Mercedes-Benz 560 SL Cabriolet (1987). Top class for Gert-Jan. 

Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet 560 SL (1987)

100 percent original with a 5,6 liter (V8) power source, this stunningly beautiful Mercedes-Benz 560 SL Cabriolet drives its summer rides in Friesland. The car is the first owner and was registered on the Dutch license plate in 2019, with Gert-Jan becoming the first Dutch owner of this 34-year-old young timer. Gert-Jan is an enthusiastic jovial man with a passion for sporty young and old-timers.

By: Dirk de Jong

This Mercedes-Benz 560 SL Cabriolet was only available on the American, Australian and Japanese markets in this version. The immaculate car now stands out for its sparkling paint and the special American version of the bumpers. In addition to the hardtop, there is also a fabric convertible top that can be lowered if you want to enjoy nature in a pleasant way. So the unrestricted view all around, enjoy the sun, and the sounds of the birds and the smells of nature.

Technically awakened

Gert-Jan: “In addition to my daily utility car, I have always been a fan of sporty models, I previously drove a great Briton, a 1974 MG MGB convertible. When the Mercedes arrived in the Netherlands, I only woke him up technically. It was in excellent condition and perfectly maintained, there was nothing more to improve. The First Aid Kit had never had a band-aid removed, there was even a box of cassettes with hits from the 80s left behind. The Mercedes-Benz 560 SL Cabriolet exudes class and I am happy that it is exactly the way it came off the production line. ”

Graceful appearance

It is not only expressions of praise that Gert-Jan receives. Other enthusiasts advise him to mount European bumpers, but he will not follow that advice. He just has to stay original. His response: “I sometimes give myself advice that makes it difficult for me to follow them. Let alone follow up on those of others. It remains my hobby to keep the Mercedes-Benz 560 SL Cabriolet in its original competition condition. I try to convey that passion to other enthusiasts. ”


The class of the Mercedes is not only expressed by the make, but also by the condition of the car. The car should be shiny and clean, so the cleaning cloth is always on hand to maximize the appeal. Here again it appears that there is something between enthusiasts and their cars. The relationship is not rational, but emotional. Or would it be some kind of instinct after all?

Also read:
- Mercedes-Benz W123
- Mercedes 560 SEC Carat Duchatelet AMG
- Mercedes-Benz V8
- Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 Pininfarina. UNIQUE!
- So the Mercedes SL class


Leave a Reply
  1. I personally like the European version more beautiful, but the owner should know that himself and there is hardly a good R107 for sale that has never left the continent. It is not only the bumpers and headlights, you can also recognize the American by the speedometer and a number of inscriptions.

    It doesn't detract from the great design, of course, nor does it detract from the technology. This V8 is virtually indestructible provided you renew the timing chain in time and keep an eye on the oil lines under the valve covers, those pipes are inserted with rings and that can come loose after a few decades. Strangely enough, you can still drive relatively economically with this. Provided you control your right foot and limit yourself to long highway rides, 1: 8 is possible. That does not sound economical, but when you consider that an old Beetle is also coming there, or a Taunus 26m, or an Opel Commodore 2800 GS, then it is actually not too bad.

    In terms of engine character, there is also very little against this car and it steers like a train. Take a tour of Europe with this and you get out just as fresh and fruity as anyone else after a visit to the Aldi.

  2. In the 90s I also imported an American 380 sl 8 cyl myself from the USA. There, in Texas, the usefulness is combined with the pleasant. A tour in Texas and the North of Mexico and bought the car there and put it on transport to Antwerp. Beautiful car with 80.000 miles on the odometer. But not long after the engine blown up. Then my garage plugged in another European engine (450 8 cyl). When opening the American engine, the Mercedes specialist noticed that the engine only had a single timing chain, while here the engines all had a double timing chain.
    So not too wild with it.

      • According to my Mercedes specialist at the time, the European versions had a double distribution chain.

      • The first 380 and 500 blocks had the bad single chain, from a certain engine number in '83 the double chain came, also with the 560 engine, you never have to replace them unless they have run half a million. But often and certainly in the usa the counters are often put on a summer position and you get those broken chains

  3. Does that 3rd brake light on the back (what a silly lump, by the way) now lead a life of its own, since 1 light burns pleasantly solitary?

  4. USA bumpers were delivered like this, so indeed just leave it like that…. I do see a lot of R107 drivers here in California who have exchanged their DOT headlights for the original Euro viewers. Be careful with the cables and fittings as the original stuff cannot handle the higher wattage and woe to your bones if the whole thing starts to melt. Had upgraded the fittings in my US spec W201 to include stronger lights (I kept the original DOT lights as it also had headlamp wipers on it.

  5. The American bumpers give this car a little more appearance and allure. They are also real bumpers with integrated shock absorbers, in contrast to the European ones, which are more decorative moldings and hardly offer any protection. I have had a W15 with the same bumpers for 115 years. Parking backwards against a wall without paying attention until it gave a thump, because of the shock absorbers in the bumpers this was also possible without damage,
    Tasty Keep original is the better choice and this export model simply includes the export bumpers. These models are no longer as common as 10 years ago.

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