By on November 11, 2009
The R107, with soft top raised, visits the Trapp Family Lodge

The R107, with soft top raised, visits the Trapp Family Lodge

Imagine it is thirty years in the future, 2039, and you are driving in a hard top convertible made in 2009. It has had three owners, and sports a healthy six-figures on the odometer. Would you expect it to leak, rattle, and/or squeak?
Probably.
Would you expect it to look dated and out of place as we approach 2030 when cars (finally) fly and run by garbage-powered fusion generators?
Likely.
In 2029 there will be 1970s-era Mercedes-Benz cars still on the road though. By then they might rattle, leak, and/or squeak. They may even look a little dated. But not today. I drove this 1979 450sl to a dentist appointment this morning. Two weeks before I drove it from coast to coast, through rain, snow, and sun. It doesn’t rattle. It doesn’t leak. It doesn’t squeak. It is as solid today as the day it rolled out of Stuttgart thirty years ago. This thing is built like a tank.

With removable pagoda-shaped hard top installed, the genetic link to the previous-generation W113 SL is evident.

With removable pagoda-shaped hard top installed, the genetic link to the previous-generation W113 SL is evident.

In fact, the engineers who designed it nicknamed it “der Panzerwagen” as one of their specifications was to meet or exceed stringent safety regulations that threatened to force the roadster body style into permanent extinction. Apparently, the Germans know a thing or two about building tanks. Stylistically the R107 Chassis with its blend of slab shapes and extra-long radii curves owes far more to the Panzerkampfwagen “Königstiger” than its graceful automotive predecessors, the W198 and W113 “Sport Leicht” series. Under the hood, unlike the six-cylinder Gullwing and Pagoda Benzes, the R107 is motivated by a V-8 engine. It sports an overhead cam and fuel injection like its father and grandfather, and maintains a paternal link with a Pagoda-shaped removable hard top. From the neck down though it is its own panzer-like design. It was a phenomenally popular car, with well over a quarter-million of them made in a very long run, from 1971 through 1989. Built in a time when Mercedes-Benz was truly and uniquely synonymous with “quality”… as they remained alone at the top of the luxury automotive heap, towering über alles the (literally) smoking wreckage of Detroit and Coventry’s faded high-end brands, Cadillac, Lincoln, and Jaguar. This was when the Bavarians in Munich were just started going upmarket, and the Japanese were eviscerating Detroit only from below.

The R107 and it's genetic grandparent, the 300sl (W194)

The R107 and it's genetic grandparent, the 300sl (W194)

The interior is snug, but well-appointed for a car from the 1970s.

The interior is snug, but well-appointed for a car from the 1970s.

This 450sl sold for around $32,000 in 1979, which adjusted for inflation is a Kia Rio shy of $110,000 in 2009. What did that kind of Carter-era cash get for you? A damn fine ride. The 450sl is a cruise missile of a car, a true Grand Tourer capable of days of comfortable Autobahn travel… top up, or down, on or off. The interior is snug, though comfortable for both driver and passenger. Seats are made from MB-tex, the Stuttgart equivalent of Kevlar, which deflects wear, stains, bullets, and tears, while somehow not being torturously uncomfortable like virtually all other 70s-era synthetic seats. Leather was optional, but rarely ordered for these roadsters though shaggy sheepskin was a de rigueur disco-era aftermarket addition, thankfully averted in the example here. Real wood accents trim out the dashboard and center console. The removable hard top weighs about 90 pounds and requires two people (or a garage-ceiling mounted pulley-lift) to install or remove. The latching mechanism is ingenious however and guarantees a snug, no rattle or leak fit to the car. When off the car the top rests on an aluminum rack with casters so it can be wheeled into a closet or corner of the garage. The rack itself breaks down easily into component parts which are bagged and easily stored in the generous trunk. The soft top manually folds away into a decked storage compartment aft of the cockpit when down with (attention car designers!) no trunk space used, and when raised latches to the windscreen using the same hardware as the hard top. At speed inside the car with either top on you are treated to a ride as quiet as a coupe or sedan. Unlike most convertibles, all-around visibility is excellent in any top configuration.

The well-engineered hard top stores on its own well-engineered cart.

The well-engineered hard top stores on its own well-engineered cart.

