1981 Mercedes 500sl (is it rare) - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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1981 Mercedes 500sl (is it rare)

Recently purchased a 1981 500sl. can someone tell me what size engine is in this car? When calling the part store for spark plugs they tell me Mercedes did not make a 500sl in 1981. Looking to get as much info on this car as possible. thanks in advance..

1981 Mercedes 500sl (is it rare)-100_2021.jpg
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 08:31 AM
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Why are you posting this in the 4 sale section ? Most likely it has a 5.0 v8 motor and is a grey market car. Post this in the W107 section you may get more answers.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 09:01 AM
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You have a 5.0 liter V8, named the M117 engine. Since it wasn't sold in the US, for engine stuff use a 1981-1985 500SEL, and for body stuff use a 1981 380SL. It's all the same. If you "want as much info as possible", start with reading posts in the R107 forum. Search out "500SL" in there and just start reading.

It's an uncommon car for the US, but I wouldn't say it was rare (or valuable from a rarity standpoint).

- Brian



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1958 BMW Isetta 600
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 09:46 AM
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It may not even be 500SL. The chassis number (VIN) will tell. As suggested. Ask here. R/C107 SL/SLC Class - Benzworld.org - Mercedes-Benz Discussion Forum
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 09:52 AM
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I'm not an expert, but at first glance those bumpers look to be US-market, so it would NOT be a grey market car. The headlights were probably changed to Euro standard though.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 11:19 AM
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Grey Market Practices

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcDavidMiller View Post
I'm not an expert, but at first glance those bumpers look to be US-market, so it would NOT be a grey market car. The headlights were probably changed to Euro standard though.
From what I've Read, (not actually experienced), is that Grey market cars were not converted all in the same way, including identical types at different import centers. By law they probably should have all gotten the same treatment, but I've seen posts where some grey market cars got to keep their bumpers, who knows what a significant "tip" will get ya?

Anyway, I agree with Rowdie, the cars appearance isn't enough to go on, as the bumpers and headlights are easily swapped out if you have the parts, and an import center that is certifying USA DOT safety standards are supposed to put USA bumpers on it anyway.

If this SL truly came from the factory with a 500 engine, (VIN check), then it is a grey market car, no matter what bumpers or head lights are currently mounted. I understand that the 500SL's were never sold state-side.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 12:31 PM
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All that would be correct. Run VIN; it wouldn't be first time someone swapped a 380 badge for a 500.

- Brian



1989 500SEL ECE
1966 Mercedes 250SE Cabriolet
1958 BMW Isetta 600
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 01:42 PM
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Heres a hint, don't order your parts from auto zone......
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 10:02 AM
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Looks like an slc to me...

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firewater View Post
Looks like an slc to me...
It's an SL. Chrome strips on the hard top.
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