Perhaps it was reasonable planning that Mercedes-Benz would only offer the R107 SL in the US market with a V8. After all, production of this vehicle spanned a period where horsepower was down due to increasing emissions regulations. Thus, for almost 20 years, customers stateside were deprived of a six-cylinder SL. However, for 1986, a storied moniker reappeared: 300SL. This version of the R107 had the M103 single overhead cam inline-6 that we saw in numerous E and S-class models in the US. Weighing less than the 5.6 liter V8 had its advantages and proved to be a great pairing for this roadster. We’ve seen a good amount of 300SLs make their way stateside now that all of them produced are over 25 years old. This example for sale in California has lived much of its life here, being imported at a time when entry of gray market vehicles wasn’t as stringently regulated.
All posts tagged Mercedes Benz
It was around my second year in college that the chance arose for me to finally get behind the wheel of the (then) newly introduced Mercedes SLK230. My first impression is that for such a small car, it drove just like a regular Mercedes. Except it was smaller. Up until around 15 years ago, I maintained that you could blindfold me and I could tell you if I was riding in a Mercedes or not. The SLK was no different. Steering with a bit of heft to it, a firm but compliant ride and a smooth automatic gearbox were the order of the day. Some complained about the agricultural nature of the supercharged inline-4, but it offered plenty of power to scoot you around in a hurry.
Mercedes upped the enthusiast ante shortly after the SLK debuted and offered a 5-speed manual gearbox. Not since the 190E had US customers been able to spec a Mercedes with three pedals. To this day, you can still order a new SLK250 with a 6-speed manual, but who knows how long that will last. I tend to think someone at Mercedes-Benz USA forgot this was on the menu. If you don’t want to plunk down the coin for a new SLK, this SLK230 for sale in Pennsylvania gives you the chance to enjoy a lot of fresh air and the freedom to row your own.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK230 on eBay
Following on to the 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL500 we featured yesterday to kick off convertible week, here’s that car’s grandfather: the 300SL Roadster. Painted in a similar hue of black, this example for sale in Los Angeles has lived there most of its life, originally being sold in Europe. This is an early build 300SL roadster on its fourth owner, having undergone a repaint in 1981 along with a few other items being refreshed.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster on eBay
To kick off Convertible Week here at GCFSB, we’ve started with one of our favorites: the Mercedes-Benz SL. For more than 60 years, this car has been a mainstay in the Mercedes lineup, beginning with the closed roof, 300SL Gullwing. The Gullwing would eventually give us the 300SL Roadster and from there, Mercedes stuck with the hardtop roadster format, which would morph into a roadster with a retractable hardtop for the 2003 model year. One of my favorite SLs, however, was the late model R129 that preceded the R230 with its folding hardtop. This low mileage 1998 example is almost exactly as I’d want mine kitted out, looking mean in black over black leather with the 18″ AMG alloy wheels.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL500 on eBay
As I have mentioned previously, there are not many Mercedes models that I really lust after. Sure, there are models that I certainly wouldn’t mind driving if someone handed me the keys to them but very few that I really desire. The car you see here is one of those few, in fact it’s at the very top of the list. I would take this car over an SLS, C63 or even the new AMG GT any day because while those cars might be luxurious, pretty and insanely fast, they lack the uniqueness Mercedes and AMG were able to instill in the car you see before you. The 190E 2.5-16 was a rare car to begin with, but in 1989 Mercedes added the Evo I designation to the mix creating a new tier of rare for the brand. Only 502 of these fantastic machines were built and like the regular 2.5 liter equipped 190Es, none of them came to our shores. If you want to own what I consider the coolest Mercedes ever built, you’ll have to import one or move out of the U.S. I hear Portugal is quite nice almost year round.