Tuner Tuesday: Anti-AMGs? Lorinser and Zender R107 SLs

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


Year: 1975
Model: 350SL
Engine: 3.5 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 52,585 mi
Price: $11,950 Buy It Now

1975 MERCEDES 350SL ROADSTER
ONLY 52,585 ORIGINAL MILES
EUROPEAN MODEL
4 SPEED MANUAL TRANSMISSION
(1) OWNER
Garage Kept

2 Tops (Like New)- (1)Black Soft Top and (1) Red Hard Top
Featuring a Lorinser Body Kit

This vehicle was imported to US from Germany. It is a 1975 European Model 350SL Class with 4 speed Manual Transmission and here is its data:

1975 Mercedes-Benz 350 SL

Data for Mercedes-Benz 350 SL, manufactured or sold in 1975, version for Europe with 2-door convertible body type, RWD (rear-wheel drive) and manual 4-speed gearbox. Basic www.automobile-catalog.com specs and characteristics: petrol (gasoline) engine of 3499 cm3 / 213.3 cui displacement with advertised power 147 169 kW / 197 227 hp / 200 230 PS ( DIN SAE ) / 5800 6050 and 286 314 Nm / 211 232 lb-ft / 4000 4200 of torque. Dimensions: this model outside length is 4390 mm / 172.8 in, it’s 1790 mm / 70.5 in wide and has wheelbase of 2460 mm / 96.9 in. The value of a drag coefficient, estimated by a-c, is Cd = 0.45 . Standard wheels were fitted with the tires size: (see standard and alternative tire sizes …). Reference vehicle weights are: official base curb weight 1545 kg / 3406 lbs, gross weight GVWR 1975 kg / 4354 lbs. How fast is that car ? Performance: top speed 210 km/h (131 mph) (declared by factory); accelerations 0- 60 mph 8.5 s, 0- 100 km/h 9 s (declared by factory), 1/4 mile drag time (402 m) 15.7 s (a-c simulation) (see detailed performance data review…). Fuel consumption and mileage: official: , average estimated by a-c: 13.6 l/100km / 20.8 mpg (imp.) / 17.3 mpg (U.S.) / 7.4 km/l, average estimated combined driving range (km / miles on tank) of this car is 662 km / 410 miles

One of the most admired cars in the world……….

Mercedes-Benz released the iconic SL models in the early seventies. These cars were seen driven by stars, Doctors , Lawyers, Executives, and professionals all over the world and were seen as a symbol of exclusivity, immediately identified by its uniquely robust styling. The SL had quite a cult following then, and now they are sought after collectibles. The Mercedes-Benz SL roadster is the consummate status symbol. With engine and cosmetic variants, they adapted to any country in the world. The SL roadster was the second longest running production model in Mercedes-Benz history. These automobiles are as luxurious as they are sporting in a refined manner that only Mercedes-Benz could present.

They were sold as R107 for the SL roadster and manufactured from 1971 through 1989. They are considered one of the best looking designs from Mercedes-Benz to date. The SL is a two-seat roadster with standard soft top and hardtop with optional folding seats for the rear bench.

The SL roadster’s production ran from 1971 through 1989. Production began April 1971 for the SL R107 A variety of engines powered these luxury sport cars: a 2.8L in-line six (SL, SLC), a 3.0L (SL); and in the V8 engine series a 3.5L (SL, SLC), a 3.8L (SL, SLC), a 4.2L (SL), a 4.5L (SL, SLC), a 5.0L (SL, SLC), and a 5.6L (SL). All used mechanical fuel injection systems.

It was the beauty of the SL roadster that won the hearts of sports car fanatics around the world. These automobiles were symbols of power and prestige. They were always a perennial favorite immediately identified at any gathering of fine automobiles. The sporty two-seat Mercedes-Benz SL roadster are rare enough to make them highly collectible.

