1977 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 5-speed manual

The late 1970s was a about the halfway point for the R107 Mercedes-Benz SL. Here in the US, the only SL on offer was the 450SL, powered by the 4.5 liter V8 producing 222 horsepower. This engine was teamed exclusively with a 4 speed automatic in the US market. If, however, you lived in other parts of the world, you could order the 182 horsepower, 2.8 liter twin cam inline six and even opt for a manual transmission with four or five gears. In the case of our feature car, it has the desirable combination of the 2.8 liter six with the five speed manual transmission.

1977 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 5-speed manual on eBay

A Mercedes SL with a 5 speed transmission? A rare car in the USA, because it was never directly imported by the Mercedes-Benz factory, but rare even in the home markets, with 1347 produced in 1977. This car was privately imported early in life to California, so has NO RUST and no evidence of accident history. We purchased the car some time ago, with a previous history of a long term owner. We bring our favorite Mercedes-Benz cars right away to a Mercedes-Benz Factory trained technician, for a thorough inspection and repair program.

The car runs great!! The low total mileage of 115,031 represents a large amount of remaining use. Driving feel is fantastic: maneuverable, tight, responsive are all words that come to mind. Most W107 SL cars were produced with V-8 engines, mostly to satisfy the US market. The MUCH lighter twin cam six cylinder engine coupled with a 5 speed transmission gives a completely different feel. The high output engine has a definite growl and the manual transmission is a perfect match. Also, as a technical note: automatic transmissions absorb approximately 35 horsepower, where a manual transmission absorbs only 8 -10 horsepower. It makes for a better feel when the engine starts out with 185 horsepower.

While going over the car, we check over and service the brake system, cooling system, all fluids, electrical systems etc. We are happy to report that all systems are go, only needing basic operations to bring them up to date. As usual, the electrical systems on 107 Mercedes-Benz cars are quite trouble free, and this car has all working gauges, lights horns etc. Air conditioning and heating systems have been serviced and are operating properly. Water temperature and oil pressure all operate at proper levels, as befitting a low mileage car.

Chrome fittings are in excellent condition, including grille, bumpers handles and body trim. Lenses and lights all operate properly, and look great. The no-rust body and chassis is very straight and original, complemented by the blue metallic paint color. We do a polish operation on all of our cars, to bring up a fresh shine, and while the paint is presentable, there are a few chips and nicks etc, as well as varying levels of paint shine quality over the totality of the body panels. Overall, the paint is in good condition.

The red interior of this car is in excellent condition, and also very outstanding visually. All the chrome trims on the sides of the seats are intact, which is a bit rare. Carpets and dash trim look great with only a few cracks on the top of the dash pad (see photos). Also, there is a matching body color hardtop included in the sale, in excellent condition. Please note: the convertible top canvas is not present. The top frame work is stowed under the metal boot lid.

In summary, this is probably the best specification W107 SL to buy, and this car in specific is a recommended buy. It is such a different feel than a regular V-8 / automatic car, the difference is night and day, as well as a great color combination.

Blue metallic teamed with a red interior is a combination not often seen on the R107. The slimmer Euro bumpers also lend a more lithe look to this roadster than the heavy crash bumpers mandated by the US government. The only thing I’d change to finish off the package would be to add the flush fitting Euro headlights. Values of R107s have been rising across the board, as enthusiasts begin to recognize the strengths of the series. This is a nicely kept example for someone who wants a little more sporting of a drive. If this SL could be had for between $12,000 to $15,000, it would be well bought.


1983 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 5 speed

With the introduction of the R107 Mercedes-Benz SL, there were some enthusiasts who lamented the transformation of the SL from a sporting roadster to a car that had a more boulevard cruiser attitude. Nevertheless, over a 19 year production run, the R107 was one of the most popular Mercedes-Benz models in history. All of the models sold in the US market were equipped with V8 engines and, except for a handful of early models, automatic transmissions. However, a few gray market six cylinder models made their way across the pond. Here is one of those smaller engined SLs for sale in California.

1983 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 5 speed manual on eBay

This is a very rare European edition 280SL roadster. This was never officially imported to the USA. Ebay’s system can’t handle European VINs so I had to put a string of zeroes in there. The real VIN is WDB10704210017210. Currently registered in California.

It’s a DOHC six cylinder, fuel-injected, 5-speed ZF manual gearbox, small and elegant European bumpers, flush composite headlamps, etc. It’s also been treated to a BBS rear spoiler, plus aerodynamic body kit (chin and rear spoilers, side skirts), easily removed if you prefer, and 15″ chrome Mercedes wheels.

