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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
59k original miles !
NO RUST !
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
All New Fuses
All New Relays
Oil changed every 4k miles
(2) airfilter changes in the past 15k miles
Upgrades to the car:
750i brake Master Cylinder
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
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
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.
Thanks for the heads up Steve and good luck with the sale!
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!