If you've been in the market for a vintage Mercedes SL, and you want the best-of-the-best, then your search is likely over. Critics will complain that we're lumping all SL variations together, but this 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SL is so incredibly beautiful and was so impeccably restored that we can dare call it the 'King of the R107s' with great confidence. We sell a lot of vintage SLs here at Streetside Classics, and we know these lovely cars inside-and-out, yet we've never seen one this close .....
to 'perfect'. Treated to a full concourse-level restoration by the professionals at Black Horse Automotive Services over the course of five years and to the tune of $133K, it simply has no equal on the market right now. R107s have been skyrocketing in value as of late, and this drop-dead gorgeous 450SL is offered at a fraction of its build cost, making it quite the bargain.
Like most luxury models, you could pretty much get whatever color you wanted on your SL, even in 1979. While so many of these cars were black, white, or some variation of beige, this 450SL sports a slick Code 735 Astral Silver that works splendidly with the red leather interior. There's a reason vintage Porsches, Jaguars, Aston Martins, and even Ferarris are remembered by so many in silver-over-red color combinations. The same applies to classic Mercs like this. It's a legendary color combination, one that has been time-tested and is still as stunning today as it was in 1979 when this SL first set tire-to-tarmac. With its dual headlight and bumper brackets (overkill specific for the American market), it represents the high-water mark for the R107 roadster, a near-ideal blend of style and luxury that made it the premier luxury car of the era. The paint was redone to a concourse standard, as lovely as most human beings will ever see, and with only 7480 miles on the restoration, it still looks impressive today. Most people would give it a 10 out of 10, but in this subjective world that we live in, we'll hedge our bets and call it a 9.5 out of 10. It's flat-out gorgeous, and we've never seen its equal, with laser-straight bodywork, expertly aligned panels, and a deep, lustrous finish that you could drown in if you're not careful. We could go on and on, but just know that these are some of the most admirable pictures of a Mercedes we've ever posted on our website, and they STILL don't do this classic the justice it deserves. All the chrome and stainless were expertly restored as well, and even though the bumpers may be a bit overzealous for some that prefer the Euro counterparts, they're still in excellent shape too.
The red leather interior is a sporting compliment to the slick silver paint, and it, too, was restored to concourse levels to the tune of $26,000. The fact that the interior restoration bill equals the cost of most driver-quality SLs on the market should tell you everything you need to know about it, rendering these next few words somewhat moot. Nevertheless, it's gorgeous, and in excellent condition everywhere you look, from the supple yet firm seating surfaces, the blemish-free door panels and dash, and the thick, luxurious carpets that line the floors. Even the gauges were restored, with the odometer rewound to reflect the mileage since the restoration, and everything looks as clean (if not better) than it did in 1979, from the steering wheel, the woodgrain, to all the buttons, switches, and controls. Options include seatbelts, power windows, power antenna, cruise control, a Becker AM/FM/Cassette stereo, and a fully operational factory HVAC system that includes cold air conditioning and hot heat. Overhead there's a black convertible top that practically still looks new, and with some practice, you'll be able to stash it or pull it up in moments. The trunk is fully restored with matching red carpets, and you guessed it, it's as darn near perfect as well.
One of the most considerable virtues this SL has to offer is the fully rebuilt 4.5L V8 under the hood. The engine is a wonderful machine, torquey and smooth, with a fantastic bubbly exhaust note that sings in appropriately hushed tones thanks to a lively factory exhaust system. Known for their longevity, these engines are virtually indestructible given proper maintenance and will happily run for hundreds of thousands of miles with just gas and oil changes. The underhood area looks practically new, where virtually everything has been replaced or serviced during the restoration or in the not-too-distant past, so it runs like a top. The 3-speed automatic transmission (also rebuilt during the restoration) was standard equipment on US-bound SLs, and the rear end is stock-spec and spins friendly 3.08 gears to make this roadster a bonafide open-road cruiser. The fully independent suspension rides extremely well yet gives the roadster competent handling when the road turns aggressive, and strong power disc brakes at all four corners shed speed without concern. And while rust is always the enemy, this car has clearly spent its life away from the elements because it's amazingly clean and solid throughout, nice enough to show off with mirrors at a car show. Bundt-style alloy wheels are what this beauty was born with and even they were also wonderfully restored (are you surprised at this point?), and they come wrapped in 205/70/14 Michelin blackwall radials all around.
Flat-out, this is probably the best R107 SL on the market today, and we doubt many will ever be this wonderfully over-restored. With almost $135K in build costs, it's a beautiful overindulgence for those that demand the best. Call today!