It it takes a lot to bring one of the most revered models in automotive history to the brink of extinction. Yet this generation of Mercedes SL’s got what it takes.
Despite having possessed neither quality in ages, the Mercedes Sportlich-Leicht has been a car for the ages, and, on certain occasions, even age-defining. The original 300SL was one of the first motor cars ever to be described as a classic and remains exactly that.
Its Pagoda (W113) progenitor still ranks among the most elegant vehicles of all time, establishing the concept of the European open top boulevardier. The indefatigable R107 SL acted as proof of life of the sophisticated European convertible from 1971 to 1989 and became a fashion statement almost a decade after its launch. The SL to eventually succeed it, dubbed R129, turned out to be both icon and swan song to the highest German product design values.
23 years later, the SL is still with us, but has lost any sense of relevance. The former benchmark has become an obscurity, which cannot Continue reading “AUTOpsy: Mercedes-Benz SL (R231)”