- A wonderful two-owner, low-mileage example of the venerable R107-chassis SL roadster
- Factory-correct color combination of Arctic White with a matching hardtop and a dark blue soft-top over a Royal Blue leather interior
- Numbers-matching 5.6-liter V-8 engine and four-speed automatic transmission
- Accompanied by 1987 bill of sale, first aid kit, a rarely included road triangle, owner’s manual, owner plate, and spare wheel
Few vehicles evoke a lineage of both groundbreaking engineering and refined luxury like the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. The first production Sportlich Leight (“Sport Lightweight”) cars were only slightly altered from the legendary 300 SLR racecars that had cemented Mercedes-Benz’s performance image by dominating motorsports in the 1950s. Stunningly quick and with gorgeous lines, the first SLs were technical triumphs, sporting among the first direct fuel-injection systems and an advanced tubular steel chassis, which necessitated the first generation’s “gullwing” doors.
It was the introduction of the open-top roadster models, however, that made the SL line the icon it is today. While stunning in capability, the first closed cars were considered a bit cramped, with the high sills making entering and exiting a chore. The 300 SL roadster remedied this and, as the years passed, the SL line became progressively more luxurious while always maintaining its dazzling performance.
The third generation of the SL-Class, chassis code R107, debuted in 1971 and would go on to become one of Mercedes-Benz’s longest-running production series. A tour de force of modern motoring, the new SL was laden with luxuries such as automatic climate control, cruise control, and real wood accents while also featuring the model’s first V-8 engine. That 4.5-liter eight-cylinder with aluminum cylinder heads and Bosch fuel-injection system was said to be capable of accelerating the elegant two-seater to 60 mph in just nine seconds. The V-8 engine’s displacement would increase to 5.0 liters for the 1980 model year and then again to 5.5 liters for 1986, bringing ever higher levels of performance. Other updates for the 1986 model included a deeper front air dam, a revised brake system with larger discs, a standard driver's side airbag for the US market, and a third brake lamp mounted on the trunk.
The 560 SL offered here was manufactured in February of 1987 and sold new to a resident of Farmington Hills, Michigan, on 27 March 1987 at Imported Autos Ltd. in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, according to the original bill of sale that accompanies the vehicle. It left the factory finished in its current color scheme of Arctic White over sumptuous Royal Blue leather with a blue fabric soft-top. The original owner cherished the car for more than 30 years, keeping it in pristine condition before selling it to the consignor on 10 September 2021, with 39,986 miles showing on the odometer.
Among the car’s notable factory features are the rear spoiler delete option, power-operated driver’s side mirror, heating for both outside mirrors, a Becker Grand Prix AM/FM stereo with cassette player and power antenna, anti-theft warning system, and a folding center armrest. Driven extremely sparingly over the past year, the odometer showed just under 40,000 miles at cataloguing time. In November 2022, the car had its idle control valve, idle control unit, and battery replaced.
Presented with its original sales materials, owner’s manual, metal warranty card, first-aid kit, and rarely included roadside emergency triangle, this 560 SL is extremely appealing, not just for its gorgeous color combination and numbers-matching engine and transmission, but for its excellent state of preservation, making it an ideal candidate for both collectors and those seeking a timeless classic that can be driven and enjoyed over many miles and years.