The mighty Mercedes R107 series was launched in 1971 to replace the long-lived - and loved - 'Pagoda' SL that had first appeared in 1963. Though dispensing with Mercedes' usual model identification starting with W, it was based on the suspension of the W114 saloon and the model ran till 1989 with more than 237,000 examples built: with the exception of the G-Wagen, the longest single series ever produced by M-B. The Bruno Sacco-designed car was bigger, heavier and softer-riding than its predecessor under a more mature skin - though these cars still handle - and was designed to reflect a changing marketplace, winning early plaudits from such distinguished motoring writers as LJK Setright. Equipped with a 3.5-litre V8 at UK launch, progressively larger engines were offered, through 380 and 420 V8, later 280 and 300 'sixes' and ultimately the 4973cc, 245bhp 500SL made between 1980-'89. This model, with its all-alloy fuel-injected V8, was made for Europe only (though a few slipped into North America as grey imports) and, with 60mph available in 7.4 secs and a top speed of 140mph, was faster even than the US, Japan and Australian-market 560SL. Plenty of R107s (and its longer-wheelbase coupe variant the SLC) come to market but 500SLs are still a rarity, with only 11,812 built.
The vendor bought this car from its first owner in 2001, up to which point it was reportedly M-B main dealer serviced, and it has been local-garage maintained since then. The stated recorded mileage of 61,000 means this 25-year-old car has averaged under 2500 miles a year. In this ownership it has had new lower front and rear panels and a partial respray, and a wind deflector fitted in 2005. The vendor describes the car as being in "very good overall" condition. As normal, it has the four-speed automatic, and seats trimmed in MB-Tex, and it retains the correct black lip spoiler on its aluminium bootlid. The original hard-top also comes with the car.