- Written by webmin
As Lentinello noted the other day, the Veteran Motor Car Club of America now allows vehicles up through the 1986 model year to participate in its tours and judging. For our Class of 1986 series, that simply means that we have another metric to judge a car’s collectibility by – would you see yourself driving a candidate vehicle on a VMCCA tour, alongside the Duesenbergs and Chryslers and ’57 Chevrolets that are certain to turn up at those events?
Thus our first candidate to be held to that standard is the Mercedes-Benz 560SL, a new car for 1986, but one based on old bones. The R107 chassis that M-B based the 560SL on dated back to 1971, with the introduction of the 350SL. As many have written, the 560SL was literally the ultimate version of that chassis: the version with the largest engine (a 227hp 5.6L SOHC Bosch electronic fuel-injected V-8), and the final iteration, lasting through 1989, when M-B replaced it with the R129 chassis. However, the concurrent 240hp 500SL, unavailable in the United States, outpowered the 560SL thanks to a lack of emission equipment. As McCourt noted in a story on collectible cars from the Eighties in HSX #47, July 2009, “No two-seat convertible was more widely accepted in the finer circles or seen in more country club parking lots than the SL, and its legendary build quality and factory-backed spares program mean that most of them remain in service 20 years after production ceased.” That there is a website dedicated to that particular model says much about its collectibility status.
But we have two simple questions to answer before we induct the Mercedes-Benz 560SL into the Class of 1986. First, would you place it in your garage dedicated solely to vehicles from 1986? And second, would you take one on a VMCCA tour?