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Mercedes R107 (70's and 80's SL)

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Anyone own one? I used to think these were the most hideous Mercedes's around until I looked at a couple examples recently and realized that like a fine wine, it's an acquired taste. If you have one or had one, I'd love to hear about your ownership experience, cost to maintain, reliability, etc.

I'm wishlisting a 87 560SL similar to this guy and want someone to tell me that it's a nightmare to own one of these so I don't end up springing for it!

post #2 of 50
^One of my fav Mercs and on my wish list, just need to take some time and find a good one.

Regards.
post #3 of 50
Thread Starter 
Yeah it's a real beaut. I found a good one (in chicago! No rust! amazing!) but I'm not sure if it's at all practical as my first car that isn't my parents. As an aside, I'm wearing the EG's you sent me way back when and feel it's appropriate to say their the best shoes I've ever owned. Much thanks!
post #4 of 50
Gorgeous cars, I've always liked them. Friends of mine have two, his and hers, although hers is currently inoperable. I think his is an 85 and hers is an 84. I've driven his a time or two, and it's a tank that's fun to drive.
post #5 of 50
LabelKing on here daily drives one, I believe.
post #6 of 50
Yes, I have a red one. They are quite reliable but some of the models have a timing chain that needs to be serviced regularly otherwise it will snap and destroy your valves and engine. The guide-rails for the timing-chain is plastic so they are prone to wear and need to be replaced every so often. To replace them, the entire top engine block needs to be removed and that is about a $1000 job. I recently had the climate control system fixed--the thing was constantly blowing hot air, and that was about $700 to replace a heater control valve. They are V8 engines so they are not necessarily thrifty cars to operate. Your 560SL would be the largest engine, and the last version. My favorite part about this particular model is the unapologetic Mercedes-Benz emblem and grille on the front: Here's a very early example:
post #7 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing View Post

I recently had the climate control system fixed--the thing was constantly blowing hot air, and that was about $700 to replace a heater control valve.
G]

Do they have mercedes junk yards?
post #8 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by texas_jack View Post
Do they have mercedes junk yards?

I believe they do.
post #9 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing View Post
I believe they do.

Just seems like an ideal part to get from one. When i had a 79 320i BMW in highschool I was able to source most of the parts from one.
post #10 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by texas_jack View Post
Just seems like an ideal part to get from one. When i had a 79 320i BMW in highschool I was able to source most of the parts from one.

I believe that part often becomes defective with age so a new one would probably be a bit more prudent.
post #11 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing View Post
I believe that part often becomes defective with age so a new one would probably be a bit more prudent.

gotcha
post #12 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhc905 View Post
Anyone own one? I used to think these were the most hideous Mercedes's around until I looked at a couple examples recently and realized that like a fine wine, it's an acquired taste. If you have one or had one, I'd love to hear about your ownership experience, cost to maintain, reliability, etc.

I'm wishlisting a 87 560SL similar to this guy and want someone to tell me that it's a nightmare to own one of these so I don't end up springing for it!


is that guys benz in his livingroom or does his garage have wooden floors wtf?
post #13 of 50
^ there are tons of MB-only parts yards. I believe the R107 has dashboards that tend to need vinyl recovering/wood restoration, I remember seeing services for this as early as the mid-90's on these cars. The Germans made real tanks in the old days that could save your life in a wreck, drive for 300K miles without missing a beat, look beautiful on the outside with nice thick sheetmetal that resisted dings and thick paint, and inevitably, the interior would go to shit within like 5-10 years and all the interior electrical stuff would break. MBs, BMWs, I don't know why that is, but in my formative years I came to believe all cars were like this, until I owned a relatively new Japanese car on my own.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing View Post
My favorite part about this particular model is the unapologetic Mercedes-Benz emblem and grille on the front:



Here's a very early example:

This car looks so much better with Euro-spec bumpers and that AMG apron. A lot of German cars from this period became aberrations with huge US bumpers; most BMWs, this SL, a real shame. They were (and are) some of the most handsome designs on the road, and they stuck those huge orange turn signals and the big chrome bumpers with bumperettes and rubber bumper aprons/rubber bumper trim on them.
post #14 of 50
Mercedes was also spectacularly conservative with a lot of the technology they used for things such as the heating and central locking system: they were controlled by a vacuum based series of tubes, which is a technology they had been using since the early '60s. The radios were also strangely anachronistic until at least the early '80s--they were still the chrome and pinstriped Becker Mexicos, etc. that were remnants of the '60s.
post #15 of 50
That vacuum based locking system was what drove me to sell my "72 280 SEL 4.5. What a car but it kept failing due to vacuum leaks. How I miss that biscuit colored leather interior, real wool carpet and the rich, real wood trim. The thing only had 12,000 miles on it when I bought it from a collector.



Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing View Post
Mercedes was also spectacularly conservative with a lot of the technology they used for things such as the heating and central locking system: they were controlled by a vacuum based series of tubes, which is a technology they had been using since the early '60s.

The radios were also strangely anachronistic until at least the early '80s--they were still the chrome and pinstriped Becker Mexicos, etc. that were remnants of the '60s.
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