and in reality, the SL roadster was so often seen cruising Rodeo Drive or through Miami Beach. It was a car that came to define both the marque and the cultural era. Such was its enduring charm and status as an ‘80s icon; it is surprising to recall the R107 was first introduced back in 1971. Known internally and by loyal fans as the R107, the new generation of SL was designed in house at Sindelfingen by Karl Wilfert and his gifted team. The styling was understated and elegant yet also highly sophisticated. Mercedes-Benz’s obsession with occupant and pedestrian safety through the 1960s led to a great number of subtle yet important design features that would trickle down to the rest of the line during the coming two decades. The SL roadster spoke to a new breed of luxury roadster buyer, going on to become the longest-running production passenger car in Mercedes’ history. Mechanically, the R107 took a page from its predecessors, riding on a unique platform but sharing engines and suspension components with its sedan counterparts. It was also incredibly well-built, with a particular solidity and over-engineered nature that few manufacturers past or present could match. Through the years of production, Mercedes continually refined the formula, adding ever increasing displacement V8 engines, improved materials and refined design.
The ultimate model in the R107 SL range is the 560SL. The big 5.6 liter V8 from the S-Class was shoehorned into the SL’s engine bay to create a sporting car that was capable of 150mph performance while remaining quiet, composed and sophisticated. It was the sports car for those who preferred not to be ruffled when arriving at the club in style and remains the choice for today’s enthusiasts who want the ideal combination of classic style and modern performance.
This 1987 560SL is a very nice, unrestored and original example, presented in classic Signal Red over a black leather interior; most recently in the hands of a passionate enthusiast and member of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America. It presents in remarkably well-preserved original condition, having covered just 35,400 miles from new and benefitting from meticulous care. The original paint is in very good order, showing a few minor surface flaws on the boot lid, and a handful of very minor stone chips on the front end but otherwise, it is very straight and attractive with deep gloss and excellent original panels. Fitment of the doors and decklids is exemplary and the car retains the signature solidity that is so inherent in Mercedes-Benz of this era. The chrome bumpers and exterior trim are excellent, as are the original light and lenses. The original painted alloy wheels show no dust, pitting or curb damage and the car sits properly on correct size tires.
The cabin is trimmed in optional black leather, which is completely original and in excellent condition. This car has clearly been cherished since new, with the interior remaining in beautiful order. Seats show only the slightest creasing from use, presenting with a very nice and inviting condition. The wood trim on the center console and dash is in excellent order with original switchgear, HVAC controls and original Becker AM/FM cassette stereo all in excellent condition. Beneath the removable hardtop and decklid is a black German canvas top which is fine order, showing no fading of the fabric and no damage or yellowing of the windows. Electrics all work as they should and the sale will include an optional wind deflector to keep buffeting to a minimum while enjoying top-down drives.
Mercedes-Benz’s 5.6 liter V8 could easily be considered one of the greatest engines of its time. It is powerful, smooth and full of character, while remaining massively reliable. The engine on this car presents in fine order, with a clean and tidy presentation showing regular maintenance and care. Receipts show over $7,000 worth of recent service to ensure it performs and handles as one would expect from such a well-maintained original example. Also included in the sale is a stand for safe storage of the removable hard top, as well as a history binder, original books and original tools.
Late production R107s are becoming ever more collectible as enthusiasts recognize them for their timeless good looks, outstanding performance and ease of ownership. This is a fine example that has been cherished by the previous owner, maintained in top condition and is now ready for enjoyment on the road by its next passionate owner.