It’s fair to say Nigel is a driver. He likes to use his SL which is exactly why he’s remained a friend and member of the SLSHOP family for almost ten years now. If you’ve watched our Proud Owners series on YouTube, you’ll understand exactly what drives Nigel – his passion for motoring. When he’s not at an automotive show, he’s usually out and about viewing cars (much to the frustration of his fantastic partner, Claire) and tempting himself with upgrades for his growing fleet of classic and modern classic cars.
Nigel has been behind the driver’s seat of his 300SL since 2014, when he acquired the Signal Red six-cylinder 1988 example from SLSHOP. Over the years Nigel has ensured that his service book has been stamped by us, with no expense spared to keep this delightful example in pristine and usable condition. Nigel helps us remember why we do what we do – to inspire people to enjoy their car with confidence in its reliability, condition and future financial value. When Nigel asked us to make some minor SportLine improvements to his 300SL, we were excited to hear his feedback on the improved driving characteristics of his car.
What are the improvements?
Our SportLine offering is vast, allowing people to select from a range of improvements and modifications or have them all applied to their car. From a revised injection system, lightened crank, ported and polished head to just the suspension, our SportLine offering allows you to make improvements according to your individual taste and budget. If you want to improve the handling but don’t want to impact the period look of your SL, then we can work with you to achieve this as we did with Nigel. To give Nigel a more precise and planted feel when cornering, he decided to fit anti-roll/sway bars to his 300SL and with great results.
What do anti-roll bar do?
Weighing over 1500kg, the R107 is known for its unique cornering demeanour – one that rolls you into a bend with a flying-carpet like grace. A far cry from the volatile rear end of the original 300SL which would terrify drivers of the time. The anti-roll bars function is to counter the natural movement of your vehicle’s mass to the outer side of the SL when cornering, reducing the lift of the tires and improving contact with the road. More traction with the road enables faster cornering.
How the anti-roll bar works
As you corner, the weight of mass on the one side of suspension is transferred through the bar with a twisting force, essentially pulling the wheel of the opposite side towards the body to reduce body roll. This attempts to even out the forces at play when cornering but won’t completely eliminate body roll.
How does it affect the 300SL’s handling?
We asked Nigel what it’s like to drive his 300SL now and gave the following reply:
”Got to admit, as l told Sam, the upgrade to the anti roll/sway bar and droplinks have changed the way the car handles in a corner. It’s awesome and feels like a very modern car and not a lovely 34 yr old one. Turn in is sharp and the greatly reduced body roll is superb.
l think those that use their car a lot and like spirited driving, especially those using it as a daily driver should.
Even if you only do a few thousand miles every year, l am sure owners would see the benefit as the car corners like a more modern car and you just feel more confident turning into a corner.
Probably not for the purist or those keeping their cars for investment purposes only.”
Will it affect the value of your car?
We can concur with Nigel that those purists with the ambition to preserve their SL as completely original, should avoid this upgrade. However, we don’t see it affecting the value of your SL significantly. If anything this could enable you to eventually sell your car more easily, as you will have absorbed some of the investment required in the car to make this improvement. An interested buyer is going to recognise how positively different an SL fitted with SportLine anti-roll bars is versus a standard one.
What models is it suitable for?
All R107 280SL, 300SL, 350SL, 380SL, 420SL, 450SL, 500SL and 560SL Models from 1971 – 1989.
If you like driving, enjoying and making memories in your SL, then what are you waiting for?