1980 Mercedes 380SL with a LS3

1980 Mercedes 380SL with a LS3

Paul Reynolds purchased a stock 1980 Mercedes 380SL from a friend in 2003. The car was used as a daily driver for several years until he purchased a newer model. With the newer Mercedes taking the daily driving duties he could work on upgrading the older model. The first modification was swapping the 3.8 L V8 to a 5.6 L V8.

1980 Mercedes 380SL with a LS3

Paul then got into racing his classic Mercedes at tarmac rallies and circuit racing. After several engines were destroyed while racing he discussed engine choices with Silver Arrows Racing in Belgium. Paul found out there was a flaw with the metal used for that generation of Mercedes engines and the smaller engine bay caused excessive heat which would help lead to engine failure. This lead him to use two engines, an authentic Mercedes 5.6 L for events that require originality and a GM 6.2 L LS3 for road racing.

1980 Mercedes 380SL with a LS3

The LS3 was upgraded by Walkinshaw Performance to produce a reliable 500 horsepower and 600 Nm (442 lb-ft) of torque. The engine is connected to a Turbo 350 three-speed transmission after destroying three different Turbo 700 transmissions. Although Paul didn’t alter the suspension geometry he went through four generations of development to get the right springs and shocks.

1980 Mercedes 380SL with a LS3

1980 Mercedes 380SL with a LS3

Source: Mercedes Heritage and TargaMerc Youtube channel (many more videos) via Grassroots Motorsports FB page

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