The Mercedes-Benz R107 SL is a motoring icon and a hugely sought-after classic car. 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of its launch, and The London Classic Car Show will be honouring it at Syon Park later this month by displaying some incredibly rare and iconic models.
The Mercedes-Benz SL-class was first introduced in 1954 and was born from the mind of Max Hoffman, an Austrian-born luxury car importer based in the United States. He saw a market for a sporting car aimed at affluent performance enthusiasts. He passed his thoughts onto Mercedes-Benz and the rest, as they say, is history.
Why is it called the SL-class?
If you’re wondering what the SL stands for, it is said to be an abbreviation of Super-Leicht or Sport Leicht. However, whether it is ‘Super’ or, ‘Sport’ is still debated, and Mercedes-Benz didn’t help matters by using both terms over the years. A more definitive answer only came forth in 2017. Finally, a long-lost document was uncovered during a search of the company archives, and it clarified that the SL abbreviation stood for Super-Leicht.
About the Mercedes-Benz R107 SL
In 1971, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the R107 as a replacement for their W113 (Pagoda top) model, launched eight years earlier. The production of the R107 ran for 18 years, which was considerably longer than first envisaged and shows how popular the car was on both sides of the pond.
The R107 was an open two-seater with a fully retractable fabric top plus a removable hardtop and combined V8 performance and elegant luxury. In total, 237,287 open-top two-seaters rolled off production lines, with the US market being one of the major components in its success. Part of the success of the R107 in the United States was down to a lack of competition in its sector. It is said that for seven years, it had no direct competition.
What to expect at the London Classic Car Show
Incredibly, 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the R107, and towards the end of this month, motoring fans will get the chance to get up close to some fantastic SL’s at the London Classic Car Show that takes place at Syon Park from the 25th to 27th June.
The main standard-bearers for the SL at this year’s show will be the SLSHOP. They will be putting together a special display of SL models, including an early R107 350SL from 1972 wrapped in a quirky seventies geometric-style colour scheme.
“The London Classic Car Show couldn’t come at a better time for us as a business,” enthused Sam Bailey, Managing Director of SLSHOP. “We’re celebrating 50 years of the beloved R107 SL, and I’m also delighted to now lead a team of 50 employees dedicated to classic Mercedes-Benz owners. The show is an opportunity for us to get together, socialise and share our passion for classic cars once again.”
The premium SL is one of many automotive landmarks being honoured with standout displays at The London Classic Car Show. Other celebrations include 100 years of both the Bugatti Brescia and Lancia Lambda, 60 years of the E-type and 50 years of the BMW 2002 Tii.
Adult admission to the show is priced at £25 when purchased in advance. The tickets allow access to more than 500 classic cars, the talks theatre, all the displays and Syon House’s Lime Avenue, where many of the standout cars at the show will be readying themselves for a live parade in the summer sun.
To ensure a safe environment at the show, the capacity will be limited, and any remaining tickets will be available from £30 at the gate. A limited number of gold-standard Premium Experience Tickets are also on offer for those wanting the ultimate VIP day out. Full details of this can be found on the show website.
For full details on what visitors can expect to see at this year’s London Classic Car Show, along with ticket buying options, please visit the theclassiccarshowuk.com website.
To add some reassurance for all ticket buyers, full refunds (excluding booking and transaction fees) will still be offered should the show be cancelled as a result of Covid-19.
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