1984 Mercedes-Benz R107 380SL with Brazil Leather (253)
Champagne Metallic (473) with Brazil Leather (253) / 380SL
Imagine yourself walking into a Mercedes-Benz dealership to spend a wad of cash on a brand-new SL. By that point, especially if we’re imagining the mid 80s, the R107 had already been a well-known face, having spent more than a decade as the convertible of choice for the affluent. After making up your mind about buying the SL, which wouldn’t have taken any longer than five minutes, you’d face the ultimate conundrum of having the choose between the relative lightness and better control of the straight-six models or the more power and better noise of the top-spec V8. But then the sales rep comes and solves your issue by directing you to the mid-spec 380SL, a more approachable V8-powered R107. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
Available with us is a Mercedes-Benz 380SL that was registered in the UK in August ’84. With just over 190,000 miles on the clock, it’s a well-used example, and the condition is evident that some work has definitely been done to the car to maintain its shape. It’s finished in gold, which goes well with the R107’s shape and overall appeal. The car comes with a limited history — it has its V5c and invoices for repairs undertaken by the current owner.
The paintwork isn't spot-free, but it in no way does it look forty years old thanks to recent upkeep to the paint & chrome. The thorough checkup carried out at The SLSHOP confirms the condition. Similar is the case on the inside, too; while there's wear, the cabin is far from tired. Again, for a car that's done 190,792 miles, it's remarkably good, even if you consider that the recorded interior work was done in 2000/01. The soft top looks alright.
Some of the tester's notes for the car include small deviations from the ideal: steering pulling to one side, old tyres, some gauges/lights that need replacing, washer jets blocked, AC vent adjuster not in place, wear in suspension bushes, minor oil leak, nearside sill requires attention due to rust, etc.
This 380SL had four previous keepers when the current owner bought it to begin restoration. According to the available paperwork and data, it was sent for substantial repairs in 2000 and 2001. This included an engine rebuild, brake overhaul, new headlamps, new hood, interior refurbishment, and underbody treatment. A service was done in 2015 (regular; oil and filters changed), which is also when it got a new battery.
There's no doubt that the R107 380SL can be a great way to appreciate V8-powered drop-top motoring. A 0-60 mph of under 10 seconds mightn't set the streets on fire, but you could sit comfortably at motorway speeds all day long and the 380SL would just oblige. Plus with the standard automatic gearbox, driving around in traffic wouldn't be a big bother.
The example here does lack an extensive history record, but the reassurance comes from our internal check at The SLSHOP, which shows that a few minor issues aside, this 380SL is in decent condition.