1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Roadster

As the longest-running passenger car in Mercedes-Benz history, the R107-series of SL-roadsters earned its place as an icon of the 70s and 80s, blending performance, safety, and quality in an impeccably styled two-seat roadster. Much like the R113 that preceded it, the R107 was a sports car for continental touring that you could use in all conditions. It was beautifully built, with an optional removable hardtop, effective climate control, and superb build quality that shrugged off the notion that sports cars needed to be finicky and rough around the edges. The R107 SL-series was a tremendous success, and Mercedes continually evolved it with increasingly powerful six and eight-cylinder engines, refined dynamics, and more sophisticated safety and luxury features. Enduring as Mercedes’ flagship sports car for seventeen years, the R107 looked as crisp and sophisticated in 1989 as it did in 1972.

This 1979 450SL is a beautiful example showing just under 28,000 miles from new and presented in the desirable combination of black over a red interior. It is a beautifully maintained original car, accompanied by the window sticker, owner’s manuals, sealed factory tool kit, service history, both tops, and more. The black paintwork is in superb condition with crisp and well-defined lines all around and the precise shut lines expected from a Mercedes-Benz product of this era. The doors close with vault-like solidity, and the entire car feels remarkably taut for being more than 40 years old. The chrome bumpers and polished body trim are all in excellent order. It retains the original under-bumper auxiliary fog lamps and rides on chrome “Bundt” alloy wheels shod with Michelin rubber. The factory hardtop is included, and the black canvas soft top is in very good order, with just some minor creasing clouding of the plastic rear window.

The beautiful red leather interior trim reflects the exceptionally low mileage and is in well-preserved original condition. Minor creasing is noted in the driver’s seat base, while the rest of the upholstery is taut and clean. The dash, door panels, and console wood trim are in superb order. In typical Mercedes fashion, the controls and switches have that hewn-from-solid feel. It retains the optional Becker Mexico AM/FM/Cassette player deck, along with the factory first aid kit and tool kit – unused and sealed in its original plastic bag. The boot is lined in matching red carpeting, houses the original spare wheel and Continental tire, and provides a reasonable amount of space for a weekend’s worth of luggage.

Mercedes-Benz’s 4.5-liter V8 was the standard engine for all US-market SLs from its introduction in 1972 through 1980 when the smaller displacement, less powerful 380SL replaced it. The overhead-cam V8 is renowned for its linear power and silky-smooth refinement. Under this car’s bonnet, the V8 is tidy and pleasingly honest in its presentation, with lightly weathered original finishes consistent with its low mileage. It runs well, with the effortlessly dependable character expected of a Mercedes of this era. Power goes to the rear wheels via a 3-speed automatic transmission, and the chassis features four-wheel disc brakes and fully independent suspension. While the SL is tuned for touring comfort, the handling is remarkably well-composed even when pressing on hard, living up to the “sports-luxury” its name implies.

Because of their exceptional versatility and durability, many R107 SLs saw everyday use and have racked up huge mileage, making cherished, well-preserved early cars like this 450SL a rare find indeed. Beautifully presented in lovely colors, this SL is an excellent choice for the novice enthusiast or experienced collector alike.


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