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Stock #:


1981 Mercedes-Benz 380SL



or give us a call at (817) 764-8000

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1981 Mercedes-Benz




Engine Size
3.8L V8
3 Speed Automatic
70,480 (Actual)
Fort Worth
Questions? Send A Message

or give us a call at (817) 764-8000

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We continue to believe that the R107 Mercedes-Benz SL models are one of the best low-cost ways to own a cool old car. They have all the virtues, including a top that goes down, V8 power, and bulletproof reliability, as well as the international reputation for being an all-star. This 1981 380SL is a great example that's been well-maintained, and proves that there's still nothing like the three-pointed star for showing up big.

Metallic brown was high fashion in 1981 and like many fashion trends, it's back in style today. These cars were outrageously expensive when they were new and it shows, because even more than 30 years later, the finish shines up beautifully, the gaps are exacting, and the way it feels still hasn't been matched by modern convertibles costing three times as much. This is a small car, so it feels personal and sporting, but still substantial, a testament to the quality materials that went into the construction of each one. And despite a production run of more than 16 years, styling didn't change much so there's really no way to tell an old one from a newer one aside from badges. This one has accessory chrome fender guards that add a bit of sparkle to the otherwise conservative styling, as well as a contrasting pinstripe that's been there from the beginning.

The tan leather interior is a nice upgrade from the usual MB-TEX vinyl and offers first-class accommodations for two. This car makes even a trip to the grocery store feel glamorous and if there's a better way to get from point A to point B, I don't know what it might be. These cars came loaded witih every known accessory at the time, including automatic climate control, power windows, cruise control, and a Becker AM/FM/cassette stereo with a power antenna. Showing minimal wear suggests that this car has always been extremely well-maintained, and with protective mats on the carpets, everything that should be worn out is still in fine shape. Even though it looks like there are rear seats, unless you're hauling 3-year-olds this is strictly a 2-seater. The matching canvas convertible top is typically enough for most SL drivers, but if you intend to use it year-round, there's a standard hardtop included as well. And you simply haven't seen a trunk trimmed as well as in this car, with matching plush carpets that are nicer than in most modern cars.

The 3.8 liter V8 engine remains bubbly, smooth, and torquey, capable of slogging through rush hour traffic or hustling down your favorite country road equally well. Throttle response is intentionally syrupy and the controls feel well-insulated, but once you get this SL up to speed, you'll find that everything is perfectly weighted for effortless high-speed motoring. The engine has been properly maintained, which is critical in any vintage SL because putting a bad one right can be expensive. It starts easily, idles properly from the start, and the 3-speed automatic transmission shifts almost imperceptibly. The all-independent suspension is skewed towards comfort more than sport, but doesn't mind when you want to pick up the pace, and the powerful 4-wheel discs are always there for you. The later chrome 560 wheels look great and carry 225/55/16 radials that are a big upgrade over the original 14s.

These are simply fantastic cars to own and nobody really realizes how affordable they are. There are plenty that are cheaper, but just bear in mind that there's no more expensive car to own than a cheap SL. Call today!

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  • Air Conditioning
  • AM/FM Radio
  • Cassette Player
  • CD Changer
  • Cruise Control
  • Defrost
  • Four Wheel Disc Brakes
  • Front Disc Brakes
  • Heat
  • Leather Seats
  • Manual Convertible Top
  • Numbers Matching
  • Power Brakes
  • Power Locks
  • Power Steering
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defogger
  • Removable Hard Top
  • Seatbelts (Front)
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  • Owner's Manual
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