In 1971, Mercedes-Benz introduced the all-new 350SL as the replacement for its beloved 280SL, with the design referred to internally as Type R107. Design of the new car was executed by Bruno Sacco, who was also responsible for the design work on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedans of the 1970s. Somewhat larger and more rounded in its overall proportions than its predecessor, the resulting 350SL incorporated steel rather than the aluminum body panels of the 280SL, along with a more luxuriously trimmed interior.
A 3.5-liter V8 engine powered European-specification 350SLs, while the majority of production was destined for the all-important North American market, where the cars utilized a larger 4.5-liter V8. The American-delivered cars were equipped with larger, rubberized DOT-compliant bumpers and quad headlamps. Many were also fitted with a three-speed automatic transmission. On either side of the Atlantic, the new SL was faster than ever before and provided more predictable handling, thanks to their revised rear swing-axles, which were altered to function as semi-trailing arms. As expected, the 350SL was constantly refined and updated, remaining in production for nearly 20 years in five variants, culminating in the 560SL of 1989.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in July of 2010 at the Shotwell Gustafson Pavilion at Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester, Michigan.
190 bhp, 4.5-liter V8 engine with Bosch fuel injection, three-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel independent suspension with wishbones and coil springs front, semi-trailing arms and coil springs rear, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 96.9"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel