The Mercedes-Benz SL is a staple of the automotive world, and the day they go out of production is probably the day that the self-driving car becomes mandatory. This 1979 450SL is a refreshingly classic alternative to all the dated yellow and brown '70s SLs that we've featured, and with a clean bill of health, it's ready to enjoy.
Black over tan is a combination that will never go out of style, and transforms the SL from "cute" to serious without changing its personality. The black paint is original and in good shape, only showing a few signs of age and the great assembly and build quality for which these cars were justifiably famous. Living life as a celebrity has its perks, so this car has always been properly maintained and stored indoors, so there's a nice, authentic shine to the paint and crisp gold pinstripes that stretch from nose to tail. There are a few areas that have been touched up over the years, but you probably won't be able to spot them on a cursory inspection, again suggesting that the owners of this car were especially fastidious about its care. Slam one of the doors, even with the top down, and you get a nice, solid THUNK and panel alignment on these cars has never, ever been an issue. The US-spec bumpers were derided at the time, but given the passage of the years and the familiarity of the look, it's passed into being a non-issue for buyers today simply because there's no way to make these cars look bad.
The tan interior is a pleasing contrast to the black bodywork and offers both a more sophisticated look and a cooler ride than, say, basic black. The seats are MB-Tex vinyl, which was standard equipment and just doesn't wear out, the carpets are plush, and the dash is adorned with real wood, not decals or veneers, so it reeks of quality and luxury from behind the wheel. That wood-rimmed steering wheel obviously isn't original equipment, but it sure looks good and there's a pleasing heft to the steering that initially feels slow but really balances itself as speeds build. The big, round gauges are the archetype for legible dials and everything is fully functional, from the A/C to the power windows. The carpeted package shelf behind the seats is good for an overnight bag or two, but this car is strictly a two-seater. There's a brand new convertible top stowed under the hard shell tonneau cover, plus a matching hardtop is included, making this SL an all-weather friend.
The SL's namesake 4.5-liter SOHC V8 engine was the main powerplant for most US-bound Mercedes-Benz models, and for good reasons: it's reliable, powerful, and smooth, all things that you'd expect from your top-of-the-line German luxury car. Parts are still easy to find and relatively inexpensive, and it's obvious that previous owners have kept up on maintenance so it's ready to enjoy for years to come. The 3-speed automatic transmission is unobtrusive and smooth, the suspension is just the right combination of sporting and supple, and the brakes are, as you'd expect, quite powerful. A lifetime I the warm south has resulted in a clean undercarriage, which seems to sport a brand new reproduction exhaust system that surely cost thousands. The "pie crust" alloys are a Mercedes-Benz trademark look and carry 205/70/14 Uniroyal blackwall radials with lots of life left in them.
One of the most popular cars we sell, the R107 SL remains a staple in the collector car hobby. Find out about what quality means and call today!