Second only to the G-class sport utility vehicle which has been around for over four decades, the longest-running Mercedes-Benz platform was the R107 SL roadster. It went into production for 1971 and remained until 1989, and a fine low-mileage example from toward the end of that lifespan caught my eye this week.
“I inherited this pristine Diamond Blue Metallic 1988 560SL with 29,243 miles,” the seller states. “Vehicle has all the options.”
The SL-class first debuted in the mid-1950s as a series of roadsters for the Mercedes model lineup. When the R107 iteration launched almost two decades later, it leveraged chassis components from the W114 model and was configured as only a two-seater, although a very small rear bench seat was available by order. This car was designed to be an all-season grand-tourer since it came with both a retractable soft top as well as a removable hardtop for winter months.
This 560SL still has both of those tops, as well as a stand to carry the color-matched Diamond Blue Metallic hardtop. Setting off the crispy clean exterior are fog lights, pin stripes, stainless-steel sideview mirror caps, a trunk-mounted third brake lamp, and a set of chrome-finished wheels.
On the inside, appointments for the R107 were generous for the time, including a fold-down armrest, a Blaupunkt stereo, power windows, and gloss woodgrain trim. The SL was classified as a personal luxury car, and it had a price tag to match that title: The MSRP when new was a monumental $61,125. That retail price inflates to a staggering $153,084 in today’s dollars. Needless to say, this was a car for the elite and the wealthy.
There were various engines available for the SL of this generation, ranging in size from 2.8 liters to 5.6 liters. This vehicle uses the latter, which is engineered with a Bosch fuel injection system and produces 227 horsepower and 287 lb-ft of torque. A standard four-speed automatic transmission sends power rearward.
The seller states that the Continental tires and the battery have been replaced. There are relatively few sub-30,000-mile R107 roadsters still out there, and this one looks like clean turn-key collector item.