While it may appear to be a big car, especially with the ludicrously large US-market bumpers, the R107 is in reality a diminutive two-seater which when parked next to today’s average machine finally reflects the true scale. It sits low, so when in the company of Suburban Ussault Vehicles defensive driving is an excellent strategy, so all that visibility for the driver pays off. Beyond a few 70s details in the styling it has a timelessness to it that wears far better than many of its peers from the days of disco. Especially with the top down, it appears as if it could be from any time in the last 40 years. Such is the staying power of simple shapes and spare, minimalist design.

The 450sl is much smaller than it looks.

The 450sl is much smaller than it looks.

Turn the key and the 4.5 liter V-8 makes a mild muscle-car rumble. The US-spec 3-speed automatic transmission does not inspire any sort of lust, nor risk any chiropractic involvement, performing its job in an undramatic utilitarian fashion. However once underway the chassis displays its Teutonic heritage in surprisingly nimble and huckable road feel. Able to cruise effortlessly at autobahn speeds, while also happily carving up any twisty backroad. Great turn-in and light, nimble steering. It is not the fastest car by any stretch of the imagination, but it certainly can be fun should you choose to toss it about.

Hang on, what's that beach benz doing on a racetrack? (Answer: 3rd place for that day.)

Hang on, what's that beach benz doing on a racetrack? (Answer: 3rd place for that day.)

On the track it will never win any races (unless all your opponents are pedal-powered) but it will provide miles of smiles and never embarrass the driver. If anything it will inspire confidence to push it hard, as its manners are very steady at the edge of its performance envelope; neutral handling easing towards gentle and predictable throttle over-steer as you push it harder in the corners. Just forget about the dragstrip as the sedate transmission will let you down. The R107 is a stately sort of sports/performance car. It comes from Stuttgart but doesn’t wear that on its sleeve like a P-car.

A Montana State Trooper writes up his own review of the R107's capabilities.

A Montana State Trooper writes up his own review of the R107's capabilities.

The penalty for this moderately good performance, beyond being fast enough to collect speeding tickets even in Montana, is SUV-like non-frugality. The 450sl will burn up gasoline at about 12-17 MPG … if you are lucky. Thankfully it runs fine on Regular Unleaded, unlike so many finicky machines whose tastes are more top-shelf. This is also not a good winter car in northern climes. Performance on snow and ice is abysmal-to-terrifying. It will swap ends and send you pirouetting off into the woods at the mere sight of a snowflake. Park it once the thermometer starts dropping. Their A/C systems, especially for the ’77-’79 models can be problematic so if you’re living in Houston pick another year. Here in the Pacific Northwest however it’s a wash… it snows about as often a it reaches 90°F; almost never.

Trust me, you'll want to avoid this scenario.

Trust me, you'll want to avoid this scenario.

While nowhere near the stratospheric value of its gull-winged supercar forebear, the R107 was still an upper-class car, the ride of choice for Professionals of the 70s & 80s: Doctors, Bankers, Dentists, and Trophy Wives. Given their popularity, 19-year long manufacturing run, plus build-quality that was truly higher than any car before or since, R107s are still available in good numbers. Many of them coming from one-owner garages, at a cost about what you would pay for the lowest tier of today’s scheisseboxen. So here is that most rare beasts: An affordable, reliable classic car, that provides enjoyable top-down motoring while being relatively inexpensive to buy.

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44 Comments on “Review: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450sl “R107″...”


  • avatar
    Porsche986

    Chuck- Thank you for doing a wonderful write up on a truly classic car.  This is certainly one of my all time favorites, though I would suggest a later year to purchase if in the market. The 4-speed auto was better and while you’re at it, ditch the US bumpers for the Euro versions… true perfection.

  • avatar
    jmo

    I do have a question:   How big was the chasm between a 1979 Pinto and a 1979 450SL vs. a 10 Focus vs. a SL550? 

    I’d have to imagine that the warranty claims as a % of MSRP are much lower on a SL550 than they were on a 450SL.  We think the quality of the cars has declined, not because they did any absolute sense, but because they are no longer so dramatically superior to all other cars.

    • 0 avatar

      You do have an excellent point. CAD/CAM design, materials science, and automated manufacturing methods have dramatically improved over the past 30 years, which has brought the quality level of all cars to, if not beyond the state where Mercedes existed in the 1970s.

      I would be shocked if my mom’s 1979 Buick is still running, much less looking as good as this R107 though.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Chuck, interesting shot at the Trapp Family Lodge. We knew the Trapps, and the last time I was there, in about 1969, Maria was driving a W113 280SL. And she drove it furiously, up and down the mountain to her Lodge, with the top down. She was a dynamo, in real life.

