Yes, you are able to import the second-hand 500SL to the USA ONLY if the
model year is 1980 or older. Otherwise, you will have to carry out the
homologation work to meet the US regulations for its build year. Only
registered importers are legally allowed to carry out the homologation
work and complicance process. Since R107 model was built from 1971 to
1989, it is very possible to purchase the late model 500SL and do the
VIN swap with older SL as to circumvent the regulations. People do that
all the time with Mini and Citroen 2CV.
I don't believe Mercedes-Benz has ever officially offered the manual
gearbox with V8 motors. I have seen a few examples of Mercedes-Benz cars
with both V8 motors and manual gearboxes which were done by the tuners
such as Brabus, Renntech, and like.
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