As V8’s were making their way on the brand’s saloon range due to demand overseas, the successors of the famed ‘Pagoda’ SL’s were outfitted with the newer 3.5 and 4.5-litre powerplants from the W109 and W111. Built on Mercedes’ tradition of engineering excellence, these engines soon proved to be robust, torquey and reliable, and were eventually developed into 4.2, 5.0 and 5.6-litre variants.
The R107/C107 series, the brand’s signature sportscar for the 1970’s all the way to the late 80’s, was offered in two radically different bodies: an open-top ‘SL’, and a hardtop coupe, the ‘SLC’ —one of the most expensive cars in the Mercedes lineup, the first SL coupe since the famed 300SL ‘Gullwing’. With a definite focus on comfort and road-holding, the SLC was equipped with four seats, distinctive rear window louvers, and luxurious options such as ABS (European market), power windows, sunroof, and air conditioning.
From the humble 6-cylinder 280SLC to the homologation special 450SLC 5.0 / 500SLC, this underrated nameplate is one of the few Mercedes-Benz models to have rallying heritage, achieving good results in the late 1970’s —no victories, however, due to their hefty weight.
This particular 450SLC was sold new to the Twyman family through Estate Motors Ltd in Birmingham, Michigan. The car changed hands twice to new owners in Washington State (Mr. Crawford, then Mr. Horstman) in the early 2000’s, and sold in 2004 to a New Yorker, Mr. Rossi, who cared for the car for the next decade and a half. Upon the arrival of the car to us in Dubai, we set to perform a few preservation works, including the re-stuffing of the front seats with correct pads, punctual cadmium plating in the engine bay, a rebuild of the original Becker radio, replacement of all four shock absorbers, period-correct Michelin XWX tyres, and extensive service to ensure full operability.
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