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Feature Listing: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SL with 35,000 Miles

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This post is in our archives. Links in this post may have been updated to point to similar cars available to bid on eBay.

The first modern classic that my father purchased when I was growing up was a 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL. He had often talked about the SLs and how much he wanted one, so when an example of the W113 popped up he grabbed it. We shared many adventures in that car; I was a young teenager, and traveling to vintage car shows was a treat. Back then, although it was regarded as a pretty car, the W113 was already two generations old and was generally overlooked as a classic; indeed, it was easy to find plenty of clean examples well under $20,000. As the market progressed, times changed – the W113 came back into vogue as appreciation for the classic design matured into a greater market presence. It was no surprise, then, that the successor to the W113 – the R107 – slipped in value. To me, the R107 was always stuck a bit in no-man’s land. The W113 hadn’t been particularly sporty, but it was really quite a beautiful design. The R129 that replaced the R107, on the other hand, was a modern convertible with sporty engines and angular design language that brought the SL into modern times. So for many years the R107 languished, unappreciated despite the handsome if understated design and solid build quality. Languish it is no more, though; as the market begins to awaken to the classic style of the SL that carried Mercedes-Benz through two decades, prices have begun to rise – especially on pristine examples such as this Euro-market 1986 300SL:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SL at The Last Detail


Year: 1986
Model: 300SL
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 35,228 mi
Price: $29,000

35,288 Documented Original Miles!!

Extremely Rare – Imported SL Model!!

Exceptional, Rust Free Body & Chassis

Euro Bumpers, Fog and Driving Lamps

Owners Manual, Service History, and Hardtop

Timelessly presented in Black, this all original 300SL is complemented by a burgundy interior. The well detailed exterior is highly polished and all chrome and trim work are in excellent condition. Inward, leather bucket seats are joined by a rare, matching rear jump seat, all in like new condition. Wood inserts blend well against the crimson interior, and switches and instrumentation are all in pristine shape too. Interior features include; power windows, heated seats, air conditioning, cruise control, and an AM/FM cassette stereo. A black cloth convertible top and matching black hard top are noted as included as well.

Having just 35,228 original miles, this 300SL has been driven just over 1200 miles per year, along with being garage kept & meticulously maintained from new. Fitted with the European 3.0 liter straight six engine, this Mercedes features 188 horsepower and lacks the weight of the V8 engine. Known for reliability and better gas mileage, the 300SL is the clear choice! Recent services include new crankshaft seal, new front transmission seal, transmission service, new water pump and thermostat, new valve cover gasket and timing cover, new power steering seals, alignment, and a new rear exhaust section. The car starts easily and idles smoothly. When driving the suspension travels nicely over bumps, the transmission shifts well, and the power brakes stop the car quickly.

The 300SL is not a car that is seen often in the US, especially with such low miles and in this condition!! A thorough detail has just been completed on this Mercedes so stop in and see how nice this 300SL really is, down to The Last Detail.

Engine choices for U.S. customers were limited to only the 560SL after 1985; but in Europe, you had your choice of two V8s or you could opt for a more classic package for the SL – an updated version of the inline-6 that had served Mercedes-Benz well for so long. If you did opt for that package, the SL was an astonishing 300 lbs. lighter than the U.S. spec 560SL and was only down around 40 horsepower on its thirsty bigger brother. That recipe made the 300SL decidedly more sporty even if it didn’t have the same grunt as the V8 models; a trend that would carry over to the R107’s successor, the R129 – which carried an updated version of the motor in this example. 1986 was the first year this package was available, and some other update tweaks like the flush aero wheels modernized the design. The exterior is a mix of old and new, with European chrome small bumpers matched to the U.S. spec lights from federalization; likely the only detail I’d change. Inside was classic Mercedes-Benz, though, with plenty of beautiful leather complimenting wood trim. While it was decidedly more modern than the W113’s painted metal dash, it still captured some of the best elements of 1970s design into a package that was both luxurious and, in this crimson color, quite special. Replete with service to the drivetrain, this low mile example is presented in stunning original condition. Especially nice are the detailed photos including shots of the undercarriage showing the impressive overall condition of the car. The market is still climbing on these R107 SLs, but this example represents an opportunity to get a quality and classic Mercedes-Benz at around half or less of what an equivalent W113 would cost. Low miles, a rare to see model in the U.S., a beautiful color combination and exception condition coupled with the great build quality and longevity of the chassis mean this is a car that someone else can make memories with for decades to come. Certainly it is one of the best deals going in the classic Mercedes-Benz convertible world!

