1987 Mercedes-Benz 420SL Convertible (R107)


  • One owner from new
  • Just over 54 thousand miles on the clock
  • High specification 420SL
  • Removable hardtop and soft top roof

The Appeal

Widely regarded as one of the all time great Mercedes Benz models, the R107 era Mercedes SL is perhaps one of the finest classic touring roadsters ever made. Suave, elegant styling, robust drivelines and of course untold levels of engineering quality. The SL falls perfectly for buyers looking for an effortlessly classy luxury sports tourer that lacks the brash, imposing nature of many of its market competitors.

Demand for good quality R107s is on what appears to be a seemingly endless upward trend, and whilst the 300SL seems to be the most common variant, the far rarer 420SL presents collectors with a far more interesting slice of R107 courtesy of its quality factory V8 engine.

This 1987 R107 is a collectors dream, a rare 420SL, it has been under the same careful ownership since brand new and boasts just over 54 thousand miles on the clock. Certainly for the avid Mercedes collector this is a car that will take some beating.

The History and Paperwork

  • First registered 06/01/1987
  • Supplied through the Lancaster Garage Group of Herts
  • Just one owner from new, as denoted by the “0 previous keepers” registration document
  • Resides on the original D31 0R0 number plate, however it did previously wear the private registration BAB 5B
  • Original confirmation delivery note present from initial purchase
  • Accompanied by Mercedes book pack with several manuals and pieces of operating literature
  • Mercedes service book also present, with regular stamped services up until 1997 when the car was put into storage
  • Majority of services appear to have been performed by Mercedes main dealers, predominantly the original supplying dealership
  • Recently taken back out of storage and put back on the road with a fresh MOT
  • MOT valid with no advisories until May 2024
  • Vast collection of previous MOT certificates
  • V5 registration document is present with the vehicle

The Interior

  • Good quality cream upholstery throughout
  • Blaupunkt radio cassette player
  • Nicely preserved, largely original example

With marketing more directed towards the world of sports tourers as opposed to an out and out sports car, the SL would naturally have to come from the factory with a high quality, luxurious interior space. Comfortable, stylish and well appointed would of course be firm requirements, all of which the Mercedes engineers executed to perfection. There's no way around it, the cabin of an R107 is a lovely place to be. This particular cabin stands out predominantly because of its supple cream upholstery; it’s quintessentially 1980s and presents in well preserved highly original form.

Quality cream leather drapes its way across the majority of the surfaces within the cabin, the seating, front and rear have been trimmed to an incredibly high quality and all present as such, with just a gentle, honest patina in places. The same can of course be said for the two excellent matching leather door panels and the stylish and subtle door furniture that sits within them.

A suave two tone black and cream leather dash panel takes precedence at the front of the cabin boasting the iconic triple gauge setup in the centre along with a brilliant central wood finish insert, all of which is in fine form and lacks the often found fading or harsh UV damage accustomed to these classic dashboards. A period correct Blaupunkt radio cassette player takes pride of place in the centre of the car, and along with the other interior switchgear and controls, including the factory fitted electric front windows, are all understood to be working well, although one of the knobs is missing from the radio at present.

High quality plush cream carpeting with protective Mercedes Benz mats drapes its way across the cabin floor and eventually works its way into the well sized boot area. Here we find a full size spare wheel which resides under the boot floor and a factory Mercedes first aid kit and tool wrap sit in here as well. For added safety, a fire extinguisher has been mounted by the front passenger seat of the car.

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The Exterior

  • Signal red factory colour scheme
  • Removable colour matched hardtop
  • Retractable soft top roof

Straight lines, sculpted bumpers and just the right amount of overhang. There's no getting away from it, the R107 is a very smart looking car. Perhaps none more so than in the bold and rare factory Signal Red paint scheme we find this car to be sat in. It's a great example of the model, that with some light areas of blemishing, has good scope for improvement, but is entirely presentable and usable in its current order.

The Signal Red paint work is in good order throughout, exhibiting some light signs of blemishing to the finish and marking commensurate with age. There are some small patches of scabbing throughout but overall the paint is of a good clean quality. External chrome trim is of a good nature throughout, presenting with a good shine and just some light pitting to the finish in places. Badging on the car is of a similar standard.

Of course the important part of any SL comes in the form of the roof. This particular example benefits firstly from a colour matched signal red removable hard top roof, in good clean order it can be unlatched and removed via the use of the accompanying Mercedes tool. For those who prefer a soft top look for their R107, the car comes still installed with its contrasting black soft top roof, which is of a great quality and is still in good functioning form, opening, closing and latching with ease.

At ground level sit four good quality silver 15” Mercedes alloy wheels. A fifth full size spare resides under the boot floor in case of emergency.

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The Mechanics

  • Desirable factory V8 auto
  • Just over 54 thousand miles indicated
  • Well presented from an aesthetic perspective
As denoted by the 420SL badging on the rear tailgate, this particular SL is a factory V8 model. Often favoured by collectors for their higher capacity, smoothness and general performance versus their six cylinder counterparts, Mercedes V8s of the era come highly revered and the 4.2 litre unit found in the 420SL is certainly no exception to this, often seen to be one of the best models in the SL range.

With mileage indicated at just over 54 thousand, the engine and drivetrain on this particular example look to be in excellent shape having clearly worn their miles well. The car naturally fires into life quickly and comfortably and in no time settles into a comfortable idle. On the road the 420 is reported to provide a great overall driving experience, with good power delivery from the 4.2 litre unit and smooth gear changes from the accompanying factory automatic gearbox. There is a slight blow to be heard from the exhaust however there is nothing else noted in the way of mechanical flawing.

Inspection of the underside shows what appears to be a clean and solid example of an R107, however it should be noted that there are some notable areas of blemishing towards the front of the outer sill sections on both sides of the car.

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The ultimate, usable collectors Mercedes? The 420SL certainly makes a great case to fill that role.

With just over 54 thousand miles indicated and perhaps most impressively, one owner from new. This 1987 model is a great, honest example of the revered model from the golden era of Mercedes. With demand on what seems to be an all time high, now may be the time to snap up a wonderful example of what is possibly one of the most significant Mercedes Benz models ever made.

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1987
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model SL Class 420 SL
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 54,146 Miles
  • Engine size 4196
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Ware
  • Location Hertfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
29 bids
  • Cl•••• £24,750 21/09/23
  • TO•••• £24,500 21/09/23
  • TO•••• £24,250 21/09/23
  • Cl•••• £24,000 21/09/23
  • TO•••• £23,750 21/09/23
  • Cl•••• £23,500 21/09/23
  • Cl•••• £23,250 21/09/23
  • TO•••• £23,000 21/09/23
  • TO•••• £22,750 21/09/23
  • R1•••• £22,500 21/09/23

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