1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SL

RM Sotheby's Arizona 2022
Thursday, 27 January
Sale Price
80000 - 100000
Est. Range
27 January 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Unrestored original
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
Chassis no. WDBBA48D0KA103225 5549-cc, 227-hp V-8. Automatic, Becker Mexico Grand Prix radio, climate control, folding armrest, rear spoiler delete. Comes with hardtop, tools and spare.

Evaluation: Final year R107 showing just 9247 miles, which doesn’t seem believable—because it presents like a car with even fewer. The engine bay and underbody look like they’ve barely seen any time on the road, and the interior looks nearly showroom fresh. 560SLs are often well cared for, but this is a time-warp survivor.

Bottom Line: For years in popular culture the R107 (1971-89) Mercedes SL was a status symbol, a rich and successful guy’s car. That has made them desirable for years since people, well, want to look rich and successful. As they’ve gotten properly collectible, though, the gap between the nicest SLs and the rougher ones has gotten wider and wider. This SL, fortunately, qualifies as probably one of the nicest ones in the country.

We’ve come to think of Bring a Trailer as the place to find impossibly low-mile modern cars selling for impossibly high prices, but consider this: the same 9k-mile 560SL sold on BaT only last July for $86,625. The market is moving fast but not THAT fast, so why the $59,000 leap in six months? Unclear, but the carnival atmosphere of the Arizona Auction Week likely didn’t hurt. No matter the reason, this exceptional 560SL now carries a world record price.

by Andrew Newton
2 February 2022
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
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