1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SL 2017-07-03T08:21:24+00:00

Project Description

OVERVIEW

The 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SL was the last of an era. Carrying a base price of over $64,000 in its day, the R107 SL560 as it was known internally, was Mercedes-Benz’ halo car at the time. As such, these hand-crafted roadsters are built to an old world standard that few modern cars can match. From the endless feet of supple leather to the doors that close like a bank vault to the way it wafts effortlessly down the road, 560SL feels very much like a solid car that was built to last.

Although the new Mercedes-Benz SL550 has more than enough computer power to fly you to the moon and back, this 560SL is from a far simpler time. Instead of cramming every panel with buttons, screens, and airbags, this car instead entertains you with an air of timeless luxury. Instead of soft touch plastics and fake wood grains meant to cheaply imitate the real thing, the Mercedes doesn’t cut any corners. Everything you can see, touch, or smell is the real deal.

Although it may not seem like much by modern standards, the 5.6-liter V8 puts out approximately 225-horsepower – less than plenty of modern economy cars. That’s of little matter however because despite the 3,700-lb curb weight, the 560SL never feels like it has any shortage of power. Put your foot into it and it’s just one big, never-ending surge of forward propulsion. What’s most amazing is how effortless it all feels. The engine’s soundtrack is perhaps the one area in which the 560SL forfeits a win to the more modern SL. Although the noise from the big-bore V8 isn’t anything to stir the soul, it doesn’t sound bad. Still, it can’t be compared to the full-throttle war cry of the newer cars. Still, the fact that the engine can propel this car so easily and with so little fuss just adds to the sense of luxury.

Without any back seats, the SL makes for a perfect weekend getaway car, whether that getaway is a beautiful lakeside retreat or the country club. The leather-covered seats are the perfect blend of being supportive and well-cushioned so that you could easily spend hours cruising down your favorite tree-lined boulevard in complete comfort. The suspension works wonderfully to soothe out even the harshest of bumps. This is a car that will gobble up the miles without complaint as you feel the wind gently teasing your hair.

OVERVIEW

The 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SL was the last of an era. Carrying a base price of over $64,000 in its day, the R107 SL560 as it was known internally, was Mercedes-Benz’ halo car at the time. As such, these hand-crafted roadsters are built to an old world standard that few modern cars can match. From the endless feet of supple leather to the doors that close like a bank vault to the way it wafts effortlessly down the road, 560SL feels very much like a solid car that was built to last.

Although the new Mercedes-Benz SL550 has more than enough computer power to fly you to the moon and back, this 560SL is from a far simpler time. Instead of cramming every panel with buttons, screens, and airbags, this car instead entertains you with an air of timeless luxury. Instead of soft touch plastics and fake wood grains meant to cheaply imitate the real thing, the Mercedes doesn’t cut any corners. Everything you can see, touch, or smell is the real deal.

Although it may not seem like much by modern standards, the 5.6-liter V8 puts out approximately 225-horsepower – less than plenty of modern economy cars. That’s of little matter however because despite the 3,700-lb curb weight, the 560SL never feels like it has any shortage of power. Put your foot into it and it’s just one big, never-ending surge of forward propulsion. What’s most amazing is how effortless it all feels. The engine’s soundtrack is perhaps the one area in which the 560SL forfeits a win to the more modern SL. Although the noise from the big-bore V8 isn’t anything to stir the soul, it doesn’t sound bad. Still, it can’t be compared to the full-throttle war cry of the newer cars. Still, the fact that the engine can propel this car so easily and with so little fuss just adds to the sense of luxury.

Without any back seats, the SL makes for a perfect weekend getaway car, whether that getaway is a beautiful lakeside retreat or the country club. The leather-covered seats are the perfect blend of being supportive and well-cushioned so that you could easily spend hours cruising down your favorite tree-lined boulevard in complete comfort. The suspension works wonderfully to soothe out even the harshest of bumps. This is a car that will gobble up the miles without complaint as you feel the wind gently teasing your hair.

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A LOOK IN THE REAR VIEW

The Mercedes-Benz “SL” nomenclature dates back to 1954 with the introduction of the iconic 300SL and has carried on through to today, giving it one of the longest running continuous nameplates out there. Standing for “Sport Lightweight”, the SL range has stayed true to its roots as a 2-door, 2-seat car for that entire time. Featuring a lightweight body and paired-down interior, the 300SL was surprisingly fast due to its 3.0-liter inline-6 with 225 horsepower.

