In recent weeks we have paid special attention to the Pagoda market, with a number of articles and videos discussing current Mercedes-Benz Pagoda SL stock and market trends for the SL of the 1960s. For this special article we are putting the focus back on the R107 SL, highlighting 13 cars from our current range to help you choose your next SL.
The 300SL – Less than £40,000
Left – Mercedes-Benz 300SL in Astral Silver Click to view
Right – Mercedes-Benz 300SL in Blue Black Click to view
At SLSHOP we take great pride in the cars we offer for sale, adhering to strict standards which must be met before a car can take a place in the showroom. An R107 SL from SLSHOP comes with a two year mechanical warranty, and a three year bulkhead warranty. When a car arrives with us to be prepared for the showroom, any work that is highlighted in the pre-sale inspection must be completed before the car goes onto the website. For this reason, the entry level to R107 SL ownership with SLSHOP starts at a higher price point than many cars that are available on the open market. We know that it’s possible to buy a cheaper R107 SL, but is it possible to buy a better one?
Often we find that the difference between a £25,000 SL and a £35,000 SL is more than £10,000… These cars can be expensive to put right, more so cosmetically than mechanically. Buy right the first time around and your SL will give you years of enjoyment.
The Astral Silver 300SL with Beige Sports Check shown here makes a superb entry level R107. We have known this car for a number of years, and it looks superb in silver. The asking price of £35,995 reflects the 96,000 odometer reading, but prospective buyers shouldn’t be put off by this. A well cared for, SLSHOP accredited SL is something to be used and enjoyed, an excellent opportunity to get into a high calibre SL bearing the SLSHOP name.
Another car in our lower price bracket is this Blue Black 300SL, a car that arrived at SLSHOP recently for a fair amount of maintenance work. The colour and specification are both highly desirable – we sold an identical car with just 12,000 miles on the clock for more than twice the asking price of this one…! There is some scope for cosmetic improvement on this car, and it is priced accordingly, but take the time to scan through the service history details on the website. Mechanically, this car is a superb buy, ready to be enjoyed and driven.
Both of these cars have been chosen for our showroom on their merits, and we turn more cars away than accept them to our sales program. If you are looking to get into a usable R107 SL to indulge in some classic touring, look no further than these two.
The 300SL – Less than £50,000
Left – Mercedes-Benz 300SL in Diamond Blue Click to view
Centre – Mercedes-Benz 300SL in Pine Green Click to view
Right – Mercedes-Benz 300SL in Impala Brown Click to view
The three cars shown here sit in a slightly higher price bracket, reflecting the direct correlation between asking price and odometer reading. Price wise there isn’t huge difference between the three, all sitting just north of £45,000, so why are they priced this way?
Specification, options, mileage and service history all play a part in where a car sits on the pricing scale, and these three cars represent a great opportunity to explain the R107 market. The Diamond Blue car shows 53,000 miles, whilst the Impala brown car displays 71,000 miles and the Pine Green car boasts 86,000 miles, so why are the prices so similar?
With just over 50,000 miles the Diamond Blue car makes an excellent choice. There is plenty of scope for a new owner to add some miles onto the odometer without too much fear of impacting the value, but the fabric interior will always play second fiddle to MB Tex or leather. That isn’t to say one is better than the other, it’s just the way the market values a leather interior. Leather was an expensive option when these cars were new, and for most buyers it’s preferable over the factory fit fabric. Here at SLSHOP we remain impartial, we like both – leather is indeed luxurious but the fabric is arguably easier to live with in summer and winter.
Moving on to the Impala Brown car, here we have a much rarer colour. We might see two or three cars in Impala for every 12 or 15 we see in Diamond Blue, and the rarity of the colour also adds value. This is combined with beige MB Tex, and another feature that the Diamond Blue car is lacking…. rear seats. Although essentially only useful as very occasional seats, this is another expensive factory option that buyers like to see on the R107 SL. In a game of ‘Top Trumps’ then the Impala car would be winning on specification whilst the Diamond Blue car excels with lower mileage.
When it comes to optional extras and rare paint, the Pine Green SL is a hands down winner. In the last two years we have hosted just three Pine Green cars in our showroom, and the unusual paintwork is reflected in the price. Not only is this car a rare colour, it is fitted with leather seats with seat heaters and illuminated vanity mirrors. It also benefits from an almost complete Mercedes-Benz service history from MB Cheltenham, and a significant amount of recent paperwork detailing work that was done prior to arriving in our showroom.
Three cars, all the same price but all distinctly different. When all is said and done, an SLSHOP car is an SLSHOP car – we support all our R107 sales exactly the same, with the full sales and service back up that we’d provide whether you spend £35,000 or £235,000, but which would you choose? Each of these three cars is appealing in it’s own way, and is sure to be a joy to own for the next custodian. As far as buying advice goes, we stand by the statement we have said so many times before… buy the car you love. Owning a car that makes you smile every time you open the garage is an experience that can’t be rivalled, so don’t let mileage, specification or options be a barrier to your dream SL.
The 420SL – Smooth V8 Power
420SL with MB Tex
Left – Mercedes-Benz 420SL in Signal Red Click to view
Right – Mercedes-Benz 420SL in Thistle Green Click to view
The Mercedes-Benz 420SL arrived in 1986, an all new V8 engine to replace the 380SL. In terms of rarity, this is the least numerous of all R107 engines, with 2,148 built between 1986 and 1989. This compares to more than 13,000 300SLs and 20,000 500SLs. The 4.2 litre V8 was new for 1986, where the 5.0 litre V8 had arrived in 1980.
