Desirable 560SL, great colors, recent leather interior, two tops with hardtop stand, extensive and detailed service records. Books, tools, and other original documentation included.
For many enthusiasts, the SL to own is the end-of-the-line 560SL, which offered a host of welcome upgrades, not the least of which was a burly 5.6 liter V8. This particular SL wears a lovely coat of Light Ivory paint, a sunny, upbeat color that suits the SL just fine. It’s not aggressive and it’s not cheap-looking, but on a roadster like this, it works very well. The paint has a great gloss, the doors still open and close with that incredible Mercedes-Benz THUNK, and there’s no sign of the dreaded tin worm, because this was a fair weather toy only. It does appear that the hood and lower portions of the body have been repainted at some point, but the color match is quite good and the car has a very uniform, all-of-a-piece look. Even the chrome and rubber bits remain in great shape.
The tobacco leather interior is a beautiful complement to the ivory bodywork, a sophisticated combination that gives the SL its upscale flair. Standard leather upholstery was one of the 560’s most noteworthy upgrades beyond the engine, and you’ll be pleased to learn that the seat covers in this car have been recently replaced with OEM replacement pieces. The wood trim you see is real walnut, not some plastic veneer, and that giant leather-wrapped steering wheel is the most substantial helm this side of a steamship. You’ll love the way it feels to get behind the wheel. This car carries its original Becker AM/FM/cassette stereo radio and power antenna, both of which work properly, as well as power windows and locks, automatic climate control, and even a remote mirror for the passenger’s side. Even the trunk is upholstered better than the interiors of most production cars, and includes the original spare, tool roll, and first aid kit. Overhead, there’s a recent brown canvas convertible top that folds and stows easily, plus a matching hardtop that was standard equipment on all SLs.
But the real reason folks pay a premium for the 560SL is under the hood, where you’ll find that musclebound 5.6 liter V8. Related to but not the same as previous iterations of the V8, it has a reputation for outstanding reliability and performance and it seems to defy time and mileage if properly maintained. Fortunately, this car has been properly maintained, as the two-inch-thick book full of maintenance records will attest. It runs like a car half its age, always starting quickly and settling into an even idle with no headaches. It pulls with unexpected ferocity on the road, although you’ll need to give the throttle a pretty good boot to get the transmission to start in first gear rather than the default setting of second. It is tidy under the hood with no signs of substandard workmanship or neglect, and the receipts would indicate that whatever the car needed, it received. It remains ready to go at a moment’s notice and as other R107 owners will attest, mileage is far less important than maintenance, because these engines are virtually indestructible.
One of the other reasons this car is such a superlative highway cruiser is the 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission, which, combined with the 2.47 rear gears, means that you can effortlessly cruise at speeds that require jail time in six different states. The transmission shifts smoothly and almost imperceptibly when you’re just tooling around town, but a good shove at the accelerator results in a quick downshift and a big whack of torque to hurl the car down the road. The suspension is all independent, of course, and neatly balances comfort and sport, making the SL feel agile but never rough. Brakes are big discs all around and 560SLs featured ABS, a big safety plus. Mercedes-Benz alloys are fitted and wear recent 205/65/15 Toyo performance radials.
Prices are on the move for the 560SL, with some sources predicting as much as a 10% annual gain on values. This is an excellent way to get into an affordable SL with all the style and performance, and ride the wave as it’s happening. It’s also one of the most trouble-free and appealing hobby cars you can own, and your neighbors will think you’ve hit the lottery. Don’t worry, we won’t tell them just how affordable this SL really is!
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com