Enthusiasts gather to celebrate iconic Mercedes-Benz 107’s golden jubilee
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Durban - It came to life 50 years, but its distinctive look, feel, and ride remain timeless and has become the object of desire for many discerning petrolheads around the world.
The 107 chassis designation in Mercedes-Benz’s SL and SLC series of cars, the unmistakable two-door non-bonded roadster with a short rear and open top, celebrates its golden jubilee this year.
A small group of 107 enthusiasts and owners gathered at the Mercedes-Benz Lifestyle Centre in Umhlanga to pay homage to the classic car that has ferried the likes of Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing) in the hit TV-series from yesteryear, Dallas.
Others who have gone gaga over the car that sold for R250 000 and above when it was first launched includes the British royal family, racing car driver Lewis Hamilton and pop stars, George Michael, Madonna, and more recently, Lady Gaga.
Avish Maharaj, chairman of the Mercedes-Benz Club of South Africa, who has a personal collection of eight 107 models, was instrumental in fuelling yesterday’s gathering in Umhlanga.
Maharaj said there was an ever-increasing demand for the iconic 107s. Therefore it continues to appreciate in value.
He said 107s can fetch as much as R800 000 in the marketplace and a 500SL version of the car once sold for R950 000 in South Africa.
Maharaj explained that the high cost of the SL range of cars, including the 107s, at the time of its manufacture kept their production numbers low.
He said the last of the 107 series of cars were produced in 1989. Those shopping for 107s consider the edition, engine, physical condition and chrome work etc.
“The cleaner, neater and more original cars fetch handsome prices.
“Another emotion for buyers is specific colours. Some can pay a premium for that right,” Maharaj noted.
He said his club was not involved in sales, but protecting and growing the heritage of the Mercedes-Benz brand.
Saran Naidoo, another 107 lover, has been eyeing them since 1985 and five years ago he managed to land his own, a 280SL by chance.
But he had to restore the car from scratch as the previous owner had it parked and covered for 15 years.
Within weeks of sourcing spares for his build from Germany, Naidoo’s 107 was on the road again.
Naidoo, who also owns other classic cars said the 107 was his “pride and joy”.
“It feels luxurious” and it still turns heads when he takes it for a ride every now and then.