An interesting SL photo for your Friday evening musings…
The two cars at the top of the frame are separated by just 4 years, with the Horizon Blue Pagoda being a 1968 280SL and the R107 being a very early 350SL from 1972.
In the bottom right hand corner of our photograph we introduce a 1989 300SL in Signal Red, a car built a full 18 years after the Beige Metallic 350SL was first registered!
Showing the cars in this context highlights a number of things…
1. The gulf between the Pagoda and R107 was significant
The R107 represented a gigantic leap from the W113, not just in terms of the technology on the car itself but in the way the cars were made.
Although the Pagoda was ‘mass produced’ for it’s day, the construction of the R107 is on another level entirely. Sit these two cars side by side, try the cabin, the switch gear, the locks, the handles, the windows…
Sit in the captain’s chair and pilot these three cars down the road and you’ll feel the difference that all those development years (and Deutsche Marks) then created.
The Pagoda feels delicate and lithe, whilst the 350SL is the bruiser of the bunch… Raw and almost raucous, like a muscle car from a bygone era.
By contrast the late model 300SL is a different animal entirely, refined and light on it’s feet, more sophisticated and… somehow all grown up and serious.
2. The incredible feat that was the R107
For the R107 to remain in production, commercially viable, culturally popular and in demand for a full two decades speaks volumes as to what Mercedes-Benz achieved with this car.
Compare the Beige Metallic 350SL with the Signal Red 300 that’s almost two decades newer, and the untrained eye might not even see the difference. For a car that was developed in the late 1960s to survive largely unchanged almost into the 1990s is an impressive achievement, testament to the over development of the model.
The R107 remains so popular today thanks to the solid foundation on which it sits – replacing the Pagoda was no easy feat, and Mercedes-Benz knew that it was a task they needed to more than just accomplish – it was a task they needed to vanquish.
Hop in a W113 Pagoda or an R107 SL and you’ll channel the energy of the time, whether it’s the delicate feel of how a Pagoda skits along the road or the sturdy and reassuring *thunk* as you slam the door of your 500SL…
It might be the gentle action of engaging 1st through to 4th in the manual gearbox of a 1968 280SL or the surprising momentum that can be gained when your right foot pushes deep into the carpet of an R107, propelled by all those thundering horses from a capacious V8 power plant.
These cars are entirely addictive, if not for the way they feel then for the way they look. Perhaps it’s a combination of looks, feeling and emotion that drive the interest in these cars, but the passion is real, and with SLSHOP, the passion is shared.
It was a joy to park these three icons side by side during our recent photoshoot, and that underlined the other crucial thing that these three Mercedes-Benz roadsters have in common…
They are all currently available in our showroom.
That might have been a long and convoluted way to introduce three new cars from Bruce and the team, but we hope you enjoyed reading it! Find them on our website.
Have a great weekend.