Low Mileage Treasure:

1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SL
R107 Roadster!

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Once in a blue moon , we encounter a car that qualifies as a keeper. One that is a rare and desirable model. One that has always been treasured and lovingly cared for. One featuring a very low mileage. One that comes in a desirable color combination.
Finally, one that has spent virtually all its life in Southern California's beneficial climate, miraculously defying the ravages of time.



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Here now is such a car, our 1983 Mercedes Benz 500SL two-top roadster!

One of just 1,563 500SLs made in 1983, the car was first registered on July 28, 1983 in Munich, Germany, to a well-known dentist. Just six months later, it was acquired by a couple from Seal Beach, Calif. and exported to the U.S.
Interestingly, the odometer was federalized while still in Germany, a certificate of which -- featuring a photo showing 7,801 miles -- is included with the documentation, besides facsimiles of the German Kraftfahrzeugbrief (title) and the EPA/DOT certification papers.

Apart from the neat ring binder containing the aforementioned importation documents and several service records, the car comes with the original clear vinyl pouch containing its full set of books, including two owner's manuals, the original German one and an English one, the German Wartungsheft (Maintenance book), as well as various booklets pertaining to spare keys, alarm and stereo systems. Also present are the hang tags containing the HVAC operation and running-in instructions.
Rarely seen is the Becker/Hirschmann cassette tape head and antenna cleaning set.
All four original keys as well as both top unlatching tools are shown, too.

Options, options. True to German custom at the time, all factory options are shown on a tag gracing the radiator support as well as on the "Kardex" option sheet accompanying the manuals.

The all-important environmental compliance stickers on the door jamb.

Heart of the 500SL -- and its most important component -- is hidden below the bonnet in the sanitary engine compartment: the aluminum alloy M 117 5.0-liter big block V-8 engine, similar to the one that powered the successful 450SLC 5.0 factory rally car.
With the 5.6-liter engine of the 560SL it has in common overhead camshafts, BOSCH fuel injection, and hydraulic valve lifters, however, the 500 revs considerably higher and is even more powerful than the latter.

With 240 lively horses under the hood, the 500SL is the fastest of all R107 SLs. It's a true factory Hot Rod! Yet, 500SL production comprises of less than 5% of all R107 models made.

There are no leaks from engine or transmission to bemoan. All suspension and steering components appear to be in fine condition.

With its bone stock stance, this fine example is a true representative of the classic 500SL. Note the factory-equipped, trunk-mounted spoiler, exclusive to the 500SL among all 107 roadsters, as the Stuttgart engineers enabled the 500 with a 140mph top speed.

Not only does the SL combine the best elements of a luxurious tourer and an exhilarating sports car, but its versatility is unrivalled, since all R107 models came factory-equipped with 2 tops. The hard top with its standard heated rear window affords 100% weather sealing and permits year-round driving, even in inclement weather conditions. It can be removed within minutes to transform the car into a true Roadster. Of course, the O.E.M black canvas folding convertible top is waiting to be raised in the event of a surprise rain shower.
Either way, with or without a top, this 500SL is a stunning looking car from any angle.

Even deep down in the nooks and crannies that usually escape attention, this car appears spotless.

500SL's coachwork looks fabulous, with perfect gaps and devoid of any scratches, bubbles or dents. Due to an unintended episode involving a garage door, the hood was replaced with a factory-sourced MB part and the car was subsequently treated to a $10,000.00 paint job using GLASURIT materials. The stunning -- and very desirable -- Anthracite Metallic (factory code 172 G) finish remains very smooth and glossy.

SL's classic BUNDT alloy wheels were just refinished and treated to a fresh set of Landgolden LG17 high-performance radial tires of the correct size, 205/70-R14.

Let's examine the attractive-looking cockpit closely.

The perfect, absolutely crack-free black dashboard proves beyond a doubt that this car has been garaged and covered all its life. Finding a black factory dash in virgin condition is almost a miracle, even more so in Southern California with its perennial sunshine.

Gauges look bright and they all work, even the clock. Odometer shows 47,677 actual miles -- that's less than 1,400 miles driven annually, on average!
Pristine Zebrano wood accents are a real treat. Equally well-preserved is the charcoal-color velour carpeting. No stains, no spots, no wear . . . this perfect interior is a dream come true!

As you can imagine, leather seats are supreme and foremost indicators of the care a car has received over the years, especially a convertible.
This 500SL's seats are all original and in outstanding condition, with just the right patina for the car's age and mileage.

Since the 1930s, Mercedes used the famous Italian manufacturer ROSER as supplier for its hides. Many connoisseurs view this leather as equal, if not superior, to CONNOLLY hides. It actually improves with age and care, just like antique furniture. 35-year-old leather chairs like these are truly irreplaceable.

A welcome -- and quite costly -- factory option: the leather-covered Kindersitz for the little ones, complete with a set of lap belts.

Bird's eye view of the pristine cockpit. Center console houses switches for the power windows, heated seats and passenger side power mirror.

Sexy rear of the 500SL, showing off its unmistakable spoiler. Old German license plate is for looks only, could be included with the sale.

Trunk is covered with the same high quality Mercedes Benz charcoal velour carpeting as the interior.

Tool set is complete, remaining in its correct Mercedes tool bag. This 500SL comes with Mercedes First Aid Kit and Warndreieck (Emergency triangle) as well.


The benevolent Southern California climate has been kind to this car. The undercarriage is absolutely rust free and there is not an ounce of non-factory undercoating anywhere. No rust repair whatsoever has ever been necessary.
To use an appropriate phrase: It's as good as it gets . . .

Exhaust is brand new, front to back, with a correct rear muffler to boot, courtesy of the fine fellows at KENZ's in Oxnard.

Thursday, August 30 was another perfect day here in our Ventura paradise, and we were looking forward to a little top-down motoring.

As expected, we were in for a real treat. Not only does this SL start, idle, run, drive, handle and stop with the best of 'em, it is such a powerful car that conquering every freeway onramp, executing every swift passing maneuver lets your heart jump with joy. It all happens so effortlessly!

Make no mistake, the 500SL is a real sports car!

City driving.

Cruising on the Freeway.

Returning home, we're all smiles. This 35-year-old performs better than most late models.

Almost 30 years after the last R107 left the assembly line in Untertuerkheim, Germany, the naturally occurring spiral of depreciation has definitely come to a halt and prices for clean, low mileage examples have begun their steady climb as more and more collectors realize the inherent value of the model and good ones become much harder to find.

The top-dog 500SLs with their smooth, European lines have been sought after for many years and will always be the most valuable examples.
If you've missed out until now, here's what could be your best chance to pick up a fantastic-looking, heirloom-quality, low-mileage specimen before prices hit the stratosphere.


RETURN TO THE SHOWROOM


You are most welcome to inspect this fine automobile at our location in Ventura, by appointment, or have someone inspect it for you.
Please, direct all inquiries to bill@californiaclassix.com or call us at 805-653-5551.