The Mercedes R107 SL (280SL, 300SL and 500SL in the UK) is a much-loved classic car in the UK. Classic Car Valuations is often asked to provide online classic car insurance valuations for Mercedes SL roadsters of all ages.
In April 1971, Mercedes-Benz launched the all-new R107 SL model range, replacing the famous “Pagoda” roadsters. The open two-seater with retractable fabric top and removable hardtop, was a sporty, luxurious vehicle offering performance and comfort.
Manufactured from 1971 to 1989, only the G-Wagen has enjoyed a longer production run. The debut model was the 350SL: Mercedes’ first roadster with a V8 engine. The designers based much of the SL on its upper-medium saloon model architecture: the 200 bhp V8 was also found in the W111 280 SE 3.5 and the W108/109 models and front and rear suspension systems were similar.
The R107 was updated throughout its life. Following its debut as the 350SL, the V8 450SL appeared in 1973, followed by the six-cylinder 280SL the year after. Technical innovations included the enhanced body development with an independent frame-floor unit made of sheets of different thicknesses to define crumple zones and behaviour, fuel tank placement above the rear axle, high-strength steels in the A-pillars and windscreen frame, with bonded glass to improve rigidity. The interior had a four-spoke safety steering wheel, padded surfaces and deformable elements to improve safety.
As part of a facelift in March 1980, the R107 was fitted with the ABS anti-lock brake system and, from January 1982, with an optional driver’s airbag and belt tensioners as a supplementary restraint system. The 1980 facelift saw the 350SL replaced by the 380SL and the 450SL went in favour of the 500SL.
In 1985, Mercedes-Benz once again facelifted its flagship model range, with a front spoiler and improved front suspension, and updated engine choice. The 3-litre six-cylinder 300SL revived an historic Mercedes model name. The V8 420SL was a new addition, while the 500SL had an updated engine with electronic ignition and Bosch KE-Jetronic electro-mechanical fuel injection. The new range-topper was the 560SL, which was reserved for export to North America, Japan and Australia.
R107 production ended in August 1989, after more than 18 years and almost a quarter of a million cars made (237,287 units). Today, the R107 has earned a reputation as a desirable and versatile sporting soft top. Prices vary according to mileage and condition.
Classic Car Valuations provides online valuations for insurance, selling or HMRC NOVA purposes for classic and collector cars of all ages. You can order your valuation, pay for the service and upload photos using our online classic car valuations form. Contact us with any questions.