To the untrained eye, the R107 SL appeared to change very little over the course of its 18-year production line. But in fact, there were a multitude of changes that we like to point out to enthusiasts, aspiring and current owners which affected both the exterior and interior. You can find a more extensive outline of all the phases of change the R107 went through here. In this article we focus on changes made to the R107’s steering wheel.
1971 – 1972
From the moment the vehicle launched, a large steering wheel was obvious. It possessed a minimal amount of chrome, mirroring the W113 Pagoda 230SL. This also had chrome on the steering wheel. This padded four-spoke R107 steering wheel featured two pads with chrome inserts located at either side of the centre pad. This iteration was swiftly changed.
The R107’s steering wheel remained four-spoke but with chrome inserts between the spokes and the central boss from 1972 – 1975. From November 1972 to September 1975, Mercedes introduced a slightly larger central hole. This increased the diameter of the steering column around the steering wheel splines.
1979 – 1989
Moving into the eighties, the R107’s steering wheel received further attention, with the marketing team introducing the option for a leather trimmed variant of the padded four-spoke wheel in 1984. This then became standard in 1985 – presumably because this was the final phase of the model and the production line was slimming down the options, in preparation for the introduction of the R129.
The R107’s Steering Wheel Final Iteration 1982 – 1989
At the same time as the leather option arrived, the marketing team added the airbag to the options list from 1984, causing the centre of the steering wheel to be redesigned with an embossed logo.
IMPROVING YOUR R107 SL’S STEERING WHEEL
To help owners restore and improve their R107 SLs, we offer a range of replacement steering wheels, available in all the renditions above. If you’d prefer to refurbish your existing steering wheel, you can send us your item and we will recover it to original standards, before returning it to you.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to take a different route for your R107s interior styling, we offer a range of alternative wooden wheels completed in different shades of mahogany and made from a range of materials, including original Ivory variants.