Used Cars Mercedes-Benz 350SL roadster_1971

Published on May 22nd, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Mercedes-Benz 350SL Is The Daily Driver Classic Roadster

This R 107 Model roadster is still a very desired Benz.

Yes, the Mercedes-Benz SL was already running around North America and Europe before April 1971, but it was not yet designated a ‘roadster’ and it lacked a powerhouse V8 engine. So, to meet the requests of buyers in both markets, Mercedes-Benz introduced the 350 SL with a brand new V8 engine in April 1971. 

At the time, the motoring media who test drove this revised SL were very impressed. Here are some of the comments. In a first test of the Mercedes-Benz 350 SL “auto motor und sport”, Germany, No. 9/1971, wrote: “Good suspension comfort, definitely up to saloon standard, proves to be an essential feature of the 350 SL: at low and high speeds it absorbs big bumps well and takes small bumps in a way that they are never a disturbance even on very poor roads.”

In 1986, “Road & Track”, USA, No. 11/1986, compared the Mercedes-Benz 560 SL, which was in the last era of its production, with the Cadillac Allanté and summed up: “Legendary quality is Mercedes’ primary stock in trade. But brilliant performance and outstanding ABS braking have freshened [the vehicle] this year. Against these attributes, Cadillac brings better handling and greater luxury to bear while failing to match Mercedes’ performance and quality.”

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“auto motor und sport”, Germany, No. 5/1986, reported: “In curves, too, the modified SL displays a behavior that does not go well with the image one tends to have of the vehicle. With its precise power-assisted steering, extremely high possible transversal acceleration and now only reduced load change behavior, the long-snouted, rather staid-looking car delivers precisely that which one would expect from a purebred Gran Turismo“

Now 50 years later, this elegant roadster is still a head turner and its value with collectors is not diminishing. 

Mercedes-Benz SL-Roadster R 107
Mercedes-Benz 350 SL Roadster, R 107
Mercedes-Benz 350 SLRoadster, 1971 – 1980
Engine, Mercedes-Benz Type 350 SL

Production of the SL 350 continued for 18 years, imagine that, one model selling non stop without needing any major improvements for almost 2 decades. Finally, in August 1989 this SL was retired with an impressive total of 237,287 cars delivered around the world. No other Mercedes-Benz model had seen this length of production, even till today.  

In the used car market today, a well looked after SL 350 is very hard to find for sale. Owners see little reason to part with their ‘treasure’. If you find a unit for sale, do not hesitate unless budget constraints are in play. 

PRESS RELEASE: Fifty years ago, in April 1971, Mercedes-Benz initiated a new chapter in the fascinating history of the SL sports car: the 350 SL was the brand’s first SL with a V8 engine and the first model in the R 107 model series to bear the “R” abbreviation for “roadster” for the first time. 

The completely new development, as an open two-seater with a fully retractable fabric top and removable hardtop, was a self-confident, sporty but luxurious vehicle and combined both performance and ride comfort perfectly. In the same year, Mercedes-Benz derived the four-seater luxury class coupés of the C 107 model series from the R 107 model series.

The R 107 is a worthy addition to the ranks of the SL family alongside the 300 SL racing sports car (W 194) from 1952, the 300 SL standard-production sports cars (W 198, as a coupé from 1954 to 1957 and as a roadster from 1957 to 1963), the 190 SL (W 121, 1955 to 1963) and the “Pagoda” SL of the W 113 model series (1963 to 1971). In 2021, the brand with the star is continuing its tradition of SL sports cars by launching the Mercedes-AMG SL in model series R 232.

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