Mercedes SL – Ben Barry drives the 1980s R107 SL | Car Blogs…

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Mercedes-Benz R107

Mercedes SL – Ben Barry drives the R107 SL

By Ben Barry

Stuff Done

15 March 2012

They don’t build a new SL very often, and at the launch of its roadster Mercedes wheeled out examples of the six models that emerged over the previous six Then the minders – the people who care for these cars day day – simply handed over the to random people they met before. You could actually see the behind their smiles.

As is always the way on press launches, was tight, and myself and photographer Pajo were in the middle of the new R231-generation SL500 for a feature in the April issue of CAR. I did manage to sneak away Pajo was shooting some shots and bag 15 minutes in a 1980s SL, the in Merc speak.

This SL ’80s glitz, regularly alongside a pair of shoulder on Dallas, Dynasty and Hart-To-Hart, but it has an enduring appeal that way beyond that, and boasts the production run of any SL: it was on sale for an incredible 17 from 1972 to 1989. For me, the model that defines an SL is and that’s why, when I had to one car to give me some context for the model, this is the one I jumped at.

Mercedes-Benz R107

Visually, there’s very of a bloodline to be traced to the latest SL: the new slightly gawky headlights do the old timer’s square lamps winged indicators, as do the criss-crossed vents in the cabin. Other that, it’s a bit of a Prince Charles scenario. You’re Really?

Climb in and you sit high on a comfy, padded driver’s seat, the card of this left-hand model feeling incredibly to your left arm. If accustomed to driving anything remotely modern, you’ll reach to adjust the steering it feels too close to the dash and too low set for my but it doesn’t budge. The gearstick like quite a long forward, and is topped off by a noticeably shifter.

Turn the key and the 3.0-litre six to a contented idle and I move off constantly aware that car has just 33,000 miles on the and that it just wouldn’t do to it. Bit weird, really, when you that I’m happy to throw the plus press car about, but you go. Out on the road, the body control feels incredibly loose, the quality awesomely good, the lazy and a little stiff. also a beautifully thick, note from the exhaust, and a fluffiness to the way the revs build.

I drive up and down the seafront at roof down, the warm air gently tickling my forehead, the SL its way through the light traffic. It like people are having a look, but I don’t feel It’s incredibly satisfying, and to see the appeal of buying a classic SL as a if you live somewhere with good weather: there are of creature comforts in a car of this so it fits easily into life without the compromise the older cars’ demand, you just know that the and the build quality are absolutely solid. A quick scan of the reveals that very useable cars start at over £10k. I’ll

a red one, please.

Mercedes-Benz R107
Mercedes-Benz R107
Mercedes-Benz R107
Mercedes-Benz R107
Mercedes-Benz R107
Mercedes-Benz R107

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