Even by the high standards of Mercedes-Benz automobiles, the R107SL was something truly special. How else can you describe a two-seat convertible that managed a staggering production run of nearly 20 years from 1971 to 1989, while remaining virtually unchanged throughout?
It’s not hard to see why, either. The SL still stops traffic today with its gorgeous, sensual curves, penned by the famous Friedrich Geiger – you know his other masterwork, the sublime 300SL Gullwing. Under the hood, it was no slouch either, with engines ranging from a 2.8-litre straight six all the way up to the mighty 227bhp 5.6-litre V8. Best sampled with an automatic gearbox, the lovely SL bought European-style grand touring to an immense global audience: more than 300,000 units were sold over the R107’s production run, second only to the famous G-Class offroader.
This 1986 SL is the first year of that famed 5.6-litre V8 – and though it was no lightweight, the big burly bent-eight could effortlessly push this convertible to a top speed of 225kph. Standard equipment included a driver’s airbag, ABS brakes and a limited slip differential to help the fast SL put its power down to the bitumen.