In 1980, Mercedes-Benz revamped its SL lineup of sporting luxury convertibles with the introduction of the 380SL. The 380 was a further development of the R107 chassis. Like its forebears the 380SL was a heady mix of V-8 power, refined luxury, and sporty underpinnings, and it was as a very popular model during its run in the U.S.
The 380SL, so-named for its 3.8-liter V-8, had a smaller engine than the 450SL and was consequently much lighter. The new engine was designed with emissions controls in mind while the 450SL’s mill was not, which meant that the two engines were relatively equal in terms of power (155 hp in the 380SL vs. 160 hp in the 450SL) despite the difference in their displacements. Performance was also similar for the two cars.
Outside of the engine, the 380SL also received a new four-speed automatic transmission, which further enhanced distance driving. Suspension, meanwhile, continued to be the same fully independent setup as in the earlier cars, and four-wheel disc braking remained standard.
The 380SL ended production in 1985, at which point it was replaced by the 560SL. Today the car’s values typically lag the earlier 450SL and the later 560SL, mainly because the 3.8-liter engine is slightly less powerful and had some early cam chain issues. The reality, however, is that most models have had their chain issues addressed, and the power difference between the 450SL and 380SL aren’t as dramatic as the price discrepancy would suggest. As such, the Mercedes-Benz 380SL is a fine choice as a collectible 1980s convertible.
This US example with US documents has been fitted with a 4-speed automatic transmission. The was imported to the Czech Republic in 2018. It comes after a service (oil, spark plugs, injection) with original service book, manual and documentation.
The car comes also with its original hardtop, only the window is cracked, but it can be bought quite cheaply for a little over 100 EUR. The car also new shock absorbers, pins and connectors and the geometry was also done.
The paint is original, as well as the Palomino leather interior. The car sits on 14" chrome Bundt wheels and has no rust. And has also a functional automatic air conditioning, ABS and cruise control.
|Engine||3.839 ccm, 157 PS, V8|
|Steering||Left Hand Drive|
|Layout||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Color - exterior||Ivory|
|Color - interior||Palomino leather|
|Miles/Kilometers shown||172.804 mls|
|Chassis / VIN||WDBBA45A8EA015540|
|Location - Country||Czech Rep.|
|Location - City||Hradec Kralove|
• 2-door convertible body type; • RWD (rear-wheel drive), automatic 4-speed gearbox; • gasoline (petrol) engine with displacement: 3839 cm3, advertised power: 115.5 kW / 155 hp / 157 PS (SAE net), torque: 266 Nm; • characteristic dimensions: outside length: 4630 mm, width: 1790 mm, wheelbase: 2460 mm; • reference weights: shipping weight 1590 kg, base curb weight: 1650 kg; • top speed: 185 km/h (115 mph); • accelerations: 0-60 mph 10.7 s; 0-100 km/h 11.3 s