-Carter

12 Comments

  1. Another Bob
    Another Bob May 20, 2015

    I drove a 560 SL around some mountain roads in North Carolina a few years ago. It was a very nice drive. Would be great on a long trip. This car looks fantastic. Maybe the six is the way to go on a long term keeper?

  2. m491
    m491 May 20, 2015

    My parents had a 450 SL. When Dad tried to sell it he had lots of lookers but no one wanted to pay for a “future” classic SL. Maybe the market has changed but seems like all the money and then some. Then again these could be the next car we all say “remember when you could buy it for….”

  3. grbbenny
    grbbenny May 20, 2015

    I have a 1988 Euro 500SL – the ‘sports car’ of the R107 range (if there is such a thing). It is incredibly comfortable for long drives and you can hustle it through the turns more quickly than you’d think possible. An ideal touring car.

  4. David B.
    David B. May 20, 2015

    Slim bumpers of the euro R107s make all the difference in the looks department. Love the schwartz over red combo.

  5. Carter
    Carter May 20, 2015

    @M491 – Values on the R107 have doubled in the past year in general. A condition 1 560SL, for example, Hagerty valued at $29,000 in January, but they’re nearly $70,000 now. It happened really quickly, but good examples are going for a premium. Some recent comps are in our Hammertime section; 81 280SL (1/2015, $22K) 89 560SL (10/2014, $40K) 88 560SL (8/2014, $31K) – granted, the V8 cars are bringing stronger money but considering the condition, color combination, miles and Euro look of this car it’s not out of line in my opinion.

  6. GWG
    GWG May 25, 2015

    What a gorgeous car. I’ve always been a fan of the 6-cylinder R107s – while the 560 V8 is lovely in a straight line, the 280 and 300 just handle dramatically better. The 300 is also a very reliable power plant with relatively low maintenance requirements – and the most modern engine available in the R107. It’s a shame the 300s are so rare in the US. I can see holding on to one of these as the “ticks all boxes” classic.

  7. Carter
    Carter May 25, 2015

    They’re getting it from my insurance premium, Jeff – LOL. Hagerty doubled the price of my insurance on my Audi Coupe citing “rapidly increasing prices of 1980s cars” or something to that effect.

    Short answer – I haven’t seen any sell for that amount, but I seem to remember a few in the 50s recently as the max. Those were auction cars, so perhaps they’re taking the value with the auction premium. They could also be anticipating the market slightly. Regardless, the market is far above the $29K range from 2014 they had forecast.

  8. Jeff Miller
    Jeff Miller May 25, 2015

    It’s just amazing how much these have gone up in such a short period of time.
    Are these the next air-cooled 911?
    I think I’d seek out a 450SLC 5.0… IMHO

  9. audemars
    audemars May 26, 2015

    Bought a mint ultra low mile ’89 560 SL in white with grey leather November 2014 and paid the Hagerty high price of $33k. 2 weeks later the insurance company appraised it at $46k.
    It will be interesting to see November of this year, what the new appraisal will come in at.
    Will it be close to $70k, just as Hagerty values them now…. ? Will keep you posted.

  10. James L. Heminger
    James L. Heminger June 23, 2015

    I love what I am reading. I own a 1986 300SL. Silver with navy interior that I am trying to sell. It was supposed to be on this site. Mine is a high mileage (over 300K) 5-speed and so much fun to drive. I’m the second owner but I’ve owned it since 1988. It has only been driven occasionally for the last 8 years and frankly the only reason I have kept it was because I believed it was destined to increase in value. Now I could use the money. I’d love to see this car go to someone that appreciates it’s rarity and capabilities.

  11. Carter
    Carter June 23, 2015

    I neglected to add the comment, but this car sold for asking price fairly quickly. It seems that the market is really continuing to strengthen on the R107s.

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