Not many cars have aged better than this 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL
roadster. Few cars can truly be called timeless, but the R107 SL
definitely qualifies, and even today, nearly 30 years after they
went out of production, they still command respect from the general
masses. Despite the very affordable price tag, these cars remain
grade-A cars to own and drive, and represent huge bang for the
Like most convertibles, Mercedes roadsters always look best in light colors that seem to emphasize the car's sun-worshipping status. This 450SL represents everything that was right about the R107 roadster, a near-ideal blend of style and luxury that made it the premier luxury car of the era. The remains in good condition, a testament to the quality of the materials and the care this car has received over the past two-and-a-half decades, although it's possible that the hood has been repainted at some point. Gaps and panel fit are to typical German standards and remain excellent today. Light colors tend to minimize any flaws, but this one has laser-straight flanks, crisply rendered body lines, and almost zero signs of road rash in any of the usual locations. All the chrome and stainless remains bright, and the US-spec rubber bumpers, which usually suffer from degradation in the sunlight, are in good condition and you could dress them a bit to really make this car sparkle.
Dark blue seats are a sporting compliment to the light blue paint, tastefully rendered in leather, which was optional. There are the usual wear issues on the outer edges of the seats, which is probably totally unavoidable on a convertible with leather upholstery. On the other hand, there's no question that it's original and things like the carpets, wood veneers on the dash, and steering wheel are all in excellent condition. You'll also note that almost everything was standard on an SL, and this one includes power windows, cold air conditioning, and cruise control, in addition to the usual stuff like power steering and 4-wheel disc brakes. We're thinking that the Blaupunkt AM/FM/cassette stereo head unit isn't original (most of these had Becker Grand Prix units) but if it's not OEM it was probably installed when the car was quite new. Overhead there's a dark blue convertible top that fits snugly, and all SLs of this vintage came standard with matching hardtops.
That 4.5 liter V8 is a wonderful machine, torquey and smooth with a fantastic bubbly exhaust note that sings in appropriately hushed tones thanks to a correct exhaust system. Known for their longevity, these engines are virtually indestructible given proper maintenance, and will happily run for hundreds of thousands of miles with just gas and oil changes. Judging by the under hood area, this one has been maintained if not cleaned, but you can see a lot of new components throughout. A 3-speed automatic transmission was standard equipment on US-bound SLs and it shifts so smoothly you won't even feel it. The fully independent suspension rides extremely well, yet gives the roadster competent handling when the road turns aggressive, and strong disc brakes at all four corners shed speed without concern. And while the elements are always the enemy, this car has clearly spent its life somewhere warm, because it's very tidy underneath, although not detailed for show. Classic chrome wire wheels are a sporty look and wear recent 205/70/14 blackwall radials.
This is a handsome and affordable 450SL with a clean bill of health that's ready to enjoy. Call today!
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