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Mercedes-Benz R107

Mercedes-Benz R107 Published: 14th Aug 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Mercedes-Benz R107
Mercedes-Benz R107
Mercedes-Benz R107
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Values soaring for good ones - Huge choice on offer - Excellent specialist support - Can be used as daily driver

This 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 cross country caning but still very satisfying to drive and own.


Another SL that’s much 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 tailormade for the car’s character.

Despite their sizes, the SL and the SLC (where the 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 reg the better the design and evolution.

Best models

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 as some can be horrid, history and provenance count for the most and you are increasingly getting what you pay for with this SL. 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 much 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 £30K+ isn’t unknown for the best cars – and some predict that the days of the six figure R107 will be with us quite soon.

Buying advice

Rust can be rife with R107s. Cars built after ’76 benefited from improved rustproofing while those made after 1980 further featured wax injection; on ’86 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-’80 cars, check the sub-frames, which can rot badly.

The six-cylinder engines were all-alloy, and as a result can corrode internally if anti-freeze 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. Steering has inherent play but check the box’s idler and myriad of chassis bushes.


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