You know what, maybe the weather in England isn’t so bad after all. Of course I am saying that solely because of today’s car, a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 300SL up for sale in Southern England. It is finished in the rare Willow Green with a brown soft top over tan MB-Tex. What I would give if this one was left-hand drive.
Just when you think you hit are ready to swing for a home run, here comes a curve ball in the dirt. Today’s car, a 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SL up for sale in Italy, is one of those curve balls in the dirt. Maybe more than one.
This car had all the ingredients on the surface to be ideal for me. A Euro-spec car in a rare green color, a brown leather interior, and a five-speed manual transmission paired with the M103 inline-six. Then everything fell apart once I looked a little closer at it.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 5-Speed at Ruote Da Sogno
When someone says “engine swap” on an old car, my mind automatically goes to a big V8 swap in an American muscle car. It certainly doesn’t go to today’s car.
What we have is a 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL with a Toyota 1JZ-GTE turbocharged inline-six. Talk about an odd couple. The R107 is so far from the tuner-culture 1JZ that I’m really struggling to see who this appeals to. Toyota fans who want something classy? Or R107 fans who want easy power? Either way, I am extremely impressed with this build. Something I don’t say often.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1JZ-Powered 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL on eBay
At some point, you have to throw in the towel. A car that gets too far gone and well past the point of mathematical sense to fix, or try to dish it off as a parts car. Ideally, you are never faced with the situation, but when you are, you probably have to take a real hard look from an outside perspective. I think today’s car, a 1975 Mercedes-Benz 280SL, is one of those situations.
This is admittedly a rare Euro car with the slim bumpers, nice headlights, and M110 inline-six engine. Other than that, it is a typical R107 that there are more than plenty out there at every price level. The problem is, the condition is not good – not good at all. Is it worth saving?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Mercedes-Benz 280SL on eBay
The US-spec C107 Mercedes-Benz SLC probably isn’t going to win any beauty contests. Mercedes had their hands tied with bumper and headlight regulations and probably knew people were going to buy their cars regardless, so they put a band aid on it and that is what we live with. In countries who didn’t have to live with antiquated regulations, things were much better. Slim chrome bumpers and flat headlights plus some engine and transmission choices that made everything just a little bit more exciting. Luck would have it, this is what we have today.
This is a 1980 280SLC that was sold new in Germany and imported to California some time ago. It has the M110 2.8 liter inline-6 paired with a 4-speed manual gearbox, a combo that is rare to say the least. This seems like a far cry from the lumpy V8 and sluggish automatic that was offered to the US buyers when new. Is this a Porsche 911 or E30 BMW M3? Of course not. It’s a car that wasn’t very attractive nor fun to drive and is now slight less of that. Right?