1975 Mercedes-Benz W107 450 SLC from North America
Pure pleasure to drive
Rear passenger windows' motors failed.
Air conditioning motor froze up at 150,000.
Bad gasoline smell.
I can live without the sunroof, but at some point (probably when I get it painted) I'll have the sunroof and both rear window motors fixed.
I never used the air conditioning, so I have removed the belt, and am leaving it be for now. I can live without it, and it's better for the environment - especially with the amount of gas this burns.
I got all the old (30 years old!) gas lines replaced including the little ones to the fuel injectors. This worked magic, and there is no gas smell now.
There was some little part that was causing the car to idle badly if it was cold. It was expensive ($700 incl labor), but worth it.
I had the steering dampner replaced and the wobble is gone.
The ONLY time I have been unable to get in the car and drive it, was when I locked the keys in the trunk! Either in a kudos to Mercedes Benz, or a raspberry to the locksmith, after two hours, the locksmith gave up and couldn't get into the car. I ordered a new key from Mercedes Benz, it took 3 days and was less than $50. I needed a new key anyway. The old one I had was starting to loosen up and get very worn. The new one works much smoother!
While insurance (I pay $400 per year for collision/comp/liab) is low and I don't have to smog this in California, because it is so old, it's smog exempt, registration is cheap (under $100 per year with vanity plates), it is a gas hog at about 11 - 14 mpg depending on driving conditions. So I think that some of the gas cost is balanced by the cheap insurance and registration... but fixing it is really expensive - thank goodness that due to the reliability of this car, trips to the mechanic are mostly for routine maintenance.
All in all, I really love this car. They didn't make too many of the coupes compared to the number roadsters. They also only made these coupes for 5 years instead of the 15 years they made the roadsters for. The coupe has a 4" longer wheelbase and I think it makes it look more elegant... though It would be nice to have a convertable.
One more little comment, the car takes a while to get up to 60 mph (probably 10 seconds, even more maybe) but once up to speed, nothing can catch it from that era. On the 1/4 mile, it runs as fast as a Jensen Interceptor just under 18 seconds. Although sluggish by modern standards, in it's time, it was one of the fastest cars on the road with a top speed of 137 mph. Heck, it still kicks ass.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd April, 2007
17th Jan 2008, 01:56
I have a 1973 450 SLC with 86k on it. Although it has been in storage for the last 15 years, it starts with the first try. True, it has the usual quirks like the sunroof and power windows, but I love the car for the styling. I was once told years ago by the owner of a M-B dealership that the last truly great Benz's were pre-74. He said "let the rich b******s have the new ones!".
I have my Jag parked next to my SLC.. and the SLC gets more comments than the Jag does. I wouldn't trade it for the world. It's one of the last true hand built cars still out there.
6th Jan 2009, 20:36
I just purchased a 1976 450 SLC. It does have all the nagging issues aforementioned, like the motor failures in the sunroof and the emission of gas smell, mainly brought on by an exhaust issue the previous owner told me about. Its got other mechanical dealings that need addressed (I believe its the manifold, if spelled correct), but I must say that there is something special, almost liberating about driving this car. The engines are remarkable in these puppies. Even if it needs work.
I'll have nearly everything restored by years end. That has become an objective. But the 450 SLC are truly great cars. A joy that catches everyones eye, from young to old.