When the R107 SL first debuted, few could have imagined this roadster would have lasted in production for another eighteen years. This transformative roadster placed more emphasis on comfort and luxury than “sport and light” as its predecessor, the W113 had. Somehow, though, the R107 struck a chord with buyers and became a symbol of status and upward mobility for years to come, appearing prominently in television series and movies alike. This 1972 350SL represents the very beginning for the R107, painted in a rare hue of Reed Green with matching hubcaps, complimenting the early, slim bumper look quite nicely.
Few knew it at the time, but 1972 would be the introduction for one of the longest lived Mercedes-Benz models of all time, the R107 SL. It was a departure from the W113 SL, more boulevard cruiser than â€œsports lightâ€ special. The first R107s to make it to the US would be the 350SL, but contrary to what the badge on the trunk lid may suggest, this SL did not have a 3.5 liter V8 under the hood. Customers stateside would get a detuned 4.5 liter V8 meant to cope with ever tightening emissions standards. Then in 1974, large crash bumpers would make their appearance, further differentiating the US market SL from their counterparts abroad. This 1972 350SL for sale in Florida has a golden hue fitting for the Sunshine State.
Click for details: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 350SL on eBay
While there are some great tuners from the 1980s whose designs seems classic and timeless, there seem to be many more whose designs are massively polarizing. For every spectacular Ruf, AMG and Alpina that’s out there, there seem to be an equal or greater amount of Gemballas, Stroseks, DPs, Koenigs and Tresers. The modifications they undertook were expensive and generally outrageous. It also seems that often they were discarded by their deep pocketed builders once they were no longer in fashion – if they ever were. But even if they weren’t the most attractive, they’re still cool timepieces to look back on a decade that defined excess through conspicuous consumption. I can’t help but wonder what the trends of today are that we’ll look back upon with the same attitude as we judge the 1980s. One of the tuners that seems to skirt between garish and great is Lorinser – not so wild as the Testarossa vented Koenigs, but generally I’d say not as good looking as the AMGs, either:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Mercedes-Benz 350SL on eBay
Just yesterday, Paul revisited a lovely green 1986 560 SL and reminded us that these cars are at the bottom of the market in terms of classic Mercedes-Benz convertible ownership. It was only a few years ago that the W113 was priced below $20,000; now getting into a good example of that car will set you back the best part of three times that amount if not more. While in my opinion the W113 was a much prettier car than the R107 successor, there’s no denying the presence and value these 1970s and 1980s drop-top Benzs offer. Yet, few of these cars were modified like the sedan counterparts; those that have are usually AMG cars. But today there are two different versions of the R107 that have been modified, showing the alternatives to Affalterbach crowd:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Mercedes-Benz 350SL on eBay
The offbeat Mercedes-Benzes are coming out of the woodwork this week. Following the 4-speed manual 280SLC we featured on Wednesday, here is a rare, V8…