Mercedes has been producing their line of Super Leicht, or SL, grand tourers for quite some time, 1954 to be exact. In 1971, the R107 generation was introduced and has the distinction of being built for 18 years, making it the second longest production Benz behind only the G-class. Its predecessor, the Pagoda-roof W113 was such a success in North America that the automaker developed the new R107 with specialized engines, exterior design and emissions management systems focused on this market.
Looking back through period Mercedes marketing materials reveals that the R107 was one of the vehicles the German automaker used to drive home their reputation for precision engineering, reliability, and understated luxury. They note the “roof fits exactly into the steel frame” of the windshield and having expert employees whose sole job is to check door measurements for the “deep thud when closing”. It’s about “character instead of show” and “non-dazzle materials are better than visual opulence.” In other words, the SL lineup from this era is quintessential Mercedes-Benz.