107 107’s across the harbour bridge

2021 was fifty years since the introduction of the R107 and C107 models.   The R107 would go on to be particularly long lived model, finally getting the axe in 1989.   Despite being obviously old by then, it was still selling well right through the 80s.

107 107's

As part of the celebrations for the model, the Mercedes Benz Club decided to attempt driving 107 107’s across the Harbor Bridge.   According to club officials, the 107 is the most popular model in the club.   That meant we may be in with a shot!  It was still going to be a big ask.   There were less than 3,000 107 models ever sold in Australia, broken down as follows:

  • 280SL (74-75): ?
  • 350SL (72-75): 311
  • 450SL (73-80): 395
  • 380SL (81-85): 549
  • 560SL (86-89): 255
  • 280SLC (74-75): ?
  • 350SLC (72-75): 273
  • 450SLC (73-80): 793

I don’t have numbers for official 280 imports, but since they were offered for such a short time, It can’t be too many.   In those years there were three models offered simultaneously, which would have depressed numbers of individual models.

For the R107s, the 300SL, 420SL and 500SL were never sold in Australia.   The 500SL was a common import during the 81-85 years when the 380 was the largest variety on sale.   The 300SL and 420SL are rare, although there was a 300SL on the day.    For the C107s, the 380SLC and 450SLC 5.0/500SLC were never sold in Australia, with the 450 5.0/500 never manufactured in right hand drive at all.   The private import market was pretty good, so I would imagine another couple of hundred came in that way.

The 350 models have not survived in big numbers in Australia, but the rest of the cars were well represented on the day.

The drive started in a parking lot at a boat ramp near the airport.   That would give the convoy a straight shot with no traffic lights onto the eastern distributor and then the bridge itself.   Keeping a convoy of 107 107’s together was not going to be easy – especially on a busy road like the Harbour Bridge.  Even with tight spacing that is still a 1.6 kilometer convoy.    This proved to be the case as there was a constant stream of gormless SUVs pushing to the line.

The weather in Sydney has been terrible these last two weeks and I was wondering what the attendance was going to be like.   The 107 crowd is particularly sensitive to rain.  Not only are a good proportion of them convertibles, but they will rust away in front of your eyes.   The rain held off and we had a pretty good turn out.   I didn’t make a count at the start, but at the end we had 47 107s.

The ending point was a park in lane cove where we had a really good line up of the cars.   Coincidently, I ended up next to two other 906G Silver Grey 450SLCs.   There was a prize that went to the only 300SL in attendance.  A particularly nice car in UK spec with signal red paint and the cloth interior that was never offered in Australia.

This was the first event that I had my SLC after all the work I have done recently.   It drives much better with the new subframe mounts, the A/C no longer leaks all over the passengers floor and I’m really happy with the looks and driving feel of the 15″ Penta Wheels. I was still re-fitting the carpets and under dash panels at 10pm the night before.     I did find a new problem though, the spring in the handbrake is rattling in the drivers side rear.

We didn’t end up getting 107 107’s over the bridge, but it must have been quite a sight seeing such a big group of the cars driving along.  For starters, the 107 was available in colours, not just shades of grey like most modern cars.

Update:  One of our club members posted a video from an overpass as the cars passed.   I counted 47 cars over the bridge on that video too.    Not a bad effort.

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