1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL

Highlights


• Amazing condition 
• Comprehensive history
• Mechanically sound 
• Rust-free body


The Background


The R107 designated SL model were introduced as sports cars by Mercedes Benz in 1971 through to 1989, although it performed much more admirably as a GT car due to its targeted marketing towards the American automotive landscape. This meant that big lazy engines and auto boxes were common, with a super smooth ride to glide over long distances. 

That being said, the higher up you went in the model designations and the SL did deliver on its sports car promises, with some impressive feats of speed and acceleration to go along with the handling. 

The R107 SL was the second longest single series produced by Mercedes with only the G-class surpassing it, which is an impressive accolade considering the cult level status of admiration the G class now enjoys. Adding to the impressive list of attributes the SL receives is the fact that during its 18-year production run the car changed very little, which, looking at the current ever changing automotive market is quite hard to believe. 

The History


The current owner purchased the car a year ago from an auction site, the car being offered by a prominent classic car dealership in Wandsworth, ‘Chelsea Cars’. Since then, the car has only done 200 miles in the last year of ownership due to life very much getting in the way of enjoying these finer things. The car has been garaged during its time with the current owner and the condition of the car really reflects that. 

You’d never suspect that the car has done over 108,000 miles and has had 9 previous owners as the it is in fantastic condition. The engine fires up eagerly and settles to a steady and rhythmic idle with no knocks, rattles or suspicious noises. The body is in near immaculate condition with only the usual minor stone chips in the paint to mention, even the underside is surprisingly clean. 

Unfortunately, the time has come for the current owner to parts ways with the car due to lack of time and space to house the handsome Mercedes, this could be a great opportunity to grab yourself a fine example of one of Mercedes’ shining stars. 

The Paperwork


The history of this car is well documented, going back a fair few owners, with a huge amount spent on the car to make it looks its best. The car has been around a bit too, spending some time in Nottingham being loved and cared for there as well as having receipts and records from a Mercedes garage in Ireland. 

There is a very handy summary sheet in the front of the history file that outlines the main receipts and invoices with the finances neatly collated. There is plenty that has been done to this car to bring it up to the best condition it can be in today, below is a quick overview of the main works:
• Refurbished AMG replica 17” alloys
• New exhaust system
• Completely retrimmed interior (parts replaced where necessary, e.g new dashboard)
• New radio system
• Replacement soft top
• Tracker system fitted
• Welding to bodywork where needed (body is now solid and rust free)
• Various general maintenance items 

The Interior


The black leather trimmed interior of the 450SL is sublime, it still has all its quality and retains its upmarket, luxurious feel. The seats for example still have plenty of padding and more closely resemble your favourite armchair at home as opposed to recliners in a convertible GT car. The half perforated leather is in fantastic condition with no rips or tears and the chrome trim coverings for the reclining mechanisms and handles still shine brightly. 

The rear bench is the same and looks like it would sit someone of smaller stature very comfortably. This is in no small part to the whole of the interior being retrimmed by ‘Aldridge Trimming’ in 2002, retrimming the front seats, door panels, armrests, rear seats, new carpets, centre console retrimmed as well as the rear quarter panels and hood storage cover. 

Looking over the dashboard and control panels, which were replaced in 2001, everything Is original specification with the possible exception of the radio head unit. The gear lever and steering wheel are the centre points of the front section of the interior, and they are in excellent condition with no wear or tears, fading or fraying. The clocks, switches, dials and knobs all work well, with no electrical issues throughout the car to speak of. 

The roof has a quality and robust feel to it. It is quite the workout to put it up, but we suspect that is because since the roof was replaced in 2002 it has not seen many rain showers and with a bit more use the leather will ease further. Despite this the roof feels very good quality and as shown in the photo gallery, really adds to the exterior silhouette of the car. 

The only thing to mention in the interior comes from the boot, where the carpet has fallen away from the rear bulkhead and around the walls of the boot compartment. This would be an easy fix however with only some new glue being needed to stick the carpet pieces back on, although we’d suspect you might have to remove the remaining glue residue first. 

The Exterior


The paintwork on this Mercedes is in great condition, no scuffs, scratches or dents to mention. The metallic silver suits the 450SL down to the ground and it really ties in the chrome details as well as the contrasting orange light lenses and wheels of the same colour as the body. The only thing that could improve the paintwork of the car we think would be a cut and polish to bring it up to even more of a mirror finish and some ceramic coating protection to preserve it for the future. 

The current state of the exterior of the car reflects the level of care and attention to detail from those tasked with bringing the 450SL back to its prime. There is nothing on the exterior of the car that requires immediate attention, and the car will go on for many more years being a fantastic example of the SL model. 

The 17” AMG replica alloys are refurbished items, and are near new in condition, not a scuff or curb mark to be seen. They also hide a tasty treat behind them with a subtly gold painted calliper which only adds to this car’s charm. The tyres are near new, high quality BF Goodrich items which have plenty of tread left on them and look to give the high-powered convertible plenty of grip on the road. 

The exterior of this Mercedes is sublime and the fit and finish is to a high standard, we think even the original constructors of the car would be proud of the work done to it. This is one 47-year-old Mercedes that requires very little, if any further work to keep it in pristine condition. 

The Mechanics


The higher spec 450SL came with the 4.5 – litre naturally aspirated V8 engine, producing 230BHP, shifting from 0-62 time of just over 10 seconds and powering on to 133mph. Plenty of poke I’m sure you’ll agree for a GT car with miles and miles of headroom. The big V8 is surprisingly civilised and will happily thrum quietly away whilst idling but is plenty throaty enough when provoked with your right foot. 

In the engine bay, aside from some dust, the bay and the engine are in fine fettle, there is no signs of oil or water leaks, all hoses and pipes are in good condition and all wiring is free from fraying or splitting. Upon inspection underneath the vehicle the same is true for the parts of the drivetrain easily visible, with no splitting to protective boots or excessive corrosion to any parts, no evidence of oil or water leaks underneath as well as in the bay. 

The car was stripped at some point and the history shows plenty of receipts for regular maintenance and care of the engine and drivetrain, so we’d bet that the system is very healthy and ready to do many miles into the future. 

The Appeal


This 450 SL has clearly had plenty of love, care and attention afforded to it during its lifetime and after 47 years on the road it’s hard to believe the condition it’s in now. The evidence points to huge amounts of time and financial resources being spent on the car to keep it in such fantastic condition. 

In anticipation of the summer months this might be the best time to buy a car such as this, safe in the knowledge of a great condition car with all the styling benefits from the time as well as having a high specification car for a fraction of the brand-new sale price. 

Lots has been done to this car and it’s been kept in a dry and safe environment for its duration with the current owner, all that’s left to do with the car is to enjoy it on the road. Make sure you’re in the running for owning this spectacular example of a 450SL. 
 


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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1974
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model 450 SL (R107)
  • Colour Silver
  • Odometer 108,184 Miles
  • Engine size 4520
  • Location Hertfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
21 bids
  • Wi•••• £21,000 18/01/22
  • ga•••• £17,000 17/01/22
  • el•••• £16,000 17/01/22
  • mi•••• £15,250 17/01/22
  • ga•••• £15,000 17/01/22
  • Cl•••• £14,500 17/01/22
  • mi•••• £14,250 17/01/22
  • el•••• £14,000 17/01/22
  • mi•••• £13,250 17/01/22
  • Ch•••• £12,500 15/01/22

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