    • 0 avatar

      It was a lunch stop on the 2008 New England 1000 Vintage Rally. Nice place. The shot with the 300sl was also taken there. The W113s are certainly prettier cars than the R107s. I passed on a chance to buy a euro-spec (with manual 4sp) 280sl in 2003 when the chance to snag the E-type came up. The W113 needed an engine rebuild, but was otherwise in great shape. It turned out that the E-type was in the same condition as the “restorer” that rebuilt it in fact farmed it out to an awful shop! Oh well…
       

  • avatar

    My mother has a 1972 owned since 1979 with the small bumpers…and it has many shimmies and creaks that emanate from the suspension. The steering has been full of slop for at least 15 years.  The body remains solid, though.

    Over 180k on her car. I suspect that this 1979 has fewer miles.

    Transmission badly needs an overdrive. Highway fuel economy is terrifying.

    • 0 avatar

      This one has about 105,000 miles, so is pretty well preserved. My 2002 Jetta has 150,000(!)
      I have to ask: Did she ever get the recall about the front sub-frames? If not that could be the issue.
       

    • 0 avatar
      Vega

      They are solid cars, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need maintenance. Any car almost 40 years old should have received at least 2 complete updates of all suspension bits (bushes, shocks, etc.) as well as maybe a new steering box (BTW, it is adjustable to a certain degree). Rubber and plastic have limited lifespan, it would be ridiculous to expect otherwise.
      Invest, and it will be as good as new.

  • avatar
    dweezilb

    Thanks for the review. I suspect my 2006 SLK already has more rattles and squeaks than your 1979 SL. There’s something to be said for over-engineering (as opposed to gadget-stuffing, which seems to be the new Mercedes philosophy).

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    BTW Chuck, nice write-up, but I will be doing an “other side of the aisle” rebuttal with an upcoming CC.

  • avatar

    I’m not sure how much overdrive would help the mileage. The 450SL’s gearing is not outrageously short (23.9 mph/1000 rpm with the 3.07 axle). The V8 could undoubtedly pull a taller gear, and a lock-up torque converter would help, but even with those, I don’t think the difference would be dramatic. It’s a heavy car with a big engine, and it has the old Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical injection — even with a taller rear gear, more than 19 mpg seems unlikely.

  • avatar
    Mullholland

    Nice story, Chuck. For their era these SL were quite beautiful. But why in the 19-year product run of this iconic, premium and quite stylish car did Mercedes never engineer, design and install U.S. spec bumpers that were an improvement over these ugly things? The answer I guess is because the Germans thought: those clueless Americans will buy anything. And they did!

    • 0 avatar

      It was more about meeting regulations than pulling an ugly one over US buyers. They do  completely ruin the appearance of the car. I’d replace them with the Euro-spec bumpers (and lights) if the car were mine. It isn’t though, I’m merely storing it (and maintaining it… and occasionally driving it) for somebody else.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    The Toyota dealer near me, (well, as close as a Toyota dealer can be to me up here in the corner of nowhere) has a beautiful 1988 example on there lot,  104k, $12995.
    http://www.labadietoyota.com/VehicleDetails/508901373

  • avatar
    paul_y

    Great review. I love these cars, they get so much right. They were emblematic of their time, yet still impressive today without being campy. The R107 is definitely on my list of cars to someday own; happily, there are enough of these to go around at sane prices that I could realistically get the chance.
    Once in a blue moon, you can find a gray market 6 cylinder (usually the 2.8) with a manual transmission in the US. I’d have to imagine that making it a much more economical car to live with; in the right climate, it might be a reasonable daily driver.
    It is possible to Megasquirt that engine, apparently: http://www.hitechengineering.net/DNN/MegaSquirted450slc/tabid/54/Default.aspx
     

  • avatar
    210delray

    Nice review; I’ve always liked these cars!

