1979 Mercedes-Benz SL 450SL 4.5L from North America

Summary:

Grossly overrated engineering and quality

Faults:

Lower A-arm brackets failed at 96000!

Air pump went out at 86000.

Water pump went out at 93000.

Brake master went out at 90000.

Fuel injectors were shot at 96000.

Fuel accumulator leaked/replaced at 96000.

Aft universal went out at 95000.

Climate control system failed at 90000.

General Comments:

Brackets holding front wheel A-arms failed - extremely dangerous! Was subject to a recall that didn't reach the original owner. Took research and confrontation to get it fixed. MB finally did repair it at their cost.

Beautiful combination of ride and handling on the highway

Slow acceleration - a dog typical of 1979.

7-9 MPG around town, 20 on the highway.

Basic mechanical components didn't last as long as my '68 Chevy Nova.

Mechanically overcomplicated with lots of design band aids - a pressurized fuel accumulator just to get it to start when warm?

Convertible top difficult to put up - left hand screw jacks, which took two people to engage, instead of simple over-center latches of well designed convertibles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th February, 2013

1979 Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster 4.5 from North America

Summary:

Love it!!!

Faults:

Fuel pump replaced 3 times in 70000 miles..

General Comments:

Excellent car, very stable on curves. Handles like a dream.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th April, 2012

1979 Mercedes-Benz SL 450 SLC 450 from North America

Summary:

I love it

Faults:

Door stuck open both sides at one time or another. Fixed with the use of a lock washer not included in the original configuration.

Under seat radiator.. had to wait for a German part.

The car was brought over from Germany by the executive, and some parts were different from those shipped for American markets.

General Comments:

I love it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th June, 2007

1979 Mercedes-Benz SL 450 SLC 5.0 from North America

Summary:

A reliable classic car that's a pleasure to drive

Faults:

Electric fuel pump.

Smog pump.

Exhaust transducer.

General tune up.

Bushings.

Worn lobe on L camshaft.

Timing chain tensioner.

General Comments:

All in all, for a daily driver this car is very reliable with normal maintenance. The biggest problem I have encountered is finding a reasonable and honest mechanic.

This car still needs to be restored to her original beauty, and the leather interior is poor. Apparently with the previous owner, the dry climate dried out the leather, and unruly children shuttled to day care took its' toll.

I am also encountering some high temperature when in heavy traffic, but she rapidly lowers once we start moving again.

Other than that, I am very pleased.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th January, 2002

26th Jul 2004, 16:01

I got a 78 450SLC real cheap because it to ran hot. Fan clutch bad and electric fan not working. Even with those fixed it still ran real warm 220F. or better. closer inspection revealed bottom tank of radiator plugged up. My local radiator shop re-cored the radiator for less than 300 dollars. New radiator 750 dollars. Cool as a cucumber ever since, even in southwest Florida.

1979 Mercedes-Benz SL 450SL (roadster) 4.5L from North America

Summary:

A classic everyone should own

Faults:

The servo went bad in 1990 and about every two years after that... it probably wouldn't go bad if it was driven more often.

General Comments:

I'm the original owner and I think it still looks stylish... although today I feel the driving position is very awkward.

I am looking forward to this car going up in value very soon!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th January, 2001

6th May 2001, 13:40

I own a 79 450SL, bought in 1994 with 64K original miles. I drive it every day; now it has 110K miles on it.

I love this car!

Question 1: Am having a problem with the automatic shifting. Sluggish moving from 1st to 2nd, and from 2nd to 3rd. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Has plenty of transmission fluid. What's going on?

Question 2 (from my son, age 12) : Is the car an official antique yet? How old does it have to be to be classified as an antique car, and of course, increase in value?

Thanks for your help...ME.

23rd Feb 2003, 00:10

I believe it is a collector. In Wisconsin the vehicle has to be 20 years old so I think you qualify. I agree, when a vehicle gets to be this old, if they are in reasonably good shape, they should be kept up and not subjected to the daily grind.

7th May 2013, 17:34

Your transmission is going out (I just replaced mine for $3500). Good luck.

9th May 2013, 16:43

I had a 73 450 SL for 10 years. Looks good, but I would pass on buying one for its antique tag status. Too expensive as it ages to keep up mechanically.

I bought a used Corvette C5 Convertible; a much better car and better drivetrain. And it's the best convertible I ever owned. Used, they are the price of a new Honda Accord.