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The Mercedes SL R107 range finally ran out of steam in 1989 after being in production for a scarcely credible 18 years. This is an almost unprecedented production run, especially when you consider that it remained largely unaltered after first breaking cover in 1971.

Always more of a sporting grand tourer than an out-and-out sports car, the SL was supplied with a standard folding fabric roof, while an optional hardtop gave almost saloon-like levels of civility. Thus equipped, the convertible SL was a truly all-purpose, all-season car.

The 380SL you are looking at here is fitted with a 3.8-litre V8 petrol engine, which develops 215bhp and 221lb/ft of torque. Given that the SL weighs almost two tonnes with a couple of well-heeled and impeccably dressed folk on board, it won’t come as a surprise to hear that the resulting performance is brisk rather than sprightly. But the handling is pretty good for such a bulky car, and that civility means it can still crush continents with ease and considerable elegance.

The Vehicle

This beauty of a 1982 Mercedes-Banz 380SL has been lovingly cared for by several owners over the years, each taking their time to ensure the 380SL didn’t go without whatever was needed to keep it in fine fettle.

Quite a common area for corrosion is the wheel arches and wings, and you will be glad to know that these were replaced around 2009, with the inner and outer rear wheel arches and sills replaced in 2017. As you can see, this work has kept the classic cruiser looking its absolute best.

Adrian, who is an enthusiast owner, has owned the car for two years. Upon getting it, he sent it to his local Mercedes-Benz specialist, who replaced the timing chain and tensioners. A service was also carried out, plus some new Anti-roll bar drop links fitted, ensuring everything was as it should be and ready for Adrian to enjoy his trips over to the coast. With two years past and just over 1,000 miles covered, a new house purchase has been made, and with renovations looming, it means that the Mercedes is on the move to help fund the new project.

On the Outside

Finished in the lovely colour of Sky Blue Metallic, the 380SL presents really well. Having had the bodywork carried out in 2017, the car has clearly been cherished and well looked after. The chrome bumper and grille are in good order. There are no chips or cracks in the headlights, or the fog lights mounted lower down. The bonnet looks to align as it should with the wings. Further up, the windscreen is free from any scratches. There is some age-related tarnishing to the chrome windscreen surround, as you would expect for the age of the vehicle.

Moving around to the flanks of the elegant cruiser and everything appears to be in good order, with no dings or dents to point out. The doors align straight and even, with an equal panel gap. Again there are some light scratches in the chrome window trim in keeping with the age of the vehicle. As you know, the SL has a removable hardtop which is in good order. There are signs of delamination to the rear window in a couple of places. Once the hardtop is removed, the fabric roof can be used. This has some wear to it with splits in the windows and a tear in the fabric just above the nearside door. The roof is a common item to replace and could be purchased and fitted by several Mercedes specialists should you wish, but let us be honest, you will only have it up should you get caught in a shower.

To the rear, the boot lid looks to align as it should. There is a boot spoiler fitted which has started to show some signs of age, but nothing out of the ordinary for the age of the vehicle. The classic ribbed lights are in good condition with no splits to mention. The wheels on the 380 were re-powder coated in 2017 and are still looking very fresh, and the tyres have a good amount of tread remaining.

On the Inside

Finished in navy blue leather, the Mercedes has stood up well to the test of time and mileage, with just a small amount of patina showing to the typical wear areas such as the bolsters and some light cracking to the seat bases. The door cards are in good order with no damage to point out.

The dashboard is also in good condition and has escaped any splits or cracks. The instruments are reported to be working as they should, with an odometer reading of 101,042 miles. Across the dash and to the centre is the wood veneer trim. This is free from any cracking often seen on the lacquered finish. The heater controls and electric window switches have very little wear and are working correctly. A Philips CD head unit has been fitted with USB connectivity for in-car entertainment.

The inside of the hardtop is in good condition, with no excessive sagging to the material, and the same can be said for the fabric roof. Into the boot and there is a collapsable stand for the hardtop, and lifting the boot floor reveals the spare wheel, which is in good shape.


The Mercedes had a full service in October 2020, as mentioned earlier. It had the timing chain and tensioners replaced, plus some other jobs carried out, which can be seen in the paperwork section. The cost for this work was £2445.88, and since then, the 380SL has covered just over 1,000 miles.

With the flick of the key, the 3.8 litre fires up with ease and sounds as it should, with no untoward noises coming from the engine bay. Adrian reports that the car pulls well through all of the gears, and the change is smooth.

Looking to the underside of the vehicle, there is some slight surface corrosion on the suspension components and suchlike, but in the main, it seems to be trouble-free with no areas for concern.

History Highlights

The Mercedes-Benz comes with a selection of expired MoT certificates, and there is the original service book which shows a healthy number of stamps collected over the years.

The owner's manual is present along with two keys, and there is a valid MoT on the car, which runs until the 4th October 2022.

Please take a look in the document section of this listing, where you will find a selection of invoices for work carried out over the years, some of which date back to 2008.

What We Think

A fantastic opportunity to take ownership of a wonderful Mercedes-Benz 380SL.

The vehicle has been well maintained, as can be seen from the invoices and service book. In addition, it has had the all-important timing chain and tensioners replaced less than 1,000 miles ago, making it ready to be enjoyed, munching up some miles cruising with the top down.

We estimate this german classic Benz will bring in the region of £16,000 - £20,000.

Viewing is always encouraged. This particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays between 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: The Market HQ Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 101000
  • Chassis Number: 10704522019912
  • Engine: 3839
  • Gearbox: auto
  • Steering position: RHD
  • Colour: Sky Blue
  • Interior: Navy leather
  • Estimated Price: £16,000 - £20,000

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