The R107 SL arrived in 1972, replacing the popular and well-received R113 280SL. The R107 was a clean-sheet design, with particular attention paid to Mercedes-Benz’s unwavering commitment to safety and exceptional build quality. Continuing the theme set by the R113, the new R107 blurred the line between a sports car and a luxury grand tourer, boasting a soft-edged character, versatile coupe/roadster configuration, and a stable, surefooted chassis. Mercedes-Benz offered a wide range of six and eight-cylinder engines, with manual or automatic transmission options. Designer Friedrich Geiger is credited with creating the elegant, understated styling, which bore a family resemblance to the outgoing model, yet was lower, leaner, with crisp edges and details. As a testament to Geiger’s superb design, the R107 SL remained in production for over seventeen years. The styling remained virtually unchanged from the start of production in 1972 to the end in 1989, and it holds the crown of the longest-running passenger vehicle in Mercedes history, only outlived by the Gelandewagen off-roader. Even after 50 years since the R107’s introduction, it remains an enduring symbol of 1970s and 80s glamor and is lauded by enthusiasts worldwide for its performance, everyday practicality, and unrivaled build quality.
This beautiful Smoke Silver Metallic (DB702) over Palomino (274) example was completed in November 1986 for delivery to House of Imports in Buena Park, California. According to the original window sticker on file, options included the special paint and upholstery and a dark brown soft top for an original MSRP of $57,000 - the equivalent of nearly $140,000 today! Presented with fewer than 17,250 miles at the time of writing, this remarkably well-preserved 560SL is in superb condition inside and out, with gorgeous paintwork and crisply defined lines. It remains as it left the showroom floor, with features including automatic antenna, matching hardtop, and Becker Grand Prix radio. It rides on chrome alloy wheels, which were a popular dealer option at the time, and look particularly sharp against the smoke silver paint, shod with a set of correct-style Pirelli P6 tires.
Records indicate that this 560SL remained with the first owner in California until approximately 2009. The clean Carfax and other documents on file show the car was used sparingly yet consistently during their tenure. In 2020, it was with a new owner in Texas, who continued to maintain it to factory standards and enjoy the car sparingly on fine-weather occasions. In October 2021, it was lavished with over $4,100 of service and refurbishment to its air conditioning and fuel systems by Stinehardt Imports of Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
The Palomino leather is superb, even on the vulnerable outer seat bolsters. The door panels are taut and clean, as are the carpets. The black dash is excellent, the wood trim is free of cracks or fading, and it retains the original Becker Grand Prix stereo. Also included are the original tool kit, first aid kit, and original documentation such as the purchase agreement, pre-delivery inspection, window sticker, and a wonderfully preserved period AAA Member’s Kit.
Having already achieved status as a modern collectible, the 560 SL is undoubtedly the most desirable variant of Mercedes-Benz’s R107 platform. Because the R107 is such a user-friendly classic, low-mileage examples are naturally becoming increasingly difficult to find. As a result, this striking example warrants serious consideration and would sit proudly in the collection of any Mercedes-Benz enthusiast.
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