Mercedes-Benz R107 and C107 were produced from 1971 through 1989, being the second longest single series ever produced by the automaker, after the G-Class. They were sold under the SL (R107) and SLC (C107) model names as the 280 SL, 280 SLC, 300 SL, 350SL, 350SLC, 380SL, 420SL, 450SL, 450SLC, 500SL and 560 SL.
The R107/SL was a two-seat car with a detachable roof. It replaced the W113 SL-Class in 1971 and was replaced by the R129 SL-Class in 1989. It was the only cabriolet Mercedes during its entire production.
The R107 and C107 took the chassis components of the midsize W114 model and mated them initially to the M116 and M117 V8 engines used in the W108, W109 and W111 series.
The 280, 380 and 500 SLC were discontinued in 1981 with the introduction of the W126 series 380 and 500 SEC coupes. A total of 62,888 SLCs had been manufactured over a ten-year period of which just 1,636 were the 450 SLC-5.0 and 1,133 were the 500 SLC. Both these models are sought by collectors today. With the exception of the SL65 AMG Black Series, the SLC remains the only fixed roof Mercedes-Benz coupe based on a roadster rather than a sedan.
Following the discontinuation of the SLC in September 1981, the 107 series continued initially as the 280, 380 and 500 SL. At this time, the V8 engines were re-tuned for greater efficiency, lost a few hp and consumed less fuel- this largely due to substantially higher (numerically lower) axle ratios that went from 3.27:1 to 2.47:1 for the 380 SL and from 2.72:1 to 2.27:1 for the 500 SL.
From September 1985 the 280 SL was replaced by a new 300 SL, and the 380 SL by a 420 SL; the 500 SL continued and a 560 SL was introduced for certain extra-European markets, notably the USA, Australia and Japan.
Also in 1985, the Bosch KE Jetronic was fitted. The KE Jetronic system varied from the earlier, all mechanical system by the introduction of a more modern engine management "computer", which controlled idle speed, fuel rate, and air/fuel mixture. The final car of the 18 years running 107 series was a 500 SL painted Signal red, built on August 4, 1989; it currently resides in the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart, Germany.
Length : cm (in): 439 (172.8)
Width : cm (in): 179 (70.5)
Height : cm (in): 130 (51.2)
Wheelbase : cm (in) : 246 (96.9)
Weight: kg (lb) : 1540 (3399)
Displacement : V8 4973 cc (304 cu in), front-mounted
Valve gear : 16
Fuel system : Bosch K-Jetronic injection
Gearbox : 4 speed, automatic
Driven wheels : rear-wheel drive
Maximum power : 242 bhp at 4750 rpm
Maximum torque : 408 Nm at 3750 rpm
Maximum speed : 235 km/h (146 mph)