1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

Most of the time the cars I feature are really nice examples. Mostly because no one wants to look at junk, outside of a few exceptions, and the majority of the cars that are offered for sale to the masses are actually cars people want to buy. For every nice W124 Mercedes-Benz on eBay, there are a dozen of them sitting behind barbed-wire fences at Buy-Here, Pay-Here lots with one flat tire. Today’s car, a 1982 500SL, is in an interesting position. The model itself is always considered desirable and people generally like them, but this specific example needs a lot of love to get it back to its former glory. Given the price, compared to really nice ones, is it worth taking on as a project?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SL on eBay

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1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 5-Speed

For every Craiglist-special Mercedes-Benz R107 out there with its average condition and crazy price, there is one R107 that is actually worth the money. You wouldn’t believe the number of 450SLs and 380SLs I dig through day after day with phrases like ”Great condition” and ”A real peach” only to see they have tires on them from 1996 and the canvas top is full of mold. I chalk it up to nearly two-thirds of the 300,000 R/C107s built ending up in North America over the unheard of 18 year production run. Combine that with their durability and most people treating them like some sort of investment, and you now have a market flooded with R107s. As the baby boomers hit retirement and their three-bedroom ranch house has a for sale in the front yard, so does the SL in the garage. The overwheling majority of the time they are over priced (in my eyes) and there just aren’t many buyers out there for them. The W113 Pagoda is a much more attractive car and the R129 is a much more livable car with its modern amenities. You are left with the R107 right in the middle with its giant bumpers, four eye head lights and underwhelming performance numbers. However, there is a beacon of light for the R107. This car is none other than the 280SL 5-speed.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL on eBay

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1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

I promise everyone, this is the last Mercedes-Benz R107 for awhile. I am just as sick of writing about them as you are reading about them, but I want to go full circle and look at this 1984 280SL up for sale in California. This European-spec car is the low man on the totem R107 pole but that doesn’t mean it is the worst of the bunch, at least not in my eyes. It uses the 2.8 liter M110 inline-6 that puts out a respectable (for the times) 182 horsepower and 176 lbâ‹…ft of torque.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL on eBay

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1986 Mercedes-Benz 420SL

Earlier this week I checked out a 1984 Mercedes-Benz 380SL that was in a cool European-spec setup. I don’t mean to focus too much on R107s, but one just happened to pop up that I couldn’t overlook. This is a 1986 420SL. Yes, a 420SL. If that number ‘420’ followed by ‘SL’ seems odd, you aren’t wrong in thinking that. In North American, Mercedes only sold the 350SL, 380SL, 450sSL and 560SL offically through their dealerships. Back in the 1980s, some people were bringing in the 280SL, 300SL and 500SL through grey-market channels before that was put to a stop by ironically, Mercedes themselves. For whatever reason, I can’t recall ever seeing the 420SL for sale in North America and they are even not that common in Europe. They use the same 4.2 liter M116 from the W126 420SEL and is generally thought of as ”not the 560” the same way you think of the 420SEL sedan. Either way, one popped up for sale Florida and it doesn’t look like a bad example at all.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 420SL on eBay

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1984 Mercedes-Benz 380SL

Last week I looked at a 1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SL with just 1,500 miles on it. I was pretty underwhelmed with it because of the presentation and the fact that it looked like every other R107 that wasn’t beat to death. I was even more underwhelmed by the $75,000 asking price. To no one’s surprise, the car didn’t even up selling and they actually relisted it for $500 more at $75,500. Yeah, I don’t get it either. Today, I thought I’d present another 380SL at a much more reasonable price and actually in the same ballpark in terms of condition. The best news? This is a European-spec car so there is much to be excited about.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 380SL on eBay

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1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SL with 1,500 miles

Last week I looked at a 2008 Mercedes-Benz S550 with little over 2,700 miles on it and quite honestly, wasn’t all that impressed. Maybe because it was a modern car that was only 10 years old, but the low miles didn’t really blow me away all that much. Today, we have a 1985 380SL that has just 1,500 miles on it. That’s it, exactly 1,500. I don’t know why or how this car only managed 1,500 miles, but that’s what I’m seeing. The problem is, like the S550 from last week, this car just isn’t doing it for me.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SL with 1,500 miles on eBay

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1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL

One of the greatest crimes in automotive history were the 5 mph bumpers mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 1973. As a result, our favorite cars from Europe went from being great designs to cars with massive underbites. Arguably no car was hit harder by this mandate than the Mercedes-Benz R107. A great, boxy design was totally transformed because of these massive bumpers. Thanks to another ridiculous rule at the time that required sealed beam headlights, the R107 design was basically decimated. Thankfully, there are enthusiasts out there who told the NHTSA where to go and swapped back on the slim bumpers and non-sealed beam headlights. This 1986 560SL up bid in California is one of them. Thank goodness.

