1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SL

Ever since I was a little kid, I always had a fascination with the R107 SL roadster. Maybe it was Beverly Hills Cop, maybe it was the neighbor across the street that bought a black on gray example brand new in 1987. These aren’t the sportiest or most practical of machines, but for 19 years, they defined open air motoring from the house of the Three Pointed Star. Here is a relatively clean example of a later model with 123,000 miles for under $10,000.

Up for sale is a 1987 Mercedes Benz 560SL. It has a low 123,XXX miles, which is less than 5,500 miles per year. Car has lived in Colorado its entire life! 1st owner owned the car from 1987-2007!

Exterior color is Astral silver metallic, and the interior leather color is Alpaca gray. This is a very beautiful color combination that is not often seen. This car is in superb condition for its age. It needs absolutely nothing to be daily driven, but will equally enjoy staying in the garage until it’s time for a top-off weekend mountain cruise.

The engine (5.6L V8) and transmission are literally the best part of this car. No leaks anywhere, not one drip. The engine starts with a flick of the key and idles quietly and smooth. And the two most important things with an older Mercedes; 1) Oil pressure is above average at all times 2) Engine runs within temperature in all driving conditions (even with AC on). The engine is exceptionally clean and has obviously been well maintained. There are no vacuum leaks, as the vacuum gauge is pegged full left with the engine idling. If you see the vacuum gauge anywhere else at idle, it means that vacuum leaks are abound! Everything is vacuum related with these engine/transmissions so it is imperative that there are no leaks. The 4-speed automatic transmission shifts smooth and is without fault. The A/C is still R12 and blows nice and cold. The engine oil was just changed and is good for another 3,000 miles. All other fluids are recently checked/changed and are all clean.

The Astral silver paint is original to the car and is in very good shape. There are a few spots on the passenger side hood line where the clear coat has lifted. Not paint fade, clear coat lift. This is a given for almost any 20+ year old Mercedes. Thankfully it’s a silver car, not a dark color…so it’s really not noticeable. Otherwise the paint is in exceptional shape. There are maybe 2 door dings total. There is absolutely no body damage and the body/undercarriage is completely rust free. Bumpers and chrome are all straight with no cracks or dents in the chrome. All of the plastic/glass light & signal lenses are without flaw and in good shape. The hardtop is excellent shape. The original soft top is also in good shape, no leaks, the plastic windows are clear and not cracked/broken.

The interior is in good condition. The instrument cluster gauges are not completely faded. The carpets are very clean. The original Becker radio is still present and works great. The rest of the interior shows minor signs of wear. The driver’s seat has some small leather checking/cracking on the seat bottom, just a small tinge of bolster wear. The armrest is perfect. The passenger seat really has no flaws and is in great shape. The door panels on both doors are perfect with no flaws. The dashboard has a few cracks present. You can get a custom fit dash carpet for around $50, and a new dash pad/cover is $100; and if installed properly will look just as good as a factory replacement dashboard. Otherwise, the interior is in excellent condition. The windshield is the original Sekurit piece, and has no rock chips or cracks. Both power front windows roll up and down very quietly.

The suspension on this car is very tight. I have driven W107’s with half the miles that felt considerably looser than this one. Steering has absolutely no play. If you stomp on the brakes, it stops straight. It has new Bilstein shocks, new front brakes, and newer Bridgestone Potenza tires (60% remaining). I’m sure other front suspension work has been done at some point. It really drives like the sports car that it was meant to be. Many SL’s on the road with mileage/age handle like a wallowing pig. The tightness of the suspension/steering on this particular car inspires driving confidence!

Not much else to say about this original 560SL. It’s not a perfect car. It’s definitely nicer than your typical daily driver, but not quite as nice as the 60,000 mile garage queen. But overall I feel that it looks/feels/drives more like the 60,000mi example. A lot of the SL’s you see for sale have been sitting in the garage or storage for years at a time which is worse for the car than being driven seldom, even just bi-weekly. I would jump in this car and drive it cross-country without hesitation, which I cannot say for some of the non-driven SL’s for sale on eBay.

As far as R107 SLs go, this car is pretty good value for money. True, there are a ton of lower mileage examples out there, but then you’d be paying a lot more and hesitate to use the vehicle on a regular basis. There are also many worn out examples out there for this same price. These are very robust machines, especially with the dual row timing chains in the 5.6 liter, 225 horsepower engine. This along with the fact that the seller provides an extensive history gives any prospective buyer peace of mind.

-Paul

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6 Comments

  1. We had a 560 SL in the family for quite a while. It was poorly maintained and had about the same mileage as this one when it was sold a few years ago. I was quite surprised when I drove it in the twisty mountains of North Carolina. Nice , smooth torque delivery and very relaxing to drive at a brisk (not fast) pace. Neat cars, and a great machine to put some touring miles down in.

  2. I used to love these cars too. Maybe it had something to do with J.R. driving one on “Dallas”.

    It seems like they’ve started appreciating in the last few years. The newer R129 seems like a better value. More technology, more power, and the prices are scraping bottom. At least I hope they’re hitting bottom since I own a 1990!

  3. I have a 87 560 merecedes sl silver with just under 10,000 original miles always been garaged perfect condition thinking of selling any suggestions, I live in Burlington, Kentucky.

  4. Harriet,

    We can create a post for your 560SL if you would like. We offer a feature listing service which will get them a custom graphic in the sidebar that will be shown on every page of our site, giving it much greater exposure with about 5000 page hits a day. We are just starting with this paid service, but let us know if you would like to feature your car and we can do it for free as a future example for interested parties.

    Regards,

    Paul Henriques
    Contributing Author, German Cars For Sale Blog

  5. I am looking for a 1986-1989 560sl. What would you expect to pay for a car with around 100K miles (plus or minus), that is in good condition – wheels good, paint good, no cracks in dash or leather, wood good, running well, tight body?

    I have found one that is quite nice. Has a new rag top. It has a small dent in the front grate, a small crack in an otherwise perfect dash (that’s a bummer b/c the whole dash will have to be replaced) and the wood around the gear shift needs to be refinished. All the leather is perfect.

    Thanks! ~Page

  6. Page,

    From my experience with R107 SLs, I would say a realistic range for the ’86-’89 560SL models with around 100K miles would be in the $9,000 to $15,000 range, depending on condition. These aren’t exact numbers, keep in mind. It would be wise to consult NADA.com as well as Kelley Blue Book online (www.kbb.com). Also, keeping an eye on the auctions on eBay will give you a good idea of the current market values.

    Paul Henriques
    Contributing Author, German Cars For Sale Blog

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