1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 3.2 AMG

Even after all these years which I’ve been involved with GCFSB, a car will come across sometimes which I had no idea existed. Such is the case with this 1986 300SL with an AMG tuned 3.2 liter inline-6. First off, the 300SL is rare on US shores, as we only got the 560SL in our market from 1986 through 1989. Secondly, someone went to the trouble of optioning an R107 with an AMG engine and not much more to denote its bump in horsepower. The ultimate sleeper, then? You decide…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 3.2 AMG at The SL Shop

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1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

For me, the R129 Mercedes-Benz 300SL came one year too late. The US market was never privy to its predecessor, the R107 300SL, which was available with both automatic and manual gearboxes. This was always a favorite R107 variant of mine, its smooth 3.0 liter inline six seemingly more suited to this car’s size than a big V8. And of course, the available 5-speed manual was a huge attraction for me. Mercedes decided to take a little bit different direction for the 1990s and made available the six cylinder SL to North American customers, even with a manual gearbox option for a few years. This 300SL for sale in Illinois is a Canadian market SL with the 5-speed automatic gearbox in one of my favorite SL colors, Cabernet Red.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SL on eBay

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1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 5-speed manual

You could say that the Mercedes-Benz R107 has finally attained classic status. This was the Mercedes to aspire to for two decades and spanned a period of great change in automotive performance, safety and technology. Through it all, the R107 kept going on and on and on. Towards the end, we in the US market had but one model to choose from, the 560SL. Only Japan and Australia would see this model sold new. The rest of the world could chose from two V8 models, the 500SL and 420SL and the car we see here, the six-cylinder 300SL. For a car with such a storied number on its boot lid, few here in the US know about it. For the more spirited driver, you could even spec one with a 5-speed manual. This car is so equipped, showing less than 40,000 miles on the clock.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SL on AutoScout 24

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Convertible Week: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SL on eBay

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Convertible Week: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

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

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1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL in original condition

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We all dream about finding that holy grail in the barn, but it usually takes a lot of luck, years of tracking a rumor or lobbying a sometimes reluctant owner to sell off a vehicle that has been in the family for ages. Sometimes, though, you stumble across one, like I did with this 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing in original condition. This one is on sale from a German dealer but the car is currently located in the US. It’s not every day you’d shell out $1.4 million for a fixer upper, but they’re only original once. Will this car make a trek back to the homeland or will someone here on these shores snap it up before it shoves off to the port?

Click for details: 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL on Mobile.de

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Shift It Yourself SL: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300SL vs. 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

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The R129 Mercedes-Benz SL was a car met with much anticipation at the end of the 1980s, as the existing R107 SL had been in production since the early 1970s. Few models have had such longevity in the Mercedes product range. In a departure from prior models, both a six-cylinder (300SL) and V8 (500SL) would be offered in the new model. Customers could even opt for a 5-speed manual in the US market with the 300SL, but takers were few, making the early R129s with three pedals quite the rarity. The R107 was available with a six-cylinder engine all along in other markets, culminating with the similarly badged 300SL in 1986 that would cease production along with the rest of the range after the 1989 model year. These two 300SLs here represent possibly the best of the best when it comes to the six-cylinder/manual transmission combo in SLs of yore. We’ll start with this 1988 300SL for sale in northern Germany with a remarkably low 27,000 miles on the clock.

Click for details: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300SL on eBay

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Mercedes-Benz R107 SL Extravaganza

It’s no secret that the Mercedes-Benz R107 SL is riding a popularity wave at the present time. With an almost 20 year production run, there’s a version for pretty much everyone. But which to choose? Today we’ll look at four very different R107s, from a mid-seventies example right up to the final 560SL that appeared on these shores. We’ll start with this low mileage 560SL for sale in Florida.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL on eBay

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1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL v. “1956” HMDE 300SL Replica

There are a lot of famous cars that I dream about owning but just aren’t realistic. I’d love a Lancia Stratos, for example. And a Porsche 917K. But since my bank account doesn’t currently contain quite enough commas in the balance statement to make that occur, they’re going to remain dreams. Of course, for reasonable amounts you can buy quite convincing replicas of these cars; Hawk makes a very good Stratos copy, and RCR makes one killer-looking 917K knockoff. While purists decry these fakes as degradation of the brand, when well executed I find these replicas really intriguing. They offer an opportunity for not only mere mortals to own them, but more importantly they offer people who would never get to see them driven a chance to experience the shape in the wild. Another such car that gets traded for the same amount as the GDP of some small African nations is the Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing”. Considered by many to be the first “supercar”, the 300SL’s performance and design was otherworldly in the 1950s and though it’s not the most expensive Mercedes-Benz model they remain firmly out of the grasp of any but the most well-heeled enthusiasts. Like many Ferrari models, Mercedes-Benz has carefully sought out and squashed any attempts at building replicas, and few that remain floating around look close to the original. But today I have both a stunning original example and a reasonably accurate replica that you could actually buy and drive. Is the replica worth spending money on, though?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL on Hemmings

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1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

Sometimes there is that one possession that we wind up hanging on to for years, whether it is for sentimental value, material value or perhaps it is just plain cool. For me, I have a vintage watch that I have prized for years and look after. On a much larger scale, the same thing seems to be true with the former owner of this 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL, who kept the car for the last 42 years. This was a car that helped propel Mercedes into the spotlight with luxury car buyers stateside, as the Gullwing and later Roadster variant we see here were cars flaunted by the rich and famous. With matching numbers and documentation dating back to when it was purchased, this will surely be a prize in any collection.

Click for more details: 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL on eBay

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