So spring (or summer, apparently) has sprung – at least in the Mid-Atlantic region, but also throughout much of the rest of the country, from what I hear. What that means to me is that it’s time to dust-off your convertible, change the oil, pump-up the tires, put the top down, and head-out for a relaxing drive in the country, or the city, whichever is your pleasure. What’s that? You don’t have a convertible? We would argue that there is a convertible out there for nearly any budget or anyone with a credit card that they’ve given-up trying to pay off and therefore don’t mind piling onto. Who among Car Geeks doesn’t relish the wind in their hair, the sun on their face, and the sound of the exhaust bouncing off the trees? Now is the time before prices jump-up for the season. What we offer here are some thought starters…
Tag Archives: 300SL
Having been produced from 1971 through 1989 in no less than eight engine configurations, Mercedes-Benz R107 roadsters are hardly rare. In fact, for many of us children of the 1960s, 1970s, and even 1980s, when someone references “Mercedes SL” these are the cars that come to mind. Here in the US, however, we only really got three “official” versions of the R107: the 450SL (and 350SL 4.5 which was the same car) from 1972 through 1980, the 380SL from 1981 through 1985, and the 560SL from 1986 through the end of production. That leaves a lot of SLs that never made it to our shores, including anything across the range that came with a manual transmission. That’s what makes this Euro-spec car
on CraigsList in Fort Lauderdale, Florida a rarity. That, and its low $4,400 asking price.
The original Mercedes-Benz SL-series cars were true sports cars: hard-edged, performance-oriented, and they took some skill to drive. In fact, the designation “SL” originally stood for “Sports Leicht” or in English, “Sports Light” referencing the sporting nature of the car and its lightweight construction. Subsequent models, starting with the 190SL and carrying through the R113 “Pagoda” models and on to the iconic Beverly Hills Housewife R107 convertibles, steadily became less sporting and less light. Quality remained top-notch in true Mercedes fashion and only improved as the years progressed, but “Sport” was a concept that seemed to get lost in translation, especially on U.S. shores where buyers could not even buy a manual transmission-equipped Mercedes SL after the last of the R113 Pagodas rolled off the boat from Sindelfingen. Until, that is, the R129 300SL came along. The new 300SL could be had with a stick shift –
like this car on eBay – but very few made it over here.