1989 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

We’re always keeping an eye out for what might be the next hot item when it comes to German cars. For decades, the Mercedes-Benz SL has been the object of desire for many automotive enthusiasts. The R107 SL was the longest lived of any SL generation. Over 300,000 examples of the SL and SLC were built, which might have had a hand in keeping values to a dull roar. In the last couple of years, however, this roadster has been gaining its fair share of notice in the collector market.

By the end of the 1980s, Mercedes-Benz was at a crossroads. The last new vehicle introduced was the W124 E class and 1989 would see the curtain close on the R107. We never saw the six cylinder 300SL in the US, but 25 years is about to pass since the last example rolled off the assembly line, thus making these lesser engined SLs accessible to those interested on these shores. This left hand drive example for sale in the United Kingdom is a low mileage, one owner cream puff sourced from Germany.

509

Year: 1989
Model: 300SL
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 28,492 miles
Price: £32,995 (~ $50,195)

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

MODEL HISTORY
The R107 was produced from 1972 in two variants the SL and SLC. The SL being a 2 seater convertible roadster with a soft top/removable hard top and the SLC being a 2 door coupe.

The SLs defined personal luxury cars for almost 2 decades (1971-1989) Being one of the second longest chassis series that Mercedes have produced there are plenty of engine choices and variants to choose, from the early 2.8 and 3.0 litre straight six engines, to the huge 5.6 litre V8’s of the late 1980’s.

Having been produced over a long period the model saw its engine choices and efficency upgraded in 1981. The real benefit for the model was the comprehensive updates that were carried out and fitted to post 1985 cars to bring them up to the then current modern standards, at the same time the new 300SL replaced the 280SL. These included a KE Jetronic system which gave the cars a more sophisticated modern engine management system. This helped to control the idle and air/fuel rate more efficiently. Reworked suspension and anti roll bars resulted in a more controlled ride, large 4 pot front brake calipers increased the cars braking ability, a limited differential was added and quite a few front end parts were borrowed from the newly introduced W124 series. The front and rear bumpers were updated along with a hefty amount of body sheet metal changes then finished with the new door handles from the W126 series and a set of light alloy wheels similar to the W201 chassis.

Built at a time when engineers ruled at Mercedes rather than the accountants the R107 chassis was built to a standard rather than a price. It was built for 18 years for a very good reason and one that will become more and more appreciated as time goes on.

EQUIPMENT
LHD, Heated leather seats, Lorinser steering wheel, Air-conditioning, Cruise control, JVC tape player, Electric windows, Power steering, Central locking, Anti-lock brakes, Electric mirror, First aid kit, Spare wheel.

EXTERIOR
This 1 owner German supplied SL has been pampered all its life only being driven in the dry and kept indoors in a private car collection. We have never seen an SL in such breathtaking condition, the paint work is excellent and free from any imperfections, the only sign of use are a couple of tiny stone chips behind the rear wheels. All of the chrome is factory fresh and the overall appearance of the car is like new. The only negative to point out is that the inner rubber door seal is getting a little dry but this could easily be replaced.

The car gets even better underneath and due to it life in a dry, warm climate the arches and underside look like new, perfectly free from rust and still white like the top side. The factory clear wax still protects theses areas and all the ancillaries show no signs of any surface corrosion. The car has clearly never seen a wet road. The original hood is still fitted and is in perfect condition with no wear and the hardtop is unmarked.

INTERIOR
Open the door and that new car smell welcomes you giving a sensation that you’re back in a Mercedes showroom in the 1980’s. The leather is in incredible condition and remains soft and supple with no signs of any wear. The plastic trim retains its new matt finish without any signs of use or age. All of the carpets are factory fresh and protected with the original Mercedes over mats. Being a German spec’d car it is fitted with all the factory options including air conditioning (ice cold), heated leather seats and cruise control. The boot area looks like it has never had anything inside it and under the carpet sits the unused spare wheel that still has the fitting instructions clipped to the valve cover.

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The car has a full Mercedes service history showing light but regular use so as you would expect the car is in good mechanical order. Under the bonnet shows a perfectly detailed engine compartment still coated in its original wax, every nut and bolt is immaculate. Don’t confuse this with a car that has been prepped, detailed and polished, the reason for this remarkable condition is due to the dry weather use and 1st class maintenance.

WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
All of the alloys are unmarked and are all shod in matching Pirelli tyres that all have over 7mm of tread. The calipers still look new and the discs and pads show minimal wear.

HISTORY FILE
The car has been in the hands of one careful owner from new . The original document pack is still with the car that contains all the owners manuals and most importantly the Mercedes service book. The book is fully stamped with a full Mercedes history and despite the low mileage there are 13 separate stamps. The mileage is 46,579 kilometers which is the equivalent to 28,942 miles.

I’ve driven a few late model R107s with the 5.6 liter V8 engine. They aren’t the sportiest vehicles, but are competent cruisers. While I am always a fan of more power, I felt the 5.6 liter V8 for a car of this size was a bit overkill. Even though the SL was conceived as a sports car, by 1989 they were more boulevard cruiser. The R107 is another one of those bucket list cars for me and I’d be perfectly happy with a 300SL like this. The M103 inline six would be more fuel efficient and cheaper to service over time.

This particular 300SL could be one of the very best out there, but at $50,000, you are into W113 Pagoda SL territory. I’d hasten to say that this is another one of those cars that is priced ahead of where the market is currently. While different countries will vary a bit on pricing, a very low mileage, mint condition 560SL in the US will currently run you around $25,000 to $30,000, with the best reaching into low $30,000 territory. I’d suspect somewhere around that range would be more realistic for this machine, before taking shipping and importation fees into account.

-Paul

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