The Mercedes-Benz SL (Sport Leicht) has a proud tradition that dates back to the 300SL of the 1950s. Over the years, the SL would continue to be the fastest and most glamorous model in the Three-Pointed Star's model range. The powerful, two-seater sports car was fitted with every conceivable luxury feature and given the versatility of a removable hardtop.
Launched in April of 1971, the W107 SL it would remain in production for the next 18 years. Nicknamed the Panzerwagen due to its massive strength, the W107 emphasized safety with features like a padded dashboard, and the fuel tank relocated to the boot inside the rigid bodyshell. Optional anti-lock brakes could be ordered, which improved safety even further. To compensate for the added weight, it was given a larger and more powerful V8 engines sourced from the S-Class sedans. Additionally, the new suspension system, with a trailing rear arm replacing the old swing axle, was a major improvement.
The 380SL's engine had a 3818cc displacement size and offered 218 horsepower with 224 lb/ft of torque. Power was driven through a more efficient four-speed automatic transmission using a torque converter instead of the older fluid coupling. The result were quicker speeds than the 350SL it replaced, as well as being more fuel efficient. Additional gains in fuel economy were achieved by the use of aluminum in the body.
The luxurious V8 Convertible would become the longest passenger car series ever produced by Mercedes to date. The final iteration, the 560SL, would continue to be a status symbol and an iconic part of the company's lineup until it was finally replaced by the all-new fourth-generation SL in 1990.
Launched in 1980, the 380SL convertible and the 380-SLC Coupe retained the Type 107 bodyshell first introduced in 1971 in virtually unchanged form. The only major visual difference was the addition of a front spoiler.
This particular example was completed at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant in February of 1985. It was delivered new to Danbury, CT resident Mr. Richard W. Knapp through Danbury Autohaus, a local Mercedes-Benz agency. It left the factory finished in silver metallic over a blue interior and optioned and equipped with both the car's soft and hardtop. The Knapps would retain the car for nearly three decades until it was purchased by its current caretaker.
This car has the worldwide VIN of WDB1070451A026795, as stamped on its chassis, and the US-market specific VIN of WDBBA45C4FA026795. The car currently has just over 7,800 documented miles from new. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2016
The Mercedes-Benz 380 SL R107 was produced from 1980 through 1986. Under the bonnet of the 380 SL lurked an all-aluminum 3.8-liter V8 engine that produced over 150 horsepower. It engine was mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox and power was sent to the rear wheels. The 380SL was a two-seater coupe that cost nearly $39,000 in 1981. Also in the 380 Series at this time were the 380SEL which was a four-door sedan with seating for five. The 380SLC was a two-door coupe with seating for four and cost $46,640.
By 1984, only two models were being offered, the SL and SE. The cost of the SL was $43,820 while the SE four-door sedan cost $42,730. The SE version was very similar to the 300SD, distinguishable by its powerplants. The 300SD had a turbocharged diesel engine while the SE had a gasoline fueled V8. Standard equipment on the SE included anti-theft alarm and power seats, with a driver's airbag being offered for an additional cost.
W126 Series The Mercedes-Benz W126 Series (named in accordance to their engine size) premiered in September of 1979 as the successor to the earlier W116 line. It was the second generation of the flagship Mercedes-Benz to bear the S-Class name referring to Sondeklasse or 'special class.' The W126 Series was initially offered with a straight-6, V8, and turbo diesel sedan models. A 2-door coupe was added in September of 1981.
In comparison to its predecessors, the W126 was more aerodynamic, fuel efficient, powerful, and capacious. It introduced many safety innovations including the first seatbelt pretensioners. It introduced a new design style for Mercedes-Benz which was later used on other vehicles in the company's lineup.
The W126 Series was produced for twelve years, lasting from 1979 through 1991, the longest of any S-Class generation since the first models were built in the mid-1950s. The W126 series initially included the 280, 300, 380 and 500 series models. After the first S-Class mid-cycle refresh, the W126 series included the 260, 300, 350, 420, 500, and 560 models. Variants included the SE (standard wheelbase), SEL (long wheelbase), and SEC (Coupe). The SD and SDL versions were the diesel models. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2013
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