1989 MERCEDES 420SLView vehicle description
The Mercedes 420SL was based on the R107 platform which as a model line served as the second longest series Mercedes has ever produced coming after the G-class. The SL was a two-door sports car replacing the W113 SL-class in 1971 and being replaced by the celebrated R129 in 1989.
Targeted at the American market, the R107 saw specialized engines, bumpers, headlights and emissions management designs. Mercedes took the chassis from the 1968 W114 model and mated it to the V8 engine used in the W108, 109 and 111 series with the body style not changing throughout the entire 18-year production run.
The Mercedes was purchased by the current owner in May of 2020 and has had 5 previous owners. The car, as evidenced by the service history and the current state, has clearly been lovingly looked after by presumably classic Mercedes enthusiasts and presents as a wonderful low mileage, great condition classic. It is also important to mention that the Mercedes has the optional winter hard top and the rare optional rear bench, many of these models were sold as two-seaters with a rear loading bench rather than rear seats, but the original owner clearly saw fit to specify the rear seats.
On the Outside
The exterior of the Mercedes is in fantastic shape, having such low miles has clearly paid dividends in terms of the condition of the body. Apart from some minimal stone chipping and some superficial surface corrosion starting to show from the windscreen pillars, the bodywork looks to be in great condition. Panel gaps around the car are straight, tight and uniform with no visible dings or dents you’d expect from the battleground of the supermarket car park. This ensures the long, leading lines of the cars side profile are prominent and striking. There also seems to be little to no damage to any corner of the bumpers either, something that may be all too common on cars boasting length such as the R107 model line.
The wheels are the typical ‘gullideckel’ style and all present in great condition with little to no curbing, scuffing or damage and the tyres too look to have plenty of tread left on them. All chrome and brightwork is presentable and is free from any damage or corrosion. The hardtop is much the same and apart from a very tiny stone chip at the top of the screen is otherwise near spotless. The fabric roof is too in fantastic condition with no rips, tears, scuffs or damage or any other description.
All the electrics work around the car and the light lenses look to be free from damage, fading or water ingress causing condensation. All locks and mechanisms work for the doors, boot and bonnet and all open and close without issues.
On the Inside
Typical Mercedes build quality inside the 420SL, beige leather coupled with wood veneer gives a high class feel coupled to the solid and robust build quality, which has ensured the interior has withstood 32 years of occasional use to have been kept in excellent condition. The steering wheel and gear selector are in good condition with little wear and tear showing, the dash top is in good condition also with no cracking or splitting of the plastic.
The upholstery and trim throughout the rest of the interior is in great condition and the seats show very little wear to any part, especially the driver’s side bolsters which have retained their shape and show little wear on the leather. The rest of the interior presents very well and really defies its age, apart from some faint black marks under the driver’s side dash where shoes have touched getting into the vehicle you would be hard pressed to find fault in the cabin. The carpets are in good condition, as is the door cards, headlining (on both the hard and soft top), the dash is great, the dials are all working as intended and look fantastic in contrasting black with yellow highlighting, the boot is clean, well maintained and spacious and the rear bench and parcel shelf are all in the same great condition as the rest of the vehicle.
Lifting the substantial bonnet reveals the 4196cc V8 which upon production produced 215 bhp and 239 lb. ft of torque. Whilst current power figures aren’t known for the engine, it is still as smooth and eager as it likely was the day it came out of the factory due to the low miles and regular servicing the unit has received. Everything in the engine bay is in order, from the visual checks made with all the rubber piping and parts of components in good working order, all electrical wiring looks to be healthy with no exposed wires, burnt sections of the loom or fraying plastic casings. There are no signs of any fluid leaks or evidence of previous ones that have forgotten to be cleaned leaving the paintwork worse for wear. There is also no surface corrosion in the bay aside from the tiny sections on the front slam panel which would be wire brushed and resprayed for minimal outlay at a professional body shop.
Leaving the engine bay behind and moving underneath the vehicle we can see that the panels and the metal work are very straight, no dents or damage to be seen. There is some surface rust to some sections at the front of the vehicle and one on the spare wheel well where some of the underseal has been chipped off. One of the rubber mounting points looks to be dry and cracked and looks like it could benefit from being changed to keep the Mercedes holding the road as well as it could. The frame rails however look to be in good condition with no dents or bends from improper jacking.
The suspension components, whilst they look like they have some surface rust, look free from damage or excessive wear and tear. The exhaust system looks as if it has been recently replaced and is in great condition in its black paint, a chromed system might be more to some peoples taste but the black is subtle and the system looks to be in great condition.
The Mercedes has seen 5 previous owners with the current owner acquiring the vehicle in 2020. The car has had regular servicing and has stamps in the service book at the regular intervals, the current mileage is 74,500 so the car has not even seen half of the miles Mercedes models are famed for reaching. The car comes with its original service and owner’s manual, all the manuals for the stereo system, two sets of keys and a full HPi check.
A brief overview of the invoices is given below
- Replacement over voltage protection relay, new idle speed relay and air valve - Goss Hall Classics – 07/09/2016
- Brake fluid replacement – Robinson Auto Services Ltd – 03/03/2021
- Engine re-tuned – Auto A&E – 29/07/2019
- New O/S/R brake caliper – M&D Autos – 05/07/2018
- New oil pressure sender - Robinson Auto Services Ltd – 07/07/2020
There is also a new MOT with no advisories.
What We Think
This very handsome convertible German sports tourer has been very well looked after and clearly loved during its time on the road with the owners clearly being enthusiastic about keeping the car in the most pristine of condition. The car has clearly been pampered during its life and only sparingly used as the low mileage would indicate. Regular servicing, lack of any major work required and the overall condition of the car both inside and out are all evidence that points to this car being a really good example of the model line.
For a rugged, handsome and purposeful sports tourer, you really can’t go far wrong with this 420SL. With the prices of classic Mercedes being as strong as their build quality, it might also make good investment sense, although Mercedes fans will surely not need to convince themselves that seriously to take this lovely classic home.
Our estimate for this car is £30,000 - £35,000.
Viewing is always encouraged, and this car is located at our Abingdon headquarters; we are open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and 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.
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