    On a different note, the ne’er-do-well neighbor behind me has one of these (an ’87) decomposing in his driveway.  We live in a community with a homeowners’ association that doesn’t allow inoperable cars in plain view, but our do-nothing board  has taken no action.  Sad way for a car of this pedigree to go.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    Great write-up, Chuck.  We had one of these in the driveway for a couple of years when I was living at home.  And it was a tank…and the brakes were great!  There is one famous story among my college pals that – were it not for the brakes and the meaty Dunlops – my friend Fatty and I wouldn’t be laughing about it to this day.
    But I have to say that, while fast, it wasn’t FUN or enjoyable to drive even as a grand tourer: too much gear whine.  It got to you after an hour or so and I remember it being a very direct car relative to the accelerator.  There was no glide in it what-so-ever.  Press the gas and it moved, pull up your left foot and it slowed.  The XJ6 we had at the time was much smoother a runner in comparison – and no gear whine.
    We also had an Alfa at that time.  That was my daily driver – when it started (love SPICA FI).  But what a contrast to the SL: light, tossable, fun, loosely built.

    • 0 avatar

      Odd. This example has no such gear whine, at all. Perhaps your ATF was low?
      I agree that the R107 is NOT a sports car, just that once you do get it to the edge of its performance envelope it behaves like you would expect a well-bred German machine: Predictable, with a slight bias towards oversteer. Just as you would expect a good GT car to behave. Getting there takes a while though!

    • 0 avatar
      Durishin

      Ours was new.  I think it was a ’78.  Perhaps it was the tires.  It just…well, it drove like a tank…noise and all.

  • avatar
    Mark out West

    I’d take the 560SL.  While the cast-iron block M117 4.5 was indestructable and dirt simple with the K-Jet, the aluminum block V-8 is the sweeter engine.

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    BTW, thirty years from now is 2039, not 2029. Hard to imagine. I hope to see it.
    A few years ago, I had a rare opportunity to pick up a 1988 300E with an extremely rare 5-speed. The owner helpfully supplied a full set of receipts, which unfortunately showed some  absolutely breathtaking repair figures. I was looking to replace a high-mileage but to-that-point reliable Acura Legend at the time, and i just didn’t see how I could do it and have the money make sense. Are the repair/maintenance costs for the SL bearable?

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    This car is such an icon.  One personal experience with a 107 probably changed my life… and I didn’t even drive the car.  Around 1985 I was on a family trip to California (from the midwest).  I was 15 and on my learner’s permit.  We visited some friends in Orange County then took Highway 1 North all the way to San Fransicso.  Of course, we were in a rented Oldsmobile and my dad wouldn’t let me drive on the fun parts of the road.
    Around dusk, somewhere near Big Sur, with a spectacular sunset on our left over the ocean and this gorgeous road in front of us, we were following behind a Mercedes-Benz roadster… though I can’t tell you if it was a 450sl or a 380sl.
    We were behind them for about an hour and I can still see the long blonde hair blowing in the breeze from the passenger’s seat… sigh.  The car was just too cool for words to a 15 year old sitting in the back of a beige Oldsmobile.
    Anyway, I’ve now lived in California myself for 15 years, and have made that drive a few times in my previous 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet (another great used car, by the way) and most recently drove my ’94 E320 Cabriolet on that road during the Pebble Beach Concours weekend.  Time and depreciation are our friends, car lovers…

  • avatar
    shiney2

    Although I am one of the most pro vintage MB peaple that comments on TTAC, I am oddly indifferent toward the R107s.  They are astonishingly solid, but I never fully understand why MB felt compelled to make a two seat roaster that drove almost exactly like a full size W116 s-class.  Its relative, the SLC baffles me even more.  I really like convertibles, but if I am going to put up with small two seater inconvenience, I want some sports car  fun.
     
    That said, if I were to stumble upon a very clean early year car, or a nice 560sl at the right price, I might become a believer – or even better, a 450 SLC 5.0 with a seller who doesn’t understand its pedigree!
     
     
     

  • avatar
    Porsche986

    @shiny2:  450SLC 5.0?  I don’t understand the pedigree myself…

    I always thought the long wheelbase, fixed hardtop and weird rear windows kind of ruined the design.

    Is there some significance to this car?

    • 0 avatar
      shiney2

      @Porshe986:   The 450SLC 5.0 was a “lightweight” version of the 450SLC with a very early version of the alloy 5.o V8, some aluminum body panels, and special suspension tuning. It was used as the basis for factory rally and race cars, and is considered one of the rarest and most collectible modern MBs.  Never a very well known car, they occasionally surface at auctions or estate sales priced as normal 450SLCs.

