A brand new 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SL was purchased at the Euromotors dealership in Bethesda, Maryland 28 years ago. The purchase price for the two-seat sports car with two tops was $53,700.
The luxury car apparently was well treated and eventually was sold to the second owner who continued the correct maintenance regimen.
In the spring of 2002, when the car was 15 years ago, the second owner advertised the car for sale. The odometer at the time had counted only about 47,000 miles.
Reginald Edge was living in Newport News, Virginia when the advertisement for the Mercedes-Benz caught his attention. If the car was in decent condition, he thought, it would be a bargain at the asking price.
Edge drove across the state to Manassas on the next Saturday to give the Mercedes-Benz a thorough once over. He discovered that the car was in amazingly pristine condition. The owner agreed to hold the car for a week at which time Edge would return with the cash to close the deal and would become the third owner.
Until 2006 Edge babied his Mercedes-Benz driving it only on weekends when the weather was good. At that time Edge was reassigned out of state and his father-in-law graciously agreed to store the car in his garage.
Edge returned in 2009 to reclaim his car. As with any car that has sat idle for a time this car needed a bit of attention.
The clear coat finish on the gray exterior had weathered so Edge had his car repainted in the original color. The blue leather upholstery and the blue carpeting were also replaced. According to Edge the rest of the car remains in original condition.
At the center of the steering wheel is a baffle and cushioned pad for safety. For that same reason all of the switches and knobs are recessed into the padded dashboard. Adding to the safety aspect is the fuel tank located above the rear axle.
The 170-mile-per-hour speedometer is adjacent to the 7,000-revolution-per-minute tachometer with a red line of 6,000 in the instrument panel in front of the driver.
Between the bucket seats is the console with the gear selector lever controlling the automatic transmission.
From front to rear the positions of the gears are Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, Third, Second and First.
“It cruises really well,” Edge reports. The 3,439-pound car rolls on 15-inch tires that are “V” speed rated.
A manually operated convertible soft top is stowed under a hinged metal cover behind the cockpit. A weatherproof hardtop can be installed with a slight effort.
Power assisted features on the Mercedes-Benz include brakes, steering, antenna, windows and door locks.
The third brake light is mounted atop the trunk lid since it would be hidden if it were located in the rear window on the hard top that could be removed.
Edge abides by the owner's manual suggestion and burns only premium grade gasoline in his 5.6-liter V-8 engine.
The fuel tank capacity is 22 gallons. The engine temperature at any speed is controlled by the 7.1 quarts of coolant.
Between 1971 and 1989 a total of 237,187 Mercedes-Benz models such as the one Edge owns were manufactured.
The odometer currently has recorded 56,000 miles and the 560SL remains as handsomely elegant appearing as when it was new.