The 4.2 litre V8 is smoother than the 5.0 litre, offering almost as much oomph but being more refined in the process. It doesn’t deserve to be overlooked when buyers hunt for cars, especially if the only difference in real world terms is the designation on the boot badge. The V8 engine offers a different experience to the 300SL, with effortless power delivery through the gears without the raw edge of the 500.
Our current stock of cars includes two 420SLs, on in Signal Red and one in the beautiful period colour of Thistle Green.
Thistle is one of 18 different greens that the R107 was offered in between 1971 and 1989. Being one of the later colours, this beautiful light metallic shade is perfectly complimented by the beige interior.
Also with a beige interior is this Signal Red 420SL, the more traditional R107 shade that’s synonymous as a Hollywood favourite of the 1980s. We have written extensively on the popularity of Signal Red and it’s a trend that doesn’t look to be changing any time soon.
So here we have two 4.2 litre V8 SLs, from two different sides of the colour spectrum and yet both superb examples. Which would you go for, that delightful metallic Thistle Green or the bold hue of Signal Red?
The 500SL – The Range Topper
Left – Mercedes-Benz 500SL in Signal Red Click to view
Right – Mercedes-Benz 500SL in Astral Silver Click to view
The range-topping 500SL first arrived in 1980 when it replaced the 450SL, the larger displacement pushing the power output from 222hp to almost 240hp. This engine stayed with the R107 SL until production ended in 1989.
Choosing between a 300SL, 420SL and 500SL can be difficult – each has it’s own merits and we can spend many hours debating the benefits of each one without reaching a comprehensive conclusion. Here at SLSHOP we love the raw feel of the five litre, but the smooth 4.2 litre V8 has a charm all of it’s own. Singing through the gears in a six-cylinder SL is an experience to be cherished, so we really can’t take sides when the honest answer is that we love them all! When it comes to buying your SL, we can only echo the advice we’ve stated further up the page… buy the car you love.
The 500SL does command a premium in the marketplace, as shown by the two cars below, priced at £57,995 and £58,995 respectively. Both cars are well known to SLSHOP, with the Signal Red 500SL having just arrived from an exhaustive renovation. All of the important and expensive mechanical work has been completed, including a refresh of the cosmetics and a new soft top. On the other end of the colour spectrum is Astral Silver, when combined with Blue Leather the net result is a smart and royal looking SL from any angle. This is a car that we have known for some years – we sold it to the current keeper who is now downsizing his collection.
Both of these cars represent the pinnacle of R107 ownership, superb examples of the breed and cars we are only too pleased to host in the showroom.
The Low Mileage and Collector
Left – Mercedes-Benz 420SL in Signal Red with 6,000 miles Click to view
Left – Mercedes-Benz 300SL in Midnight Blue with 12,000 miles Click to view
Right – Mercedes-Benz 300SL in Nautical Blue with 14,000 miles Click to view
Finally our R107 round up focuses on the very top of the market, the very low mileage and collector grade cars.
For some buyers, originality and purity come in the form of barely used and cosseted cars that have always lived a life of luxury. Finding 30 year old cars with less than 30,000 miles on the clock is no mean feat, and the three cars shown here are amongst a dozen or so examples we have sourced with less than 15,000 miles showing. These cars command the biggest sales prices, north of £70,000 and heading on into six-figures. The lower the mileage, the higher the price, and specification still plays a part in where the pound sign sits.
The Signal Red 420SL is a new arrival to SLSHOP, showing a ludicrously low odometer reading of less than 6,000 miles. This car first appeared on our radar some years ago, when we serviced it back in 2016. Since then it has covered only a few hundred miles, living in a private collection not far from SLSHOP HQ.
In the centre of the frame we have a beautiful Midnight Blue 300SL with Grey SL from Jersey, a car from a private collection with just 12,000 miles from new. This must have been one of the last cars built, being a June ’89 car, and is a very rare colour being Midnight Blue.
One the right hand side we have another 300SL, this time in ever popular Nautical Blue. This car was bought by a collector when it was just 3 years old, to sit alongside a low mileage Pagoda and a number of motorbikes. We are told that this car has not seen rain in thirty years!
It is getting increasingly difficult to find these low mileage cars, and as the saying goes ‘they aren’t making any more of them’, it’s easy to see why these rare opportunities are secured by collectors and investors. We often think of the classic car ‘investor’ as a someone who purchases purely for financial gain, but our experience paints a different picture – these clients are true petrol-heads, passionate car people who demand only the very best vehicles that meet the very toughest of standards. After all, it’s no longer possible to buy an R107 SL from new in a Mercedes-Benz showroom, but these cars are as close as the experience can get.
Which SL should I buy?
This article has shown a snapshot of the 60 cars we currently have available, a small window on what we do. When it comes to buying your own SL, consider what you wish to use it for, and how you see the SL in your minds eye.
Buying a classic car has to weigh up a variety of factors, what you want, what cars are available and the budget you have. All of our cars are accredited by SLSHOP, verified by us and provided with a warranty that we stand by.
No matter which SL you prefer, we look forward to discussing your SL.
Can’t see your ideal SL in the showroom? Contact Bruce to discuss the SL you really want.