    • 0 avatar
      waynewreck

      @Porsche 986

      Take a look at the AMG Mampe 450SLC entrant for LeMans circa 1977/78 and what it accomplished with no “official” factory help…

  • avatar
    Steve Green

    Chuck –
    I owned the ’77 450 SL for a few years, and you’ve nailed it — the good, the bad, and the beautiful.  And talk about being built like a tank…
    Mine was totaled (sniff!) in an accident where we rolled once and flipped once.  The hardtop was not installed.  My wife and I walked away with a couple scrapes and some sore muscles.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    As a few folks had commented, now ve can look at 30 yrs old car,  by 2039 (I doubt I’ll be still around )  the new cars today won’t be running freely as ve would run an 30 yrs old car!
    My friend has 911 & SL 550 only couple of yrs old, he so far has not confidence in driving the cars outside  Hope BC of Vancouver.
    Not that there is anything beyond Hope BC, just collectively both his cars did require the piggy back ride of a Flat deck inside the city of Van.

    He did drove his 98 E320 to Calgary from Van once, he stopped to re-fuel at Roger’s pass, when fuel all topped up his car refuse to soldier on. He called the 800 Service number luckily he wasn’t able to be connected to some steamy sex line with Mercedes moaning & groaning on the other end, they were more than happy to dispatch a Flat deck to retrieve his prized Benz. But he wanted a trip with his dear wife in his benz with safety as Paramount boasting 6 different air bags but not in the shaken discomfort of a Ford rental car.
    Lo & behold somehow the key in the ignition slot seems to be able to re-connect with the mother ship Enterprise again, he was able to carry on his merry way.
     
    U assume these new cars that has built in computer sensitive to knew how many grams for Fibre serving u had ingested last 24 hrs, but shut down in the slightest hint of wiring Gremlins/haywire.
    His 98 E320 has ABS light came on every so often, his remedy was jam on the brakes on slow speed to shake her up just like James Bond’s Martini, shaken but not stirred.
    Is much cheaper than bring into a shop for diagnosing.
     
    I think I read from few chat rooms that some folks had turned a R107 into a turbo diesel, with a 300 turbo diesel engine. That probably gives real good smileage.
    If I had the car I would go for an overdrive.
    As I have a 90 300se now, the penalty of 17-24 Mpg as opposed to a 300SD with close to 30 Mpg can be justified somedays, as Benzenes are so much quieter , vibration free, u can actually enjoy the quiet passages of  Societal music the likes of Bark to Oftenbark
    ( Bach to Offenbach ) or Rich to Peterson who plays the real drums , Ivory keys instead of a set of Jamaican Steel drums or Elton’s Honky Tonky Piano.
    My fnd has a 86 300SD with the newer 6 cyl, which is a lot more refined than 5 less vibration , smoother , except I read a few horror stories about these alloy head components which insidiously counteract your quiet enjoyment of a benzy.
     
    Then forward a couple of yrs to the 81 380sl, I heard the single row timing chain were not exactly as advertised. U one step closer  needing  to treat a Burly tow truck driver with utmost respect when on the road, u may need his service further down the road less travelled. Anybody know what year the factory change to double row again?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Thanks for the review, Chuck…my dad had one of these, and it was a true dream car.

  • avatar
    Yuppie

    My former co-worker had (and still has) one of these or a 380SL.  The passenger door alone weighs more than my car.

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    Great review.
    The final 560SL is the one to have here, obviously; it’s still semi-quick by modern standards and it has the least emissions stupidity. 380SLs are the least desirable. I expect to own an R107 at some point. My only problem with the car is the unfortunate aesthetic balance between bonnet and rear deck.
    I found a 450SLC in my local Pick-N-Pull a few weekends ago. Tragic.

  • avatar
    Canucknucklehead

    The best car, far and away, that I have ever driven in my entire life was a Eurospec 1973 350SLC. It had an awful 4 speed manual but man, did that thing haul ass! I bought it in Europe after leaving the military for what I thought was a steal and sold in a year later at a fat profit but I still miss that car. It was the finest piece of engineering I have ever driven, bar none, it was that good. It even had cranker windows.
    It was replaced by a 1975 Eurospec 280SEL which was also a brilliant piece on engineering. I had many years of motoring enjoyment in that car. It had no power toys and the aforementioned cranker windows but it did have that huge sunroof. It was a 4 speed auto, and I remember it shifting into high gear at 140 km/h.
    I recently drove a 2010 E350 4Matic. Does not deserve a three point start. My 2009 Accord is a better car.

