Junkyard Find: 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1974 mercedes benz 450sl

When I lived in California, I’d see R107s in self-service junkyards all the time; since moving to Denver a couple of years back, I see them only occasionally. There was this ’78 450SLC last summer and that was about it. Last week, though I found this screaming yellow Malaise Era kokainwagen.

This one entered the used-parts ecosystem in fairly beat/rusty condition (yes, Midwesterners, I know this is amateur-grade rust), and quite a few bits have already been picked from it.

I like these cars so much that I’ve been trying to buy the Rally Baby Racing ’75 450SL (which is street-licensed) for the last ten months. It’s a slow and heavy race car, but would look great on the street.

This engine would look great in a fenderless ’39 Opel, ja?

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  • Sector 5 Sector 5 on Jan 12, 2013

    450SL an icon in its day.. The first owner rolled around the summer of 74 with the unescapable news of a disgraced president playing out on the radio, In 74 British Leyland would have liked you believe their Triumph Stag a worthy contender. Build quality & brand duration not even close. I would have desired balloon whitewalls & color-coded hubs with that yellow more than euro-spec bumpers.

  • StaysCrunchy StaysCrunchy on Jan 14, 2013

    Since I'm too lazy to search for the answer myself, do people ever do SBC swaps in these cars? I always liked this body style, but I can't imagine 35+ year old Mercedes-Benz V8's are easy to work on or find parts for.

    • See 1 previous
    • Felix Hoenikker Felix Hoenikker on Jan 14, 2013

      Except for an occasional part, OEM parts are relatively cheap and avialble for vintage MBs. Some examples I bought include a rebuilt Bosch starter motor- $85. Don't even ask about how difficult it was to swap; a rebuilt master brake cylinder - $45; Bosch spark plug wire set - $80; valve cover gaskets - $20 each, fuel injectors -$80ea, etc. Other parts can be very expensive. For example a rebuilt fuel injection computer will cost $1200, and an electronic ignition modulle is about $600. Overall, not an exepensive car to maintain if you stay away from the MB dealer

  • Wjtinfwb Instead of raising fines, why don't the authorities enforce the laws and write tickets, and have judges enforce the penalty or sentence of a crime. I live across the street from an Elementary School on a 4-lane divided state highway. every morning the cop sits in his car and when someone sails through the School Zone well above the 10 mph limit, he merely hits his siren to get their attention but that's it. I've never, in 5 years, seen them get out of the car and actually stop and driver and confront them about speeding. As a result, no one pays attention and when the School Zone light is not lit, traffic flies by at 50-60 mph in the 45 zone. Almost no enforcement occurs until the inevitable crash, last year some zoned out girl rolled her beater Elantra 3 times. On a dry, straight, 4 lane road with a 45 mph limit. I'm no Angel and have a heavy foot myself. I've received my share of speeding tickets, lots of them when younger. Traffic enforcement in most locales has become a joke these days, jacking prices because someone has a higher income in as asinine as our stupid tax policy and non-existent immigration enforcement.
  • Jeff S If AM went away I would listen to FM but since it is insignificant in the cost to the car and in an emergency broadcast it is good to have. I agree with some of the others its another way to collect money with a subscription. AM is most likely to go away in the future but I will use AM as long as its around.
  • BEPLA I think it's cool the way it is.If I had the money, time and space - I'd buy it, clean it up, and just do enough to get it running properly.Then take it to Cars and Coffee and park it next to all the newer Mustangs.
  • Dave M. I suppose Jethro’s farm report comes via AM, but there’s a ton of alternative ways to get that info. Move forward people. Progress is never easy.
  • BEPLA For anything but the base model, I'd rather have a pre-owned Polestar 2.