2019 Shannons Sydney Winter Classic Auction
1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SL Convertible
This lot is no longer available
Starting with the legendary Gullwing of the 1950s, the SL has been the most sporting model in the Three-Pointed Star’s range over six decades, combining luxury and high performance in a stylish package that continues to set the benchmark today. Stuttgart’s engineers developed a replacement for the popular second generation ‘Pagoda’ SL through the late 1960s, launching the W107 in April 1971 to high praise and it remained in production for a remarkable 18 years. Nicknamed the Panzerwagen due to its massive strength, the W107 saw the emphasis firmly on safety, with a padded dashboard and the fuel tank relocated to the boot inside the massively reinforced body shell. Larger and more powerful V8 engines sourced from the S-Class sedans compensated for the weight gain while a new suspension system featuring a trailing rear arm was a major improvement over the old swing axle design. A major update was carried out across the W107 range in 1980, with a new generation of alloy V8s that were lighter, more fuel efficient and developed more power. Two V8s were available, the smaller of them being the 380 model with a capacity of 3818cc, good for 218 horsepower and 224 lb/ft of torque. Another big improvement was a new, more efficient four-speed automatic transmission using a torque converter instead of the older fluid coupling. Further gains in economy were achieved through the additional use of aluminium in the body while the option of anti-lock brakes was another significant development in safety. The W107 range offers the perfect classic roadster experience for those not wanting to compromise on safety or luxury features. Combining reliability with exceptional build quality, the 380SL has a style only Mercedes-Benz can truly capture.