Body and chassis
Platform Mercedes-Benz R107
Powertrain
Engine 3.5L V8

Transmission 4-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 96.7 in (2,456 mm)
Length 180.3 in (4,580 mm)
Width 70.5 in (1,791 mm)
Height 51.1 in (1,298 mm)

The Lorinser kit is a bit unique to the other kits; with 928-esque dual front valance lights it stands a bit apart from the normal AMG splitters. The kit is accented by some period gold wheels that I believe are Riken mesh. It’s also desirable because it’s a European model with the 3.5 V8 mated to a 4-speed manual. Miles are lower, condition appears overall good, it comes with both tops and the Lorinser body kit is pretty understated – certainly a bit moreso than Zender’s offering:

If the Lorinser kit personified the late 1970s and early 1980s with its understated looks, extra lights and gold wheels, the Zender kit is totally 80s – the all white, dipped look, smoothed bumpers, and period Momo wheels painted white make this a Miami Vice dream:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SL on eBay


Year: 1984
Model: 500SL
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 31,500 mi
Price: $14,000 Buy It Now

Note: VIN number above is a “filler” # – was a grey market car. Actual VIN is WDB1070461A006823

I acquired this car from the widow of a deceased friend. It is a 1984 500 sl (European Model) with a Zender body kit, custom pearl white paint, Momo wheels (16″ x 8″ with 225/50×16″ tires) and only 31,500 miles. Has the Euro adjustable headlights, heated seats, 4 speed automatic transmission, Anti-Lock Brakes, air-conditioning, rear seats with seat belts (dark blue interior), Mercedes factory steering wheel air bag added (and all electronics), new CD radio.

My friend kept this car in Hawaii for 25 plus years – and used it only as a Sunday driver. I owned drive it every day. It has never failed to start or left me stranded.

Friend did the following just before shipping it to me in Seattle area:

-spark plugs and general tune up

-brake flush

-coolant flush & change

-transmission fluid & filter change

-steering repairs (tierod assembly, center link, steering damper)

-charged freon a/c system

-adjust fuel pressure and mixture

-checked flex disks for deterioration (none found)

Over the 25+ years he owned this car, it was mostly kept in a climate controlled garage in Hawaii. He spent quite a bit keeping the car up to top flight condition. I have some of these service receipts.

Since I received it here in Seattle I’ve done the following:

-new water pump

-power steering filter & fluid change

-replaced idle control unit

-installed new engine hood pad

-fixed cranky passenger vacuum door lock

-fixed ABS warning light (new front wheel sensors – both sides)

-fixed rust spots on lower trunk lid (and inside lower trunk lid). Repainted lower trunk lid

-fixed broken driver’s door check

Soft top reasonably new (see photo). Have hard top on for winter. My local independent mechanic has checked the car for rust and found none (especially front sub frame). Brakes have a lot left on them, likewise the rubber. All belts and hoses reasonably new and sound.

First $14k takes this car.

This is probably one of the cleanest and best kept ’84’s you’ll see.

I will help with shipping. Will deliver to any authorized shipping agent (truck, rail, ship). Payment terms: FOB Seattle, Wa

Personally, I’d be a little concerned about the added airbag; this is perhaps one of the first times I’ve heard of one being refit into an older car. Why you’d do that is beyond my comprehension. There’s a fair amount of recent work here, and the Zender kit isn’t overwhelming by 1980s standards (I’m looking at you, Koenig). However, I just can’t seem to get over that rear spoiler, and the Momo wheels aren’t my favorite either although they’re the correct generation. Still, for the right person, it’s a lower mile Euro car that with a little taste could be a unique take on the R107. The Zender kit is certainly as rare as the Lorinser kit, and both are harder to come by than the more popular AMG original or replica pieces. If it were my money, I’d probably sport for the Lorinser car; though truth be told, even with the U.S. spec bumpers I prefer Paul’s unmodified 560SL for a little less money.
-Carter

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