The 1960s ushered in a new generation of the SL, known colloquially as the Pagoda. Built through 1971, the Pagodas came in three variants: the 230SL, the 250SL, and the 280SL, featuring 2.3-liter, 2.5-liter, and 2.8-liter inline-6 engines, respectively. Unfortunately, due to regulations at the time, horsepower was down to 150 hp in the 230 and 250 models, and 170 hp in the 280SL.

The longest running body style for the SL debuted in 1972 and stayed in production until 1989. Mercedes really hit their mark with this look, as it stayed fresh for 17 years with just minor updates, most notably under the hood. To meet demands for more luxury, Mercedes increased the refinement and features, moving the SL away from its lightweight roots and matching the newfound mass with bigger engines and more power. While the 2.8-liter inline-6 engine remained, it was joined by a 3.0-liter inline-6 as well as a number of new V8 engines ranging from 3.5-liters up to the brutish 5.6-liter featured in this car. Despite the larger engines, the 560SL only managed to offer an additional 2 horsepower more than the inline-6 of the original 300SL, instead offering significantly more torque.

As such, the 560SL simply glides down the road, offering effortless acceleration and a calm sense of luxury. The well-cushioned seats and quality materials throughout the interior provide an elegance that is rarely found in cars from this era, much less those on sale today.

A LOOK IN THE REAR VIEW

The Mercedes-Benz “SL” nomenclature dates back to 1954 with the introduction of the iconic 300SL and has carried on through to today, giving it one of the longest running continuous nameplates out there. Standing for “Sport Lightweight”, the SL range has stayed true to its roots as a 2-door, 2-seat car for that entire time. Featuring a lightweight body and paired-down interior, the 300SL was surprisingly fast due to its 3.0-liter inline-6 with 225 horsepower.

The 1960s ushered in a new generation of the SL, known colloquially as the Pagoda. Built through 1971, the Pagodas came in three variants: the 230SL, the 250SL, and the 280SL, featuring 2.3-liter, 2.5-liter, and 2.8-liter inline-6 engines, respectively. Unfortunately, due to regulations at the time, horsepower was down to 150 hp in the 230 and 250 models, and 170 hp in the 280SL.

The longest running body style for the SL debuted in 1972 and stayed in production until 1989. Mercedes really hit their mark with this look, as it stayed fresh for 17 years with just minor updates, most notably under the hood. To meet demands for more luxury, Mercedes increased the refinement and features, moving the SL away from its lightweight roots and matching the newfound mass with bigger engines and more power. While the 2.8-liter inline-6 engine remained, it was joined by a 3.0-liter inline-6 as well as a number of new V8 engines ranging from 3.5-liters up to the brutish 5.6-liter featured in this car. Despite the larger engines, the 560SL only managed to offer an additional 2 horsepower more than the inline-6 of the original 300SL, instead offering significantly more torque.

As such, the 560SL simply glides down the road, offering effortless acceleration and a calm sense of luxury. The well-cushioned seats and quality materials throughout the interior provide an elegance that is rarely found in cars from this era, much less those on sale today.

WORD ON THE STREET

“If recognition and having the common folk gawk enviably as you pass are high on your list of priorities, then get thee into a Mercedes-Benz 560SL.

Though the engine has been changed several times, the SL has remained basically the same two-seater, luxury machine from Day 1. The SL has been a rather remarkable survivor, considering the plainness of the sheet metal.

Mercedes has resisted the current styling trends-sloping hoods, hidden headlamps and absence of a grille. Instead, the bulgy hood arcs to a massive horizontal grille housing the Mercedes crest, flanked by an old-fashioned set of dual exposed headlamps. You can tell a 560SL is coming a mile away.”

Jim Mateja, Chicago Tribune

“The archetypal Mercedes-Benz SL has got to be the granite-sided and chamfered R107, a classically styled Benz roadster that came to embody filthy richness during its seemingly endless and unchallenged U.S. sales streak (1972 through 1989 model years).”

James Tate, Car and Driver

“Benz’s drop-top battleship came to America as the 1974 450SL, but by the time its 16-year run was over, the longest-lived SL had become the 560SL, built from 1986 to 1989. Refined within an inch of its life, the two-seater’s V-8 engine was now a loping 5.6-liter monster, as was the car itself. Unlike earlier 230/250/280SLs, this was a true boulevard and highway cruiser. Still quite at home in the swankiest Palm Springs driveway, the 560SL is an elegant car despite the North American version’s battering-ram bumpers and central brake light. When fitted, the metal hard top retains the signature pagoda roofline of the 280SL.”

Robert Ross, Robb Report

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