Few other sixties convertibles have had enduring appeal of the SL Mercedes. Some how its styling seems timelessly elegant, undating. You don’t have to look at one of these cars very long to appreciate the excellence of the build quality. Swift and very comfortable, the SL was a sports car without the pain. This fact alone makes it something of a rare breed, both for cars in its time and for recently produced vehicles. Its hood was water tight, its well styled hard top as solid as a fixed roof when in position. It had a proper heater, an automatic gear box, the manual were optional and a soft, comfortable ride. Mercedes SL stood for ‘Super Light’ but all these SLs were heavy cars, built to last a long time. The body shape hardly changed at all during the production run. However, mechanically the car was gently massaged at regular intervals, just to keep it up to date with the little refinements that are always trickling through the automobile industry.
The original 230 SL became the 250 SL in 1966 with more torque, all around disc brakes and power steering as standard. Best of the lot was the 280 SL of the 1968 with a 170 bhp engine with seven main bearings. The top speed had risen from 120 mph to 127 mph, but surprisingly it is the earlier cars have a sportier feel. Given its all around quality and strength, the SL has a well deserved and enduring reputation for being the type of aspirational car typical of the best of Mercedes.