I've always wanted to buy an SL and don't particularly care about the
styling differences between the SL models. Can someone tell me which model
(560SL, 380SL etc.) is best overall in terms of lowest maintanance?
The W107 4.5L V-8s have solid engines - They seldom need major overhauls.
The only engine problem I heard of, was with the 380SLs - Timing chain
The early cars (72,73) don't have the complexity of pollution controls, so
have better power than those built in the later 70's. There are some years
(76,77?) when the catalytic converter was located in the engine compartment
and caused problems.
The earlier SL,s (230/250/280) are good cars, but it's hard to find a good
one at a reasonable price. They go for higher prices than the car itself
justifies. A lot of W107,s were built so they are more plentiful and go for
reasonable prices. Some have been misused, so be careful if price is too
low. I don't know much about the more modern SL,s.
There was an excellent article on the W107 series printed in the March
1994 edition of Road & Track magazine. Maintenance issues are discussed.
You can find a reprint of the article here:
'78 450 SL - 214K miles
From the article mentioned in the previous two posts:
Because it represents the pinnacle of the car's development, Olsin places
the 560SL at the top of his SL list. Of course, as relative youngsters, they
also command the highest prices.
Next in line come the models that generally cost the least: The earliest V-8
SLs, the 1972-1973 models. Horsepower steadily declined in subsequent years,
reaching a low with the 380SL. Moreover, these earliest car don't have
catalytic converters to worry about, and they have the esthetic advantage of
smaller European bumpers. TYPICAL ASKING PRICES*
Third on Olson's list are the 1979-1980 450SLs, which represent the pinnacle
of development for the trusty 4.5-liter cars. All the other years would come
next, except for the 1981-1983 380SLs with their cursed single-row timing
chains. These 380SLs would be his last choice among the 1972-1989 SL
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