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One of 2,148: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 420SL

The Mercedes-Benz R107 range is simultaneously one of the most over-represented models in the collector car marketplace and also the one with a good number of variants that never made their way stateside. The R107 is obviously a mass produced roadster but here in the U.S., there were numerous model offerings we never received, leading to this chassis line frequently being imported as gray market examples. What we have here is perhaps one for the lowest production R107 models sold anywhere in the world known as the 420SL, and this 1986 model is offered here on eBay with 23,800 miles and an asking price of $44,995.

The 500SL was obviously the top banana as it related to V8-powered R107s, but for a short time, Mercedes also offered the 420SL. which similarly packed a torquey V8 but with less horsepower than the mighty 560SL. The end result was a model offering that delivered a driving experienced described as being slightly less frantic than the 560, with all the thrust that makes it standout from a six-cylinder equipped model. Along the same lines, owners of R107s equipped with one of the six-cylinder engines not offered stateside cite the same user experience, as the gray market six-cylinder dialed in more smoothness than the standard engine offered in the 300SL.

I’m not sure to what extent you would notice any great change in the driving experience, but owning a 420SL would certainly put you in rarified air among other R107 owners. It is estimated that Mercedes only made 2,148 420SLs worldwide. Compare that to almost 50,000 units of the 560SL and almost 14,000 300SLs and you easily have one of the rarest models in the R107 lineup. While mint-condition 560SLs will always do well at auction, they lack the rarity factor that makes buyers truly overspend. A car like this is the missing piece in many Mercedes-Benz collections, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the seller get his asking price. By the way, the interior is spectacular.

The 4.2L 420SL makes a healthy 215 b.h.p., and obviously, this motor is in fine order thanks to its low mileage and I’m assuming respectable maintenance portfolio (that needs to be confirmed.) The seller is correct to point out that a model like this also benefits from other European market features like the small chrome bumpers. If it lacks a catalytic converter, the performance will increase accordingly as some 420SLs came with them and others did not. A mint condition 560SL would command similar money to the seller’s asking price, but I’d take the 420SL’s rareness over a few extra horsepower in the range-topping R107.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo alphasud Member

    I thought I knew the R107 model lineup pretty well and when I saw the heading I thought that had to be a misprint. What’s also odd is this euro spec car has climate control instead of the typical manual HVAC controls and the battery is located in the engine compartment where a typical 86 560SL would have it in the trunk. The only thing missing would be the euro headlights to round out this nice package.

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Terrry

      The biggest question mark for this car is the missing hard top. For the price they want, it should have it.

      Like 1
  2. Avatar photo Pat

    The link is to a truck

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Jesse Staff

      All fixed. Thanks for catching that!

      Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Rob

    What a timeless beaut!

    Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Terrry

    Nice car for sure, but it doesn’t come with the hardtop which is something to consider. These cars were never considered fast or quick regardless of which engine it had, they were made to be seen and be seen in. And yes these SLs are the ones to be seen in! Forget the later ones. Since it’s a dealer, perhaps some dealing can be done outside of eBay.

    Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Jack Quantrill

    I had a 1977 gray market 280 SLC, with the inline six. Was pretty speedy. Tried to sell it , but no one was interested in the rigid roof SLC. Donated to charity.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo alphasud Member

      Unfortunately you are correct. I have a 76 SLC which is worthless. Take the same car to Germany or the UK and they bring SL money.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo Jack Quantrill

        Had a beautiful profile. Mine was Hunter Green.

        Like 0
  6. Avatar photo Terrry

    Listing has ended.

    Like 0

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