1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SL - SOLD
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  • Overview & History
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This car has never been hit or rusty, and that’s original 1987 paint, which means there are no nasty surprises waiting for you underneath.

What do you get when you blend the best performance, comfort, and engineering ever created by the engineers in Stuttgart, Germany? Why the Mercedes-Benz 560SL, of course. Starting in 1972 and running through 1989, the R107 was the second longest single series produced by Mercedes-Benz. The R107 managed to stay relevant and desirable for the entirety of its production life, making it the ultimate pairing of luxury and performance in a roadster. There were faster, more expensive, and more exclusive cars, but none of them found the sweet-spot Mercedes did in capturing all three. If you had money and wanted everyone to know it, there was no better way to display it and if you are looking for the ultimate status symbol of the 1980s, this 560SL is the one to own.

This outstanding single-owner 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SL combines an affordable price, great specifications, and an impeccable pedigree. Signal Red with a black leather interior is the ultimate combination and the perfect choice for the rock-star SL. On the trim roadster bodywork, it looks like the sheetmetal was shrink-wrapped over the mechanicals and the chiseled character lines along the bodywork really stand out. This car has never been hit or rusty, and that’s original 1987 paint, which means there are no nasty surprises waiting for you underneath. Build quality is exemplary, which you’d expect from a car whose engineers referred to as “der Panzerwagon,” or “The Tank.” It feels incredibly robust, and this is a 35-year-old machine! The US-spec rubber bumpers have become so familiar that they’re not really a demerit today and they remain in excellent condition with no UV damage or cracks. There’s still quite a bit of chrome and it’s all excellent, from the grille to the windshield surround to the wonderfully heavy-feeling bright trim on the trunk lid. Like most SLs, this car has led an easy life as a summertime toy.

The beautiful condition of the black leather interior shows just how much this car has been loved. With the 560, leather upholstery was standard, wrapped around substantial seats that hold you in place without feeling tight or restrictive. Carpets, door panels, and the real burled walnut on the console all remain excellent, with only light scuff marks on the driver’s outer bolster—that’s all but inevitable. The big steering wheel was leather-wrapped in the 560, and the big, round gauges are a model of functionality, able to be read at a glance. There’s a newer Pioneer AM/FM/CD stereo that sounds great, and it’s worth noting that the original radio is included with the car. There’s also a built-in radar detector with the control unit down on the center console, a cool piece of ‘90s tech that seems to suit the car perfectly. The air blows cold, the windows glide up and down properly, and even the temperature gauge in the center of the dash accurately keeps an accurate eye on exterior temperatures. The trunk is beautifully upholstered using the same plush carpets as the interior, and you’ll find the original spare and jack tucked underneath, never having been used. All SLs came standard with both a folding cloth top and a removable hardtop, and this car has a brand new black canvas top to match the interior.

The most significant improvements are under the hood, starting with the big 5.6 liter OHC V8 engine, which also powered all Mercedes-Benz flagship sedans in the 1980s. In the relatively lightweight SL, performance is impressive, even bearing in mind that the transmission usually starts in 2nd gear. There’s torque available at any speed and I would liken this SL more to a German muscle car than a lightweight sports car. It’s impeccably smooth at all times, even when you’re running hard, and it has proven itself over the decades as one of the toughest machines ever to come out of the Mercedes-Benz factory. Mileage on these cars seems to be a non-issue, as they’ll seemingly run for hundreds of thousands of miles without any diminution in performance or reliability. This SL is just shy of 53,000 original miles so there’s no giving it a second thought. We all know maintenance is what really matters, and this car has been properly maintained all its life, a fact that is more than demonstrated by the extensive service receipts and its outstanding road manners.

560SLs also received a 4-speed automatic transmission with a deep overdrive gear, so it’s an effortless high-speed cruiser, especially with 2.47 gears out back (remember this car was born to run the Autobahn). For smoothness, it is programmed to start in 2nd gear, which may feel a bit slow off the line, but a quick prod of the throttle will drop it into 1st and the car takes off like a rocket. Otherwise, shifts are smooth and unobtrusive, and only Mercedes-Benz seems to have mastered the ride/handling compromise that makes the SL so much fun. Drive gently, and it feels luxury car smooth, with bumps feeling far away and never upsetting the rock-solid platform. Drive it aggressively and it is happy to run with you, with good reflexes and a surprisingly amount of grip. Powerful 4-wheel disc brakes are augmented by ABS, another 560 upgrade, and there’s a wonderful V8 burble from the tailpipes out back. This car sits on its original alloys which are in great condition with a set of recent 205/65/15 Michelin radials.

Documentation includes the original window sticker, purchase invoice, dealer prep documents, Mercedes-Benz data card, factory manuals (including the maintenance booklet with proper service stamps), extensive maintenance receipts over the past three decades, and some brochures from when it was new. Whatever piece of history that you would like to see in your next SL, this car has it. The original toolkit is also included, and it is 100% complete and has never been used.

We’ve sold quite a few of these and their enduring appeal surely comes down to their awesome build quality and fun-to-drive road manners. This is a lot of car for the money, and if you’ve been watching R107 prices lately, you know that these are on the move in a big way. We can’t promise this one will make you rich overnight, but we can promise that you’ll be having too much fun to worry about it. Call today!

Vehicle: 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
Price: SOLD
Stock Number: 115083
Mileage: 52,986
VIN: WDBBA48D5HA057478
Engine: 5.6 liter OHC V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 2.4700000000000002
Wheelbase: 2460mm
Wheels: 15-inch aluminum wheels
Tires: 205/65/15 Michelin radial
Exterior Color: Signal Red
Interior Color: Black leather
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