Despite the headlines, 2020 was a great year for classic cars. Although there have been less events to attend, from our point of view we think the experience of 2020 has inspired people to get out and see more, do more and drive more. Many of the conversations in our showroom have been centred on the desire to go out and enjoy these cars, and perhaps the experience of the year has made people realise that life is short. Customers who were perhaps delaying buying a classic car have made the leap of faith earlier than planned, and at the same time, customers who wanted to move from a 107 to a 129, or from a 107 to a Pagoda, have done so. We’ve seen all manner of interesting swaps and shifts from our customers this year, but over all, we have re-homed more cars than ever before.
So with 2020 fast disappearing (thankfully) and 2021 approaching, what does next year have in store for the Classic Mercedes-Benz market?
Late cars with high specification and low miles are still king. But are we seeing a shift…?
The Mercedes-Benz SL – R107 Future Outlook
The world’s favourite SL will continue to be desirable and collectable, with new buyers entering the market as a younger generation of enthusiasts reach financial maturity. These younger buyers will continue to gravitate to late model, high specification cars of the post 1986 era, but we are expecting an increase in interest in the earlier cars.
2021 marks 50 years of the R107 SL (1971 to 2021) so we are anticipating an influx of interest as the car will be further pushed into the automotive limelight. With the pre-86 cars looking and feeling closer to a Pagoda than a 129, a rising wave of interest from younger buyers is starting to develop. Are we going to see an SLSHOP showroom stocked with green, yellow and brown 350 SLs, 450SLs and SLCS…? Well, not quite yet, but it’s great to see these cars becoming popular with mainstream buyers once more.
It’s not just early SLs that are moving out of the shadow cast by late model post 86 cars, the SLC will see more interest than ever in 2021. Driven by prices elsewhere in the classic car world, as a capable grand tourer with space for four, engaging engines and fantastic styling, the SLC has looked quite a bargain for many years. We don’t expect this to last forever… Prices have begun to catch the SL, but there is headroom yet for this beautiful coupe.
One last thing to mention is the changes in legislation, and the change in perceptions on the motorcar itself. We are seeing more people asking for early SLs to use as daily drivers, and in 2021 we expect to be preparing more cars for ‘daily use’ than ever before.
The SLC deserves to have it’s day. The fact that these are significantly affordable than an SL is a misalignment of value – an SLC represents a superb buy.
The Mercedes-Benz SL – R129 Future Outlook
The R129 SL is now a well established classic, but buyers still have plenty of choice in diverse market. Our advice to R129 buyers is to buy the very best that you can, as high mileage, poorly maintained examples are still in abundance. Be careful with the allure of a cheap SL – there is a reason ours command a premium. Special edition cars continue to command a premium, with late, high specification and very early cars seeing the strongest demand.
The R129 already has a core following, made up of people who would prefer if we didn’t keep telling you just how good, usable, practical and enjoyable these cars are!
The Mercedes-Benz SL – W113 Pagoda Future Outlook
Firmly attached to the very bedrock of the classic car community, the delicate lines of a Pagoda continue to be at the top of everyone’s wishlist.
Right Hand Drive 280SLs are still the piece de resistance, but again, our advice rings true for the Pagoda just as it does the R107 and R129… buy the car you love.
We don’t expect the Pagoda market to change a great deal, and why should it? We will continue to provide perfect cars for concours customers, superb driving cars for regular use and competitive cars for people who like to test the limits…. And everything in between.
2021 should be a great year for classic motoring, so why not join us for the ride? Keep an eye on our social media and newsletters for more.
A right hand drive 280SL, still very much leading the way in Mercedes-Benz SL desirability.