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

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1976 Mercedes-Benz 450SL

One of my favorite configurations of cars is ‘business on the outside, party on the inside’. A reverse mullet of sorts. What I mean is, a car that has a standard appearance on the exterior, usually a subdued color, but a totally bright and wild interior. Usually you can just peak inside the windows to see something happening in there and it is all the more interesting once you finally get a full look inside. Today’s car, a 1976 Mercedes-Benz 450SL up for sale in California, is exactly that.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1976 Mercedes-Benz 450SL on eBay

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Roll the Dice: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 280SLC

The majority of the time, I can ”figure out” a car pretty quickly. I usually give them a quick glance, form an opinion on them, then move on to the next interesting car. Not with this one. Not with this 1980 Mercedes-Benz 280SLC.

It started out harmless enough. A listing for a $1,500 for a 280SLC. Naturally I’m intrigued by this. The 280SLC with the M110 inline-6 engine was never officially sold in North America so this was a big plus for me. Then I peeked inside and saw a manual transmission – things are looking even better. Yes, it’s pretty rough looking, but the extra parts the seller is throwing in with the car could make this deal worth it especially since one of the parts looks to be a real pre-merger AMG bumper. But when I really started to do some digging into this car I was just confused.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 280SLC on eBay

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1982 Mercedes-Benz 380SL

Like anyone, I love rare and interesting colors. So when I saw this 1983 Mercedes-Benz 380SL in the great China Blue, I just had to take a closer look. Upon taking that closer look, things got even better when I found out this car was a federalized European specification car. From there, it got even more interesting, but maybe not for the best…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 380SL on eBay

Year: 1983
Model: 380SL
Engine: 3.8 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 158,800 km (98,673 mi)
Price: Reserve Auction

 

VIN Number: WDB10704512000498
498th 380SL off the assembly line
Ultra rare factory optioned China blue paint (color code 934)
True grey market import european version
Owned by German Mechanic and maintained to highest standard
158,800 Kilometers (About 98,700 miles)
Functioning Vacuum headlight adjustments and working clock on the gauge cluster
Dry, Rust free, Accident free Car
$8,000 spent in professional rebuild of a Mercedes 420 engine with the original euro 380 heads (the 380 heads have bigger valves and mechanical idle system with no idle computer.) This solves the 380s issue of being underpowered. It is now very responsive, yet still nimble and light. Giving the car 215HP vs 185HP (380SL). Just as powerful as the 500SL. The car was previously owned by German Auto in Phoenix, the largest independent Mercedes mechanic shop west of the Mississippi. The shop owner personally rebuilt the engine and spared no expense. This car has power!!!!
$25,000 in records dating back to 1983 when it was sold new in Scottsdale, AZ by Young Motorcars. Original loan documents, purchasing agreement, and sale documents included along with the other stack of records. Over $3000 in work in 2017 alone.
Ice cold AC
New kenwood head unit
Clean Arizona Title
Located in San Diego, CA
Overall this is an amazing car. I purchased it for personal use, however it is going to cost too much money to get it smog legal here in California. The car is extremely tight and so well maintained. Just about everything has been done to this car and it could be an amazing daily driver or weekend cruiser. Minor cosmetic issues that come with a 35-year-old car. Being sold ASIS. International buyers welcome.

Cosmetically, this isn’t a bad SL at all. It does have a cracked dash and some fairly weathered wood, but the big picture of this R107 looks really good. It has it faults, but the total package presents well. One thing to note is that this car doesn’t have headrests which might bother some, but they can be added without too much trouble. I don’t mind the chrome Bundts on this car as it is more of a period correct thing as long as they are in decent shape, which they look to be.

Mechanically, this is an interesting car. The seller says this is a 4.2 liter with the 3.8 liter heads. Thing is, the 420SL never made it to North America and we didn’t get the 420SEL until 1986. I guess sometime after 1986 they sourced a 4.2 liter and kept the 3.8 liter heads, which is totally possible. I just wish the seller would be clearer on this or at least provide the invoice so everyone could read what exactly was done. On the other hand, it does have invoices for timing chain work so that is a huge plus for everyone. What isn’t a huge plus is that this R107 can’t pass smog in California. Seeing as the car is currently for sale in California, this poses a problem for possible bidders. Unless you really love China Blue, most people are probably going to move on from this one.

I think bidding will suffer some with this one because of smog issue. I do think it will sell rather easily, but it just won’t have all those California bidders raising the price with every click. Getting it over $10,000 shouldn’t be too much of an issue, but anything beyond that, who knows.

– Andrew