Survivor SL: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560

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This one’s a looker! I wouldn’t say I’m a big Mercedes-Benz fan, though I appreciate their engineering and genuineness. But I do have a thing for older SL models such as this 1989 560 SL.  And in this case, the code 877 Blue Green Poly finish is just smashing – it’s so much more alive than the typically found black or silver hue on a typical Benz. Sitting pretty in Atlanta, Georgia with just a claimed 47K miles of experience, this Teutonic top-downer is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $17,600 with the reserve not yet met.

Known as an R107, the 560SL was relatively shortlived being offered from ’86 until ’89 but it is a member of the extended SL family, produced between ’71 and ’89 and generating about 235K units in total. The SL series has continued forward but is built on a different platform. Instead of me describing the car, here is the seller’s analysis, “There is a small paint touch-up just above the flare of the left front fender. There is also a small blemish in the paint on the deck lid where a mobile phone antenna was installed by the selling dealer. There are several small, almost invisible scratches which appear to be from removal/reinstallation of the hard top too small to show in photos. The rest of the paint is in exceptional condition consistent with age and mileage“.  This SL features a four-year-old black folding top and a color-matching removable hardtop – no complaints with either and nothing that I can note appears to be out of place. My thought is that these 560SLs possess a tight, balanced, all-business, and dignified bearing.

The leather interior is “Palomino” in hue and shows no evidence of excessive wear or sun damage. The seller mentions some ingress/egress wear on the driver’s seat back bolster but some is to be expected. I can’t say enough about Mercedes’ dash and instrument panels from this era – they get right to the point without ever looking sterile, cheap, or gimmicky – they’re a perfect informative and functional balance.

The 5.5 (almost 5.6) liter, single overhead cam V8 engine generates 227 net HP – hardly a world beater but decent output for a powerplant of this era that had to make do with U.S. emission control standards. The seller advises, “All systems and functions are currently operating as designed“.  A four-speed automatic transmission was the only way this edition of the SL rolled.

I have covered this vintage, and model, of Mercedes before and the consensus is generally positive though several have brought up the cost of ownership and maintenance as being a detractor. I get that, believe me, but I guess I’m a sucker for a pretty face and I’d call this one fabulous. That’s all I have for this specimen but tell me more, what else have I missed regarding 560SL ownership?

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  1. chrlsful

    I’d say get on board.
    Here is some of the last of the great MB.
    About now they begin to drop in quality in my opinion. ’89 and SL (or R107) still go together well. Drive’n enjoy rather than think about investments (but long term? it will be).

    Like 8
  2. Sal Monella

    Last, and best, year for the R107 body …I’ve owned an identical car and loved it ..only downsides are non power convertible top or seats

    Like 3
  3. GuernseyPagoda

    I had an ‘88 560sl, white with blue. It was my dad’s car. Loved it, but it did require some maintenance like the timing chain guide rails. They are plastic, and can break when brittle. My mechanic actually showed me mine after replacement, and they were ready to break at any moment. Can be catastrophic if it happens. Otherwise, great cars, and would have another one.

    Like 3
  4. Mike M

    I had a ’80 450SL that had a bad hard-start-when-warm problem nobody was ever able to diagnose nor fix. That said, I absolutely loved driving it, especially on the open road, and at some point will probably get another 107 with a less-heavy motor.
    This one will make its new owner happy!

    Like 3
  5. MarkMember

    The 80’s Mercedes, to me, the best built cars ever. I have owned a 380SL, a 560 SEL, 87 300D,86 300E and 420 SEL. I passed on a 400E, a real bummer. The only new one was the 87 300D for my wife. She put 245,000 miles on it with just regular services and occasional adjustments. I bought one owner cars and my favorite was the 420 SEL. I gave two away, the 300E to a neighbors son who had just started driving and the 300D to a friend of my wife.

    These are timeless works of art and engineering. Hope it goes to a person who will appreciate it.

    Like 6
  6. Mike Janco

    Just to be clear and to throw some light on the German way of thinking the paint code DB-877 is referred to as Petrol Blue Green Metallic. It just leaves you with a warm and fuzzy feeling. Had an ‘84 300CD with that paint and simply called it Teal. Easier for the American Mind to grasp.

    Like 2
  7. Jay Maynard

    I own an ’87 560SL. Love it. The power is enough to pass a semi on a 2-lane road with authority, and that’s all it really needs. It’s not about speed, but refined, elegant touring, as a grand tourer should be. Yes, the timing chain guides are a weak point (as it is in all Mercedes V-8s of that era), but replace them every 10 years or so and you’ll be fine. If I had a spare $20k or so, I’d be bidding.

    Like 2
  8. Dave Peterson

    I owned a green 1974 450. My biggest problem was the unusual ignition system and my inability to tighten everything up to hopefully make it drive like new. Paid $5500 IN 2010 for a 70k miler. I think that is when I realized that if I want basic transport, buy a 3.8 B body, but if if you’re in the middle of a mid-life crisis, do NOT buy an old M/B.

    Like 2
  9. Jim in FL

    I looked at these ten years ago and sorry I didn’t buy a few. I sort of knew these would eventually become “classics”. I would love to put a tremec manual in one. Sadly, I don’t have the mechanical smarts.

    Fast forward, an architect I work with bought a 1989. He and I show up on job sites with him in the M-B and me in my 87 vette. It’s like watching Miami Vice show up.

    Like 4

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