The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class (sold as the Mercedes-AMG SL from 2022) is a large touring sports car produced since 1954. The SL designation comes from German Sport-Leicht. Initially, the first 300 SL racing sports car was produced in 1952 with no intention of developing a street version.

In 1954, an American importer designed a street-legal version of the 300 SL for wealthy performance car enthusiasts in the United States, where the market for personal luxury cars was booming after World War II.

In 1971, the R107 was introduced with a new design language and safety features. The model names were based on the engine capacity of the car. The Mercedes-Benz 420 SL had a 4.2-liter V8 engine that was mated to a 4/5-speed manual or 3/4-speed manual transmission.