HomePick of the Day1984 Mercedes-Benz 380SL

1984 Mercedes-Benz 380SL


The Mercedes-Benz 380SL looks extra clean for a 32-year-old preserved original

Here’s a car to consider when the talk turns to future classics, those vintage vehicles that are relatively unloved and inexpensive today but have a lot of possible upside in the future.

The Pick of the Day is a 1984 Mercedes Benz 380SL, a sporty GT convertible that could become a bona fide collector car not too long down the road, just as the 230, 250 and 280 SL “Pagodas” of the ’60s – so nicknamed because of the shape of their removable hardtops – have soared in value in recent years.

The Mercedes could be a fun top-down driver

The 380SL with its small, 3.8-liter V8 engine may be less-powerful that the  450SL that it replaced or the 500SL that came after, but many Mercedes enthusiasts find the 380’s handling more lively with the lighter engine, as well as powerful enough for normal driving and fast highway cruising.

In the U.S., the sporty convertibles were stylistically challenged by protuberant bumpers and quad headlights instead of the sleeker European design. Still, this SL looks pretty crisp despite those demerits.

This Mercedes is also a clean, low-mileage original, according to the dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com. The body and interior are in very good condition, the seller says, and the extensive photo gallery seems to bear that out, showing a survivor that is quite presentable. The car comes with both the factory hard top and a fabric convertible top.

The interior looks to be in very good condition

“This well-maintained Mercedes Benz 380SL which has recently had a four-wheel brake service is showing just under 61,000 miles on the odometer,” the listing says. “The blue interior upholstery and carpets are in very nice condition, as well as no visible dash cracks. There is some wear on the side bolster of the driver’s seat but overall good condition. The wood veneer shows very well with some typical minimal cracks in the clear finish.

“This white exterior of the car is in good condition; it is showing some minor bubbling on the upper front fender. The underside of the car appears very solid. The rocker panels and jack points are solid but not perfect, and there are some typical scratches and nicks which would be expected in a car of this vintage.”

Now the kicker. This nice Mercedes is offered at just $11,800, which generally does not buy you much in the classic car market. A solid bargain for a car with lots of growth potential. Or else, as the seller puts it, simply “put the top down and enjoy the ride in a classic Mercedes Benz.”

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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