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Bob Marley, the singer/songwriter and reggae legend will have his story told on the big screen in “One Love.” However, part of the musical icon’s story resides in one of his last cars, a charmingly 1980s R107 Mercedes-Benz 500 SL in European specification. Better yet, the car received the full restoration treatment, with a fitting twist.

Bob Marley’s R107 Mercedes-Benz 500 SL is a European-spec tribute to his too-cool-for-school demeanor 

To many critics, the R107-era Mercedes-Benz SL dropped the ball. It was too heavy, too lazy. Really, not sporty enough. Now, though, collectors who couldn’t care less about 0-60 mph times or factory horsepower numbers can celebrate it for what it is: a comfortable, stylish, charming roadster. The thing is just plain cool. 

And what better pairing can you ponder for a cool car than the last word in Jamaican reggae cool: Bob Marley. Such is the case for Robert Nesta Marley, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and subject of the film “One Love.” He had a 1980 Mercedes-Benz 500 SL. Of course, fans will note that the lights and shorty bumpers quickly give it away as a Euro-spec model.

An R107 Mercedes-Benz 500 SL, like Bob Marley's example, sits in a parking lot.
An R107 SL in a parking lot | Wirestock via iStock

What’s more, the higher-compression 5.0L V8-powered 500 SL wasn’t available to American customers throughout much of the 1980s. As such, Bob Marley’s luxury convertible was in rare form in California. Tragically, Bob Marley died in 1981 at the age of 36. He barely had the chance to enjoy the car. 

Fortunately, the crew at Count’s Kustoms revived the old Mercedes for Marley’s son and fellow musician, Ziggy Marley. Of course, it wasn’t your typical restoration. No, you wouldn’t expect that sort of treatment from the team at Count’s Kustoms. 

Instead, the classic R107 got a touch of restomod in the Count’s shop. Fortunately, the creative choices reflect well on the late reggae great. Despite the handsome aesthetic of the pleated leather seats you’d expect in the posh luxury roadster, you’ll find hemp trim on the dash, seats, and door inserts.

Better yet, the front-mounted novelty plate and decklid read “LEGEND.” A fitting tribute to the Jamaican musical icon. Whether you love the modifications and updates or not, it’s a pleasure to know that Ziggy Marley can still drive his dad’s beloved Benz.