The car runs perfectly, stays cool even with A/C on, no oil leaks, just purrs. The 5-speed gearbox shifts like butter, brakes are perfect, all electrical works including windows, gauges, clock, power antenna, etc., AC works and blows cold! Only 98M! Nice AM/FM/CD with iPod port. Interior is beautiful condition as is the German canvas top. The original matching hardtop is included as well. The body is straight but the paint has flaws (see left fender and trunk lid pics). Small bolt holes in trunklid where third brakelight was removed, covered. A few small dings. Left side orange corner lenses have some cracks. Chrome and trim are excellent.

A great fun car to drive – much quicker and faster than an American 380SL with auto trans. Gets thumbs-up everywhere it goes!

The price for this 280SL is right around the same neighborhood for a similar vintage 380SL with similar mileage. Personally, I always thought the V8 was a bit overkill for such a small car, but I’d prefer a later model 1986 through 1989 300SL. Sadly, those are more rare on these shores than their earlier six cylinder brethren. Given that the first R107 300SLs are now 25 years old and exempt from EPA and DOT regulations for importation, we could start seeing a few pop up on our shores. And perhaps on GCFSB.


2002 BMW X5 5 speed manual

I don’t like SUVs. This is nothing new to those who read my posts on GCFSB. But there are a handful of models from this vehicle genre that I don’t mind. It’s a short list though, that includes the following:

1. Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen
2. Series 1 Range Rover
3. Land Rover Defender
4. Lamborghini LM002

I’m not sure I’d count the GMC Typhoon on this list, since it wasn’t made to go off road. But I always admired this vehicle in any case. Another outlier on this list is any first generation BMW X5 3.0 with a 5 or 6 speed manual. Outfitted with thicker sidewall tires and three pedals, it could prove rather useful as a second hand workhorse while throwing in a little bit of that BMW driving panache. Here’s a fairly clean X5 5 speed for sale outside of Philadelphia.

2002 BMW X5 5 speed on eBay

BMW X5 Manual Transmission

Very rare stick shift BMW X5. This SUV is in excellent condition and has a certified clean Carfax. It is loaded with factory navigation, sport package, sunroof, premium leather, premium sound and much more!

I would wager to say that given the asking price and the fact this is not the more popular automatic version, a deal could be had here. Depending on how long this has sat on the dealer’s lot, you might be able to walk away with this X5 in the $13k range. While it is no spring chicken with 97k miles, the 3.0 inline six is the bread and butter BMW engine, known for its reliability, and with a manual transmission, servicing costs are sure to be less over time. The only thing I would do is lose the subwoofer in the back, as it compromises space.

Whenever I see one of these manual transmission X5s pop up, I think, well, if you must have one of these things, why be like everyone else and drive a steaming pile of suck, such as a Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot, when you could snag something with better build quality and driving dynamics and stick out from the crowd? In this shade of green with tan leather, this would fit right in at the country club parking lot.


Reader Ride: 1984 533i with 5 Speed and 59k Miles!

Steve dropped me a note this morning that his stunning and exceptionally clean BMW 533i is up for sale. I like the clean front and rear without the huge bumpers, and the color combo is fantastic.

1984 533i with 5 Speed and 59k Miles on MyE28.com

from the seller’s listing:

Never thought this day would come…
I have my eyes on other obsession.
I am selling my 1984 533i with 5 speed.
Delphin Grey over Sand Beige.
Sunroof, A/C, Factory Cassette radio
VIN# WBADB7406E1190710
59k original miles !
Never wrecked. #’s matching motor, tranny, body panels, etc…
I believe I am the 3rd owner. I have original owners manual with records from 1984. Most of the paperwork is from 1999 to current.
My friends call the car “no rain” because I will drive the wife’s car on inclement weather days…
Always Professionally serviced by Tony at Buckhead Motor Works and was in Bobby Thrash’s shop (Strictly German) for the body work and initial tuneup.