  • avatar

    I love the looks of these cars and their ride.Maybe someday after I purchase the other two cars of my dreams.. But, it was this vehicle that made me persue and purchase a ’95 Miata in ’95 because the Mercedes was just too expensive at that time. That led to my love of roadsters.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for cars which are built like brick sh*t houses. Over engineered to the point of near indestructability is far more useful than half a ton of electronic gadgetry that WILL go wrong in a few years.

  • avatar
    Whuffo2

    I’ve got one of these cars – mine’s a 1976. Over 200,000 miles so far and still running strong – and the factory paint and upholstery is still in great condition. Not because it’s been babied – they used much better quality materials in these cars.
    If you measure your fun in 0-60 times, this isn’t the car you want. It’s quick but it’s no dragster. What it will do (with ease) is take you from point A to point  B at autobahn speeds – and feel like you’re going 60 or so while it’s doing it. The handling is better than you’d expect and you could take one of these to track day and do very well in it.
    There’s plenty of oddly designed misfeatures and if you buy one you can plan on having to do some repairs to get it back in shape. Parts prices are about five times what you expect – and before you buy make sure the fuel injection is working properly and that the car will pass smog testing. Especially that fuel injection; the Bosch K-Jetronic system is a very odd piece of workmanship and it really needs someone who knows the system to work on it – the parts are breathtakingly expensive, so “replace parts until it works” is a losing game. The common “loose steering” problem is almost always a bad steering coupler (less than $100). Big plus on these cars: every part is available by special order from Mercedes. Try walking into your Chevy dealer parts department and getting trim parts for your ’76 Impala.
    Tip: the OHC engine doesn’t wake up until 4,000 RPM. Keep the revs up through manually selecting the proper gear and it’ll scoot right along. If it’s running right, a stock 450 SL will get from 0-60 in 8 seconds. No problem; put the tranny in low and leave it there. Nail the throttle and away you go; it’ll do 60 in first gear.
    It’s been noted that Mercedes sold about 250,000 R107 cars – for a car that in its day cost about as much as a house that tells you they had something special going on. For those who have never driven one – it’s not what you think it is, it’s better.

  • avatar
    bmwtimg

    I have a 1979 450 sl that I love the way it drives and handles, as I had
    not owned this car from new and time had taken it’s toll on the engine
    it was smoking quite a bit while still running pretty good.
      So I changed the engine and trany to a Chevy….Try not to hate me too
    much.    Now it still drives the same and feels as sweet, butI love the way
    it runs.  Power to run with the big boys , more miles on a gallon,and chevy
    cost on most parts.  With 400 c.i. and a 700r4 trany,less weight all adds
    up to a lot of fun.  This has to be the best driving car for the money,and so
    well made.                   

  • avatar
    Civarlo

    An absolutely timelessly-styled model. I’d love to own one if the maintenance costs weren’t so astronomical. Ages as well as the original Mustang. Drop-dead gorgeous (I think) compared to the angled, chunky-looking SL successor from 1990 onward.

  • avatar
    1982.500sl.Amg

    Excellent write up! I have a Fully Documented Triple Black 1982 500SL AMG. These 107 truly are timeless and will forever be a Classic.

  • avatar
    kjsmith20

    To clarify, the 450SL model was made only until 1980, although the 107 chassis was used for models until 1989. See another article at http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1062747_1973-1980-mercedes-450sl-not-quite-classics. As the proud owner of a 1980 silver-blue 450SL for the last several years, I can tell you that it is the most luxurious car I have ever driven, and the repair bills are no worse than the much humbler compact cars I owned before them. The mileage isn’t wonderful, but I suspect it’s better than most SUV’s. Keep in mind that any repair shop that “specializes” in imports or classic cars will usually give you a long list of repairs they recommend, which may not need to be done immediately as they would obviously prefer. Finding parts can be a challenge, since the computers in most repair shops only go back 20 years, luckily the Internet is an excellent resource.

  • avatar
    johnhash

    Thanks For sharing informational article..

    I have a c300 and I am looking for a site that sells mercedes benz brand parts? I am looking for brakes and rotors finally I found one site. The best quality parts are from your nearest Mercedes-Benz dealer, of course. If you want to save some money, http://MBZPARTS.com is by FAR the best for OEM parts — that is, parts made by the same manufacturer who makes it for Daimler.

    That said, are you looking for some kind of “upgrade”, or if you do honestly need new parts, get here. They cost much less than the dealer part and are better.


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