The 1981 Mercedes-Benz 280SL equipped with a 5-speed manual that we featured last year has turned up once again. While 560SL prices start to soar, the time is ripe to explore other R107s for a potential value. If you want something unique, at least to the US market, this one is for you.
All posts tagged Convertible
One of the reasons I enjoy writing about cars, especially used ones, is that they remind me of a certain era. They often take me to a place in my head where I can imagine that vehicle in a particular setting and what kind of world surrounded it. A 1996 Audi A6 Avant makes me think of a Bavarian family on their way to a mountain getaway, an E30 M3 of a group of young Brits headed to the track for the weekend, an E39 M5 of a well heeled man racing across town to an important meeting. My love of cars has always been tied to the stories they have to tell or ones that they make me imagine when I come across them. I think that’s probably why I was drawn to the batshit crazy vehicle you see before you. This Mercedes is completely ridiculous on first glance, a rolling testament as to why money can’t buy you class.
But then a funny thing happens after you stare at it for awhile. You stop laughing and start wondering why the hell anyone would drop over a $100k building such a garish ride. Suddenly it’s not so funny anymore and you want to get to the bottom of this mystery. Was the person who paid for this mentally fit when they signed the papers to have Marque Motor Coach Builders cut the top off a W126 500 SEC? Did they loose a bet with a friend who had them paint it canary yellow? Did they grow up in culture where brown and yellow are the colors that represent the height of luxury? So many questions we’ll sadly never know the answer to but alas, such is the nature of many used vehicles. What I think we can assume happened here is someone had some extra money burning a hole in their pocket around the end of the year and in an altered state of consciousness decided to blow said money on a custom convertible I’m going to henceforth refer to as “Big Bird”.
Click for details: 1986 Mercedes Benz W126 500 SEC Convertible
After sizing up that Audi A5 in Teak Brown over the weekend, I came across this lovely, low mileage 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL in a not often seen shade of Manganese Brown. Metallic browns have made a comeback recently on cars, no longer being a hue relegated to the decade which brought us disco, an oil crisis and Mayor Ed Koch. The 560SL is one of those German classics that has been rising in visibility amongst collectors. As such, values are beginning to push upwards for what is likely to be the next SL collector vehicle domino to fall. The appear small, but they drive like a much bigger vehicle, if the few I’ve had the chance to pilot over the years are any indication. The legendary bank vault construction is there but the ride quality has a decidedly soft nature about it. They are immensely capable as grand touring machines, but have a bit of float on the twisty bits with the nose rising under acceleration, almost giving you the feel as if you are on a small boat.
Click for details: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL on eBay
Even though it is over 40 years old now, the 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet was a throwback to the past, even in the early 1970s. This is a chassis that had it’s roots in the late 1950s and was assembled largely by hand in small numbers. By 1970s, the W111 coupe and cabriolet would get a shot of adrenaline by way of Mercedes’ new 3.5 liter V8 engine. While a few coupes were offered with a 4-speed manual, all cabriolets would be equipped with a 4-speed automatic. Want to look posh? Fewer cars embody that word better than this white over blue leather 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet for sale in Mississippi.
Click for details: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet on eBay
At age 10 I was really into collecting die-cast models from Maisto and I vividly remember picking up a 1/18 scale version of the car you see above. As a 10 year old a model of a bright yellow roadster with a functional folding top seems pretty damn cool but only a few short years later after seeing a real one I found myself thinking “that car is so lame.” Of course it was completely due to the circumstances in which I saw the car (tacky retirees at the wheel) and the fact that my automotive tastes had begun to shift towards overwrought Japanese vehicles. If only I had realized in my youth what I have realized now, the R170 SLK is a pretty nifty little car and holds an important place in Mercedes Benz history.
With it’s folding steel convertible top the first gen SLK was quite the head turner in it’s debut year. Mercedes sold 55,000 of the retro-futuristic roadsters worldwide and it snagged the title of North American Car of the Year from Car & Driver in 1998. Weighing a respectable 3,036 lbs. and featuring a 185hp supercharged inline-4 engine, the SLK 230 Kompressor moved from naught to 60 in 7.2 seconds which for the olden days of the late ’90s was pretty good. It marked Mercedes’ return to making a light little roadster with a four cylinder engine, something they hadn’t done since the glory days of the 190SL. I think it’s safe to say that had the SLK not been successful, Mercedes may not have figured out that it’s ok to put smaller motors in their cars when it suits the chassis.