1975 Mercedes-Benz 400-Series
Not many cars can defy time like this beautiful and unusual 1975 Mercedes-Benz 450SL. Even today, nearly 30 years after they went out of production, they still command respect from the general masses, and remain grade-A cars to own and drive, representing huge bang for the buck. This low-ownership, well-maintained example is one fo the nicer ones we've featured, having lived most of its coddled life under the car of an aeronautical engineer, Like most luxury models, you could pretty much get whatever color you wanted on your SL, even in 1975. While so many of these cars were red, white, or silver, this 450SL sports a lovely medium gold that works splendidly with the tan interior. With Euro-spec headlight and bumpers, it represents the high-water mark for the R107 roadster, a near-ideal blend of style and luxury that made it the premier luxury car of the era. The paint, although not perfect, remains in exceptionally good condition given the car's age, a testament to the quality of the original materials and the car this car has received over the past two-and-a-half decades. Gaps and panel fit are to typical German standards and remain excellent today. Light colors tend to minimize flaws, but even on close inspection this one has laser-straight flanks, crisply rendered body lines, and almost zero signs of road rash, although there is obviously some evidence of age, which is all but inevitable. All the chrome and stainless remains bright, and the Euro-spec rubber bumpers look far better than the oversized US rubber pontoons, keeping this car looking trim. It's obvious someone loved this car for many years. The tan interior is a sporting compliment to the light ivory paint, with seats that were reupholstered a few years ago and it all still looks pretty good. There's a small tear in the highest traffic area on the outer bolster, but on the upside, the carpets are appropriate to the car's age and mileage, and the rear package shelf, which always gets baked in the sun, shows zero discoloration. You'll also note that lots of features were standard on an SL, ranging from air conditioning to cruise control to power windows, and a later radio has been very neatly installed in the center of the dash. Overhead there's a brown convertible top that was replaced in 2005 and still looks new and with some practice, you'll be able to stash it or pull it up in moments. The trunk has its original mat, which was still rubber in 1975 and we like the no-nonsense look. The biggest virtue this SL has to offer is a massive stack of maintenance receipts and long-term ownership by an aircraft engineer. The 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 1980 SL 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. Evidenced by the underhood area, this one has been lovingly maintained, and virtually everything has been replaced or serviced at some point in the not-too-distant past, so it runs great. A 3-speed automatic transmission was standard equipment on US-bound SLs and the rear end was just rebuilt with new seals and a set of 3.06 gears so it's an awesome highway cruiser. 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 rust is always the enemy, this car has clearly spent its life somewhere warm, because it's amazingly clean and solid throughout. Color-matched hubcaps are an unusual look that we find very appealing, and it wears recent 205/70/14 blackwall radials. This is a gorgeous 450SL with a clean bill of health, tons of receipts and maintenance records, an attractive and unusual color combination, and lots of charm. Call today!