I just picked one up and love it to death. There isn't a better looking car on the road.
As for the top, it is meant for two strong people, but if you have a personal garage, they sell an overhead rig that will lift it for you. They make carts that store the tops standing up. Go to performanceproducts.com.
The problems with the 1986 may stem with the fact that it was the first year of the 560. They are great cars, and will last forever if taken care of.
I have a 1989 560 SL. I am the second owner and I love this car. After reading all the previous comments, I can hardly wait to go home and pull my 560 SL out of the garage for a spin. I have not driven it in about three weeks. They really like to be driven, don't let them sit too long. Mine is white with the palomino interior, all original, and in perfect condition.
Great car, smoked a 2009 911 with mine, and it has over 200 thousand miles on it, a truly powerful car, super fun to drive.
My new mechanic said my '86 560SL - 125,000 miles - can run on regular. His 560 - 250,00 miles - has never had anything but regular in its tank. He's right. No pings. In fact, I believe it's running better than, say, 10 years ago. Give it a try.
Yes, I must agree, my 1986 560SL with 127k miles runs well on 89 octane. I have had it for a few months now, and I first started with premium gas, then I as a test used half 89 and half 93, then now only 89, and I can swear the engine is smoother and idles better than with 93 octane only. I will try 89 octane soon.
Remember to use a good quality fuel system cleaner such as LUCAS Deep Clean (not the cheap stuff) every few thousand miles.