1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SL: German persistence

1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SL: German persistence

Engine V8Horsepower 200 hp (DIN) @ 5800rpmTorque 286 Nm / 210 lb-ft @ 4000 rpmEngine Location FrontDrive Type RWDF/R Breaks DiscTransmission 3-speed automatic or 4-speed manual

In 1972, the iconic “Pagoda” was replaced by the more substantial and “muscular” roadster, known as the 350SL. This new automobile set the brand’s design direction for the next two decades.

Source: Motorcar Studio

Compared to its predecessors, the 230/250/280SL, the 350SL had a distinct appearance. The new automobile also had power steering and brakes, along with well-executed controls, making the driving experience effortless. While the SL had not always been praised for its true sporting appeal, the high-end segment of the market demanded it. In 1972, the previous model was replaced by two automobiles in one body: the roadster with the designation “SL” (R107) and the “SLC” coupe (C107). The coupe was longer, measuring 254mm more, and had two additional full-fledged seats. The roadster came with a folding fabric awning and a removable hard top.

The origins

Source: Superclassics

The SL automobile series was a true gem on the roads, combining power and luxury in one sleek and safe design. Nicknamed the “pagoda” due to its hard top roof, protecting drivers from unpredictable weather, the roadsters offered an enjoyable and comfortable driving experience. Introduced in 1972, the fourth generation of the series was a real powerhouse. The design was bolder and more aggressive, with strict lines and a commanding front. This new model came with V8 engines as standard, solidifying its reputation as a formidable roadster. The fourth generation proved to be a huge success, selling over 300,000 automobiles and outpacing the sales of previous generations combined, with two-thirds of the roadsters sold in the USA. To meet safety standards, the roadster was equipped with massive bumpers that added 20 centimeters to its length, ensuring it could withstand low-speed collisions without any damage. The vehicle was packed with all the latest advancements of its time, including robust engines, optional automatic transmission, power steering, disc brakes on all wheels, and fully independent suspension. Owning a 350 SL model came with a hefty price tag of 31,400 marks (approximately $9,800), a hefty sum compared to the 5,000 marks cost of a standard Volkswagen Beetle. However, it was still a bit cheaper than its closest competitor, the BMW-3.0CS. Nevertheless, the SL series was a symbol of luxury and style, only affordable to the most distinguished gentlemen.

The 1972 model year

Source: Mad4Wheels

The Mercedes-Benz roadster debuted with the factory designation R107, replacing the model well-known as the “Pagoda” – so named for its characteristic roofline. On the 107th, as on the previous car, it was possible to install a hard cap roof. But the 1972 model had a new modification – a full-fledged coupe with a base increased by as much as 360 mm and a rear seat quite spacious for a two-door car. The new “SL-Klasse” differed from its predecessors drastically: first of all, the latest design with a pronounced aggressive touch, and then, the engines corresponding to the appearance – the new V8 engines, equipped with Bosch injectors D-Jetronik. This was made mainly for the US market, where such a luxury and power was simply doomed to success! These automobiles had two transmission options: 3-speed automatic or 4-speed manual.  Chic finishing materials and rich essential equipment made it a perfect fit for the respectable driver thriving for speed. The vehicle was available in 350SL 4.5 and 350SLC 4.5 modifications for the American market, receiving a new 4.5-liter V8. This engine accelerated to 100 km/h in 8.8 seconds, and the “maximum speed” reached 215 km/h. In addition, air conditioning became standard equipment for the “Americans.”

Did you know?

Source: Gurbey.com

The master of martial arts, legendary Bruce Lee, had a great sense of style and adored beautiful cars. No surprise, a Mercedes Benz 350 SL appeared in his garage. Even years later, it’s nice to see Mr. Lee posing with his iconic and beloved red 350 SL in Hong Kong in 1972.

Contact us if you have this or another classic car to sell.

1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SL: German persistence

Engine V8Horsepower 200 hp (DIN) @ 5800rpmTorque 286 Nm / 210 lb-ft @ 4000 rpmEngine Location FrontDrive Type RWDF/R Breaks DiscTransmission 3-speed automatic or 4-speed manual

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