The Auburn Auction

Lot 52
1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SL

Selling on Saturday Evening

1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SL

CHASSIS NO: 10704412004752

• The first of the renowned ‘R107’ series SL models
• Previous 43 years of sole ownership
• Outstanding, highly original condition
• Sparingly driven with under 21,000 original miles
• Accompanied by impressive documentation and manuals
• Offered complete with hard top, full tool kit, road flares

4,520cc SOHC V-8 engine, Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection, 230 HP at 5,100 RPM, three-speed automatic transmission, independent coil-spring front suspension with double wishbones and stabilizer bar, independent rear suspension with swing axles, coil springs and stabilizer bar, power-assisted four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes; wheelbase: 96.9”

In 1972, Mercedes-Benz first offered the new R107-series SL model in America. It would go on to enjoy the longest production run of the SL series, until its ultimate replacement by the R129-Series cars in 1990. The 350SL first entered production in Europe in 1970 with a 3.5-litre engine. In America, the 1972 ‘350SL’ moniker was a bit misleading, as all U.S.-specification cars came equipped with 4.5-litre engines. Supposedly, this was purposefully done to “fool” the performance-hungry German market because they weren’t offered the larger engine. Beginning in October 1972, 1973 model-year cars destined for the U.S. market were rebadged more appropriately as the ‘450SL’.

While the previous-generation W113 “Pagoda” SL models were certainly beloved, the new R107 marked a major leap forward in sophistication, being at once longer, more luxurious, and heavier than its predecessor. It was aimed squarely at the American personal luxury-car market and scored a direct hit. The new series, with a low-compression V-8 and robust steel construction, felt more planted to the road and rock-steady, yet the V-8 engine provided ample power for quick acceleration and sustained high-speed driving. The automatic transmission became standard equipment, as did numerous welcome luxury features. A removable hard top was optional. With an original base sticker price of $10,540, more than twice the average price of a U.S. car in 1972, the new Mercedes-Benz 450SL drew an exclusive clientele, and appeared regularly on movies of the era and popular TV, shows, including “The Six Million Dollar Man,” with Lee Majors in the title role.

From the model’s first year of importation into the United States, the 1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SL offered here is a stellar original car with incredibly low mileage. Finished in red over black upholstery and accompanied by a black hard top, it is stock in specification and retains the complete factory-issued tool roll retaining the original safety road flares. The original owner, a fastidious German gentleman, retained the SL for 43 years and through it all, he kept complete service records and the original manuals. For high-class top down motoring, this is an excellent example that stands ready for many miles of enjoyment.

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