West Coast Classics are proud to present an absolutely exceptional example of this extraordinarily rare and ultra low production 1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SL roadster with all original paint and interior and only 20K original miles; a one year only import into the US with the attractive European small chrome bumpers before the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration enforced bumper regulations incorporating stronger energy absorbing bumpers without regard to aesthetics for safety reasons. Introduced in 1972, this particular example is an early US specification car and is thus equipped with the significantly more attractive small chrome bumpers that were fitted to all European cars. It is also fitted with the considerably peppier 3.5L high compression engine making over 40hp more than the later 450SL version (200hp VS 160hp) !
Sold new at 'Mid Hudson Chevrolet' of Poughkeepsie, NY on 6/27/1972 to it's original and reportedly extremely fastidious German gentleman owner with all original handbooks, service warranty manual, maintenance booklet, 'Becker Europa' radio manual, factory tools, safety road flares, shop manual, hardtop stand and original 'New Car Pre-Delivery Inspection' certificate dated 6/26/1972 still available and always primarily serviced at Mercedes specialists and dealers since new with every indication showing that this car was always well maintained and serviced on schedule. Initially serviced and maintained at 'Mid Hudson' by it's original German owner until it was later taken from his NY home to his second home in Sarasota, Florida with where it was then always primarily maintained at 'Mercedes-Benz of Sarasota, Florida. He owned the car from new for some 43 years until 2015 when it was acquired by the local 'Sarasota Classic Car Museum' where it was then displayed for 3 years before being acquired by a prominent collector in late 2018 who kept the car in a climate controlled facility as part of his collection until we recently acquired the car.
The car's original factory options included:
Central Locking Right Outside Mirror Europa AM/FM Radio Air Conditoning Electric Front Windows Tinted Glass Black Soft Top Polish Kit Floor Mats Padded Leather Dashboard Padded Steering Wheel Three Speed Automatic Transmission 3.5L 200HP V8 engine
The factory original 'Signal Red' (color code 568) paint is in extraordinarily fine condition and still reflects like glass. The original 'Black' color interior is also in gorgeous shape with no signs of wear. The car has it's original factory matching German canvas 'Black' soft top and a 'Black' hardtop which is also in pristine condition.
The car drives exactly like such a well maintained and serviced Mercedes should and must be seen and driven to be truly appreciated. The engine is extremely strong with no noticeable oil leaks, the transmission shifts smoothly through the gears and the temperature always remains cool.
In 1972 Mercedes-Benz first offered the new R107 series SL model in the US. It would go on to be the longest production run of the SL series until 1990. The 350SL first entered production in Europe in 1970 with a 3.5L engine and first was imported to the US in 1972 as the 350SL in very low numbers until late 1972. Whilst the previous W113 6 cylinder 'Pagoda' SL models were certainly beloved and collected, this new R107 marked a significant advancement in both styling and sophistication, being at once longer and more imposing, bigger, more luxurious and with the new low compression V8 engine matched to a robust steel frame, making it at once more planted to the road with a heavier rock steady stance with superb power and acceleration to match for sustained high speed driving with a top speed of over 120mph.
Without doubt, this is one of the finest classically beautiful roadster designs built by Mercedes-Benz, probably the last classically beautiful convertible series they built and now becoming more desirable and collectible than ever before - certainly you will look long and hard to find a finer head-turning extraordinarily rare and low production 1972 350SL example with such low original miles of this only year model available with the attractive European chrome bumpers anywhere else!