Where else are you going to find a German 2-seat roadster with V8 power for under $20 grand? Let your neighbors think you hit it big with this A-list celebrity that still drives like the ultimate piece of German engineering.
Clearly built to last, the R107 SLs were called “der Panzerwagon” by their creators, and now, almost four decades later, it's easy to see why. With all its original bodywork and what's mostly the original paint, this 35-year-old 380SL looks pretty darned good, like catching a glimpse of the still-lovely Raquel Welch and realizing that she hasn't lost a step. The well-proportioned body still looks like a million bucks and the three-pointed star on the nose commands respect from virtually everyone on the road. As I said, there's no major rust or rot thanks to a lifetime in warm Tennessee under the tutelage of only 2-owners its entire life, and they both obviously loved this car, because the paint has a soft luster that only comes from frequent baths and regular applications of wax. It's not perfect, and there have likely been a few touch ups here and there throughout the years, but it still presents very well and there's simply nothing cooler than a red convertible. It also helps to start with high-quality paint, and there's no question that Mercedes-Benz quality during this era was second to none. Even the brightwork on the bumpers and around the windows of the hardtop remains bright shiny, providing a nice contrast up against the red finish.
If you need any additional proof that the famous MB-Tex vinyl upholstery in these cars is virtually indestructible, look no further than the durable tan buckets in this roadster. Yes, a couple of the panels have been neatly replaced, and there's not a split seam or a worn corner anywhere to be found. Equally nice door panels show no evidence of even a driver's elbow leaning on the armrest and the carpets show only mild wear that's quite in line with the car's age and mileage. As a convertible, a little discoloration from the sun isn't unexpected, but everything has an all-of-a-piece look that suggests a well-maintained original rather than a piecemeal restoration. Woodgrain appliques on the center stack and console warm it up a bit and are showing their age, but they're some of the only indicators that this car is now 35 years old. The original Becker AM/FM/Cassette player is amazingly still in the original slot, although it does need some service to power the speakers inside the cabin. All SLs included two tops, and the black vinyl folding top is great shape while the hardtop looks like it's barely been used. And can you blame the former owners? This Merc was meant to soak up the sun!
The 3.8 liter V8 was designed to help improve fuel economy but still delivers the kind of effortless performance that made these cars famous as high-speed cruisers. The bubbly SOHC V8 makes a wonderful sound, and is remarkably flexible, equally content to burble through traffic or hammer down the autobahn at triple-digit speeds. The clean engine bay has been properly maintained from new, and with only 85,491 actual miles on the clock, it's got plenty of life left in it, as these motors are legendary for plugging out several hundred thousand miles with proper maintenance. It starts easily and drives smoothly, with the 4-speed automatic transmission a willing partner. The all-independent suspension soaks up bumps but doesn't give up much in terms of handling, and power 4-wheel discs and power steering were standard so you never feel like you're in over your head. Stock Mercedes alloys wear blackwall Hankook radials to finish the look, and we wouldn't want it any other way.
Join the A-list and enjoy the performance and luxury of this lovely, low-mileage open roadster. This handsome SL is just begging for a run on the next warm, sunny day. Call now!