Maintenance Work done over the past 1.5 years as follows:
New US headlights
Full Tune Up
All fluids flushed
Oil Pan Gasket
A/C belts
Fan Clutch
Hood Shocks
All New Fuses
All New Relays
New Battery
Oil changed every 4k miles
(2) airfilter changes in the past 15k miles

Upgrades to the car:
750i brake Master Cylinder
3.73 LSD
Bilstein Sports all around
Ireland Engineering 25mm front / 19mm rear adjustable sway bars installed with custom fabricated & welded brackets.
e34 Aluminum control arms with 750i bushings pressed in
All New BMW Suspension parts thruout-dogbones, bushings, etc…
Euro issue only Rondell Rims-
Front 18 X 8.5 et 13 with 235/40 70% tread
Rear 18 X 10 et 19 with 265/35 70% tread
Rims completely refurbished (it took the best shops in Atlanta 4X to get them to my satisfaction…) Hyper Silver Powder Coated & Clear Coated centers with Polished lips

Euro / Rally car body mod’s—
Front- US valance metal spliced, seam sealed, painted front & back
Rear- All holes filled with metal, seam sealed, undercoated 4 X, painted
I did have a retread hit the front valance…it cracked the paint in 2 places and put a small bend in the lower panel. Both cracks have been sealed so no moisture would get under the paint. It would cost $350-$450 to respray and i have priced the car accordingly.
Door handles & lower side valances also Delphin Grey

Interior is a SOLID 9 out of 10 !
This car has lived in a Garage! The seatbelt buttons are Bright Red…most of the time they are pink from age / sundamage
Black dash is Perfect
Lower dash / Console (Sand Beige) is Perfect
Door Panels (Sand Beige) are Perfect
EPROM dash conversion
OBC works
A/C is R12 and blows Cold
Speedo & all other gauges operational except tach…it was working and one day it just stopped. I think it is the plastic gear behind the gauge…?
Electric windows, lock, side mirrors work great
Headliner is in great shape with nothing torn, no rips. Showing 27 years of color/patina at rear window
Rear Seat is perfect except one crack in topcoat/finish. easy repair if it bothers you…
Front seats are Manual “Comfort” style and in great shape with Driver Side showing only very minor bolster wear and one small crack in the piping
Carpet is exceptional
BMW factory issue floor mats are not worn and in great condition

Exterior overview
Hood, roof, trunklid, & fenders appear to be in Original Paint
Front & Rear of car have been professionally sprayed to match
Weatherstripping is near perfect
All Windows / glass are near perfect
Chrome Trim is in very good condition
Rear BMW rubber spoiler is in very good condition and is not warped / deformed
Basically, its a 10′ car with normal rock chips and wear from 27 years

I do not Race, Autocross, or Abuse this car. Always Babied. Full cleaning every Saturday.
I drive it on nice days as a dependable Daily Driver and take it to the local car shows.
This car ALWAYS draws a crowd and receives compliments even in the grocery store parking lots…
If you want a car to drive across country without a problem..this is it! Very well sorted and always preventatively maintained.
Gary Beck, Mike Gray, John Graham, Scott, Josh, ATLe36 & Alpinass are some of the local forum members who have seen this car.

Price $11,500

Thanks for the heads up Steve and good luck with the sale!


1987 Porsche 928 S4: 5 Speed and Black on Black – This is Rare!

Sure you can find 928S4’s with 5 speeds and even the occasional GT and GTS (with serious markups to match!) But when was the last time you saw a reasonable mileage 928S4 in black on black with a 5 speed? Especially at only $16k! Check out the is 1984 Porsche 928S4 For Sale on Autotrader in Missoula, Montana:

quote from seller’s Autotrader listing:

1987 Porsche 928S4. Black/black. 5.0 litre V8. Rare 5 speed manual trans. Speedline 18″ wheels (wheels retail for $1500 each) w/ Dunlop SP tires. A/C is 134a and blows cold. Leather. Power locks/windows/seats. Custom sound: plays CDs, mp3s and has iPod connectivity, Alpine head unit, Genesis amps, MB Quart speakers, Rockford Fosgate subs, all custom installed. Momo wheel. Sunroof. Tinted windows. Car cover. Four stock 16″ wheels. RMB. Always garaged. All around excellent condition for a 1987 original Porsche. No accidents. Very clean.

Another car that my Dad and I have a weakness for. After all, this was supposed to be the successor to the 911 when first penned in the mid 70’s. While it obviously didn’t end up being the replacement, it still demonstrates the forward thinking and engineering prowess of Porsche to design a car in the 70’s that continued to sell from 1977 to 1993. There isn’t anything quite like it and in person it still draws me in like a magnet.

Naturally the Porsche 928 should be regarded like a used e32 7 series BMW: More features equals more to break. But when service history is documented and a PPI checks out, and you’ve always wanted one, well, time to negotiate with the wife again!