SL generations - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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SL generations

Looking over some pics of the SL-Class from the 1950's to the present. I have to say in terms of design, the second generation still looks the best to me. I really love the new ones as well, but for different reasons. This auto in particular has a style that seems to change rather drastically over the years.


Which generation of the Mercedes Benz SL appeals to you the most aesthetically?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 02:28 PM
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If we forget about the car that started it all - the 300sl - it would be third generation the 107's . Of course owning one may make me somewhat biased. I never really warmed up to the previous model - to me it looked too much like a two seater convertible sedan.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 06:22 PM
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Since I own an R129--fourth generation--I'm partial to them. They had a 12 year model run. The R107s are nice cars, but the Federal bumpers buggered up the looks, IMO. The classic 2nd gen (I don't know the chassis number) with the pagoda top is timeless as is the first gen. The R107 is my least favorite.

The new ones are "pretty" which is not really a compliment. Plus they are hideously complicated what with the top mechanism and the ABC suspension.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 06:29 PM
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I think there's near universal agreement that the R107 was a forgettable series, style wise.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 08:28 PM
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I'd have to go with the 300sl gull wing & roadster as #1. After that I like the 2nd gen roadsters.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 10:47 AM
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If beauty's more than skin deep, then it's the current model (R230) for sure.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
If beauty's more than skin deep, then it's the current model (R230) for sure.
I hear Jeremy Clarkson will be testing out the SL65 AMG Black Series this season, so I'm curious what he has to say about it too... I have yet to get behind the wheel of the new model, but hope to get around to it soon!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 04:53 PM
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The SL65 Black Series is a brute of a car, but it generally doesn't compare well to cars in its price and performance range. Mercedes has never made a true sports car (like Ferrari or Alfa). High performance touring roadsters are a strange "one size fits none" kind of car, and the SL has never had a place to call home. It's too expensive to compete with other touring roadsters (I consider the Mazda Miata to be one of those), and it's not fast or nimble enough to compete with true sports cars.

I'm not trying to pick a fight, I'm just expressing my own opinion which seems shared by a big group of automotive writers. I love my R129--it is fast enough to get the adrenalin flowing, it handles better than MRZ sedans (for the most part), it has the undeniable appeal of a roadster, it is very comfortable and luxurious on long trips and short ones, and it is--best of all--a Mercedes. I'm no longer interested in the spartan existence that entry-level sports cars offer, and I can't imagine spending the money for a Ferrari or other high-end open car.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DrJfrmLA View Post
Mercedes has never made a true sports car (like Ferrari or Alfa).
I'd say the SSK and the original 300SL would make the list as true sports cars of their day. But that's all history today. Especially the 300SL which went head to head with Ferrari factory racing.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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I'm no longer interested in the spartan existence that entry-level sports cars offer, and I can't imagine spending the money for a Ferrari or other high-end open car.
haha, good point.
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