1971 V-8-powered 350SL 4.5 (body style “W107” in Mercedes-Benz nomenclature) introduced to U.S. as as a 1972 model. Though introduced in Europe with a 3.5-liter engine, the W107 always carried a less efficient but detoxed 230-bhp, 4.5-liter, Iron-block V-8 here, coupled with a 3-speed automatic. Power-assisted steering, air conditioning, hard and soft-tops were standard.
1973 Name changed in American market to 450SL.
1974 Addition of 5-mph bumper. Horsepower declined to 190 bhp. California version acquired EGR and fuel injection.
1975 Addition of catalytic converters. Horsepower declined to 180 bhp.
1976 Addition of cruise control, transistorized ignition, hydraulic valve adjusters; switch from Bosch electronic to Bosch Jetronic fuel injection.
1977 Catalytic convertors moved downstream. Climate-control system introduced.
1980 3-way catalytic converter introduced, final drive ratio reduced. Horsepower declined to 160 bhp, but fuel economy increased.
1981 380SL with 3.8 liter, 155 bhp, all-alloy V-8 and 4-speed automatic introduced to U.S. market. Electric window lifts are standard.
1983 Recalibrated engine and transmission for improved performance and fuel economy.
1984 Switch from single-row to twin-row timing chain.
1985 ABS became standard; driver-side airbag was optional.
1986 560SL with with 5.6-litter, 227-bhp all-alloy V-8 and 4-speed transmission into U.S. market. Limited-slip differential, front air dam, leather upholstery, anti-theft alarm are standard.
1989 W107 production ended.