EURO-SPEC 450SLC DRIVER, GOOD OPTIONS, NEW INTERIOR, LOT OF BENZ FOR THE MONEY!!
Everyone is familiar with the Mercedes SL roadsters of the 1970s and early '80s. But not everyone realizes that at the same time they were also building a hardtop 4-seater SL called the SLC. Built on a slightly longer wheelbase, these handsome coupes were luxurious sport-touring cars with admirable performance and typical Mercedes luxury. If you need a little practicality with your sporty performance, this 1978 450SLC is a great choice.
This is a lot of Mercedes style and performance for not a lot of cash. The dark blue finish is sophisticated and entirely appropriate on the sleek 4-seater, and while the paint is showing signs of age, it still looks good from 10 feet away. There's a distinct lack of ornamentation, and the muscular shape seems stretched taut over the chassis for a classic look that will never go out of style. This one sports the smaller Euro-spec bumpers, which make a big difference in the overall look, as well as European headlights that were how the car was always supposed to look but the Feds insisted on old-style sealed beams for our domestic versions. A bit of chrome here and there, including window surrounds and fender arches dress it up without being garish.
The matching blue interior has obviously received some attention in the not too distant past, with attractive seat covers and a dash pad that really brighten up the driver's compartment. But the condition of the original carpets and door panels suggest that this car was nicely maintained all its life. That giant Mercedes steering wheel connects to a nicely weighted power steering system that makes this coupe track like a cruise missile at highly illegal speeds, and gauges are big, bold, and highly legible. Power windows, a 3-speed automatic, ice cold A/C, and an AM/FM/cassette stereo system make it a very comfortable place to spend some time. Even today, it would be a great daily driver that requires no sacrifices compared to a new car. There's also a good-sized trunk with a full-sized spare, making this a great vehicle for long-distance, high-speed touring.
The 450SLC is powered by a single overhead cam 4.5-liter V8 making 222 horsepower and 278 pounds of torque, which were impressive figures in 1978. With Bosch fuel injection, the engine has a bubbly, friendly idle, and smooth power delivery that feels like the engine will pull forever. A dual exhaust system with a single muffler and resonator delivers a pleasant, bubbly idle and a rich full-throttle growl that is perfectly appropriate to the sport/luxury mission of the SLC. The 4.5-liter engines are typically Mercedes reliable, and with a long production run, parts are still plentiful and easy to find. Underneath, it's clean even though it remains completely unrestored, but you can see how nice it is just in the photos. Braking is via 4-wheel discs and it wears a set of vintage 15-inch BBS alloy wheels, which are perhaps the period's most distinctive look and they carry 225/50/15 Goodyear radials all around.
These remain great-driving, fun, comfortable cars, even thirty years later. If you're looking for something a little out-of-the-ordinary that can still be driven and enjoyed like a modern car, try this 450SLC on for size. Call today!
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