For those of you just joining the old car hobby, you can scarcely do better than an R107 Mercedes-Benz SL of any kind. Handsome, durable, fun to drive, and with great parts availability, they are easy cars to own. Even better, most folks still think they cost a fortune, so showing up in one of these makes you look like an A-lister. Don't worry, we won't tell anyone how little this elegant 1985 380SL really costs now, but be sure to remember that it originally listed for $44k plus.
Almost everyone in the world can draw one of these from memory, and throughout the '80s, you couldn't go out in the sun without seeing one. Today, however, finding a good one isn't so easy, because they, like most cars of the period, were susceptible to the dreaded tin worm just like everything else. Fortunately, this one has led an easy lifelong Tennessee life with only three owners and shows none of the issues that you see on cars that were used for daily transport. The Colorado Beige paint is original and remains in fine order and the sheetmetal underneath is quite straight, further proof that was always a weekend cruiser that never had to work hard. Fantastic build quality is a big part of these car's appeal and a key to their longevity, and you can feel it just by closing one of the doors. The light beige paint gives it a sleek, subtle finish that ideally suits the 2-seater, a grown-up look that doesn't need to resort to flash to make a statement. You'll also note that the rubber bumpers are in very good shape and not cooked by the sun and the chrome remains shiny to give the Merc a little flash.
The tan seats are in good shape thanks to the durable MB-Tex upholstery that wears like iron. The natural wood on the dash adds a luxurious warmth to the interior and remains in fantastic condition with minimal wear and none of the expected signs of age. The seats are firm and comfortable for all-day cruising, and supportive enough for the spirited driving for which this car is intended. By 1985, most of these came loaded with every available convenience feature, including automatic climate control, power windows and locks, cruise control, and even a rear defroster for the removable hardtop. Heck, even the original Becker AM/FM/cassette stereo is still in the dash! It's also worth noting that the convertible top is in excellent shape and the hardtop seals it up as well as a coupe.
The 3.8 liter V8 was downsized from the earlier 4.5 liter unit, but gives up only 7 horsepower (215 vs. 222). As a result, the 380 feels more agile thanks to a lighter front end, yet still zips around town with ease and hammers down the interstate at supra-legal speeds. The car has always been properly maintained and serviced from the looks of things, and as a result, this is an SL will last practically forever if you keep that regular care up. The 4-speed automatic transmission shifts properly and the car has that same firm but supple feel in the suspension that makes it feel confident under almost any conditions. Power steering and power four-wheel disc brakes are standard for the SL in this year and very welcomed additions for drivers of any experience level. Familiar Mercedes-Benz "pie crust" alloys are quintessential SL roadster, and carry reliable 205/70/14 Michelin blackwall radials at all four corners.
Nicely preserved and always loved by its three Tennessee owners, this is the SL that you can buy without worries. Enjoy one of the smartest buys in the hobby today. Call now!