Magazine Cover - Classic Cars For Sale - 1000s of Classic Car Reviews, How To Service & Maintenance Guides

Mercedes-Benz R107

Mercedes-Benz R107 Published: 9th Oct 2015 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Mercedes-Benz R107
Mercedes-Benz R107
Magazine Subscription
The latest issue of Classic Cars For Sale is on sale now - Pick up your copy from all good newsagents including WHSmith or click here to subscribe now

Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 20%

Subscribe NOW

Available at all good newsagents including WHSmith

Mercedes-Benz R107


Replacement for now iconic Pagoda SL and R107 stayed in production for more than two decades! A high quality and extremely cultured GT that’s safe and solid plus can even be used as a daily driver – an R107 is almost unbreakable if looked after. More suited for touring than haring cross country but still very satisfying to drive and own.


1971 New SL with 97in wheel-based floorpan featuring S Class suspension with six and V8 engines. Sold in drophead convertible SL guise (always offered with a factory hardtop) or as a larger, heavier longer wheelbase fixedhead 2+2 coupé known as the SLC.

1980 Extensive-wide facelift sees arrival of the 380SL and 500SL boasting the all-alloy V8 that was first seen in the SLC.

1985 The 380SL now becomes the 420SL thanks to an engine stretch. Also that year the 560SL joined the line-up. Externally, a front air dam is now fitted to improve aerodynamics as well as looks.


Another SL that’s better suited to graceful touring rather than out and out hot hatch chasing. Handling is tidy if antiquated with that big low-set steering wheel, but you won’t be holding the traffic up either with performance spanning from just under 190bhp to 240bhp from the trusty straight sixes and more popular V8s. As ever with a Merc, auto transmission is virtually a must but happily on the SL it’s tailor-made for the car’s character. Despite their sizes, the SL and the SLC (wheelbase lengthened by 14inches) are really a generous two-seater and an acceptable 2+2 respectively, but luggage space is good on all. As you’d expect from a car that ran for two decades, the later the registration the better the design and evolution.


The V8s are generally regarded as the best because they offer smooth swift power and are no thirstier than the straight six. Some manual gearbox versions are around but aren’t that well liked. Four-speed auto fitted to post-1980 SLs is the one to have, especially post 1985 models. Avoid modded or customised cars, history and provenance count most and you get what you pay for.

Leading specialists, The SL Shop, for example, properly refurbishes its cars plus gives a separate three year warranty on the all important bulkheads. It’s a price and confidence well worth paying for.


SL experts believe that the SLC is set to become collectible because it has more rear room than the SL, is that bit more exclusive and yet cheaper although the days of bargain SLs are coming to an end. Yes sub £10K cars remain but they will need a lot of work and cash to make them worthy of the badge.

Top SLs have rocketed over the past year and £30,000+ isn’t unknown for the best cars – and some predict that the days of the six figure R107 will be with us quite soon.


Rust can be rife with R107s. Cars built after ’76 benefited from improved rustproofing while those made after 1980 further featured wax injection; on 1986 models wheelarch liners and galvanised bodyshells figured. Air intakes at the base of the windscreen get clogged, leading to corrosion of bulkhead; repairs are tricky and can cost £1000. On pre-1980 cars, take a look at the sub-frames, which can rot badly. The six-cylinder engines were all-alloy, and as a result can corrode internally if antifreeze isn’t changed. Other engine-related problems include silted-up radiators. SLs built between 1972 and late 1975 can also suffer from problems with the electronic fuel injection. While an auto gearbox is almost mandatory, pre-1975 cars can also be less than 100 per cent reliable, as they featured a fluid flywheel transmission which gives trouble and typically costs £1500 to fix.

Share This Article

Share with Facebook Share with Facebook

Share with Twitter Tweet this article

Share bookmark with Delicious Share bookmark with Delicious

Share with Digg Digg this article

Share with Email Share by email

User Comments

This review has 0 comments - Be the first!

Leave a comment

Keep it polite and on topic. Your email address will not be published. Please do not advertise products, all posts of this nature will be removed. We do not stock or supply any of these products, we independently review these products.

Subscribe Today
Latest Issue Cover - Click here to subscribe

Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 25%