The Pacific Grove Auction

Lot 25
1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Roadster

Selling on Thursday

1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Roadster

CHASSIS NO: 10704412059024

• Only 12,800 miles from new
• Beautifully preserved and exceptionally original
• The automotive object of desire during the 1970s-1980s
• Striking livery; complete with both tops
• Service records and data card plus original books and tools

4,520 cc SOHC four-cylinder engine, Bosch electronic fuel injection, 250 HP (SAE) at 5,800 rpm, three-speed automatic gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes; wheelbase: 2,460 mm (96.85")

In 1971, Mercedes-Benz introduced the all-new 350SL sporting convertible and 350SLC coupe as the all-new replacement for its beloved and long-running 230/250/280SL (W113) series, with the new design internally designated Type R107. Coupes were designated C107. Design of the new car was executed by Bruno Sacco, who was also responsible for the design work on the outstanding Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedans of the 1970s. Somewhat larger and more rounded in its overall proportions than its predecessor, the resulting 350SL was based upon a unibody structure incorporating steel, rather than the aluminum body panels of the outgoing 280SL, along with a more luxuriously trimmed interior.

A 3.5-litre V-8 engine powered European-specification 350SLs, while the majority of production was destined for the all-important North American market, where the cars utilized a 4.5-litre V-8 engine. The larger V-8 delivered a torque boost and allowed the use of taller rear-axle ratios to deliver better fuel economy and freeway cruising abilities. The American-delivered cars were equipped with larger, rubberized DOT-compliant bumpers and quad headlamps, and most fitted with an automatic gearbox. On either side of the Atlantic, the new SL was faster than ever before and provided more predictable handling, thanks to their revised rear swing-axles, which were altered to function as semi-trailing arms. Safety development extended to most minute detail, with the R107’s uniquely ribbed taillight lenses designed to slough off road dirt and grime for enhanced visibility in the event of poor driving conditions.

As expected, Mercedes-Benz constantly refined and updated the R107-generation SL series, which ultimately remained in production for nearly 20 years in five variants. Powered by a 4.5-litre V-8, the 450SL was the staple North American model, produced from model year 1973 through 1980. The 450SL appeared in virtually countless movies and television shows, including “Dynasty,” “Hart to Hart,” “Kojak,” “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “The Streets of San Francisco.” As always, Mercedes-Benz SL ownership, particularly in reference to the 450SL, clearly signified that one had indeed “arrived,” and this enviable cachet continues unchanged today. While 66,298 examples of the 450SL were produced, just 5,583 of them were built for the final 1980 model year, including this wonderfully preserved and maintained example offered here.

This example represents one of few 450SLs delivered directly to the United States for sale during the model's final year. It remains exceptionally original and appears much as it did for the first owner as he drove it off the lot at Turner Motors in West Chester, Pennsylvania, a testament to his unparalleled stewardship for 33 years. Finished in Classic White (737) paint with a Midnight Blue (904) top and leather interior, this Mercedes presents as a lovely, unrestored and superbly cared-for example and is quite possibly one of the finest in existence and available. Showing only an unfathomable 12,800 documented miles, this exceptional automobile is accompanied by a plethora of service records and its factory-issued data card, as well as the original books, tools, hardtop and soft top.

While renowned for their quality and durability, precious few of these SL Roadsters have survived in original and unrestored condition. This remarkable final-year example is a true rarity that is nearly impossible to duplicate and would make any marque enthusiast proud to own it. A high-quality collectible, this 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL remains a wonderfully drivable and enjoyable, low-mileage example of a true Mercedes-Benz icon – the definitive sporting luxury-convertible series of the era.

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