1981 Mercedes-Benz 380SLC

Last week I took a look at Kermit’s convertible – a early production run R107 450SL that was all green. Today’s 1981 380SLC represents the end of the run – but not for the 107 chassis in its entirety. As Mercedes-Benz moved to the new W126 chassis, it moved the big, personal coupe from the SLC to the SEC in 1982 and 1981 was the last year of C107 production. By the end of the run, there had been some changes to the lineup. Gone was the 4.5 liter M117, replaced by the smaller displacement M116 3.8 liter V8. With a single-row timing chain which proved problematic and low compression generating only 155 horsepower, they might just be the least desirable Mercedes-Benz V8. The later U.S. cars also enjoyed the added weight both physically and visually of the DOT-mandated 5 m.p.h. safety bumpers. It was as if Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron were playing out with automotive subjects. But there are a few reasons to like this SLC. Like the early 450SL I covered a bit over a week ago, today’s 380SLC comes to market looking like it could be Kermit’s personal luxury sports coupe:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Mercedes-Benz 380SLC on eBay

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1980 Mercedes-Benz 380SLC Euro-Spec – REVISIT

While prices of the E24, 928 and Mercedes-Benz C126 models continue to rise, the C107 still offers plenty of Mercedes-Benz build quality, some racing heritage and European style on an affordable budget. The styling of the big coupe isn’t for everyone, but European models such as this 380SLC really clean up the lines in my mind. On top of that, it features the hotter Euro 380 motor with 215 horsepower – some 60 more than the U.S. version. With a price drop of $3,000 since this summer to a Buy It Now of $11,900, this looks like a very clean example that offers a lot of unique, classic car for the money.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 380SLC on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site June 19, 2015:

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1980 Mercedes-Benz 380SLC Euro-spec

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the C107; most I see seem to be tatty, bloated and tired. They appear forlorn and forgotten, the model that Mercedes-Benz made to fill a gap that probably didn’t really exist. Mercedes-Benz reversed engineered their roadster R107 SL into a fixed-head coupe – something they very, very seldom do, and the result was…well, let’s be honest, not the best looking Mercedes-Benz product ever produced. That’s especially true of the U.S. bound examples, which were not only laden with the U.S. mandated circus funhouse bumper-car bumpers, but additionally had emissions equipment that turned powerful V8s into anemic gasoholics. How bad was it? Well, not as bad as some of the “muscle cars” coming out of Detroit like the Mustang managed 140 horsepower out of the 4.9 liter V8 under the hood. Slightly more powerful was the Pontiac Trans-Am, which managed to eek 155-160 horsepower out of 6 liters of V8. From that perspective, the 155 horsepower that the U.S. bound 380SLC produced wasn’t that bad – but it was far from impressive. Remove the constraints of the U.S. borders from the SLC, though, and it emerged from it’s Harrison Bergeron-esque chains as a competent sports-coupe. The top of the heap were the 5-liter equipped models, with aluminum hoods and trunks meant to lighten the car for International Rally competition. But even the lowly 380SLC in European guise wasn’t a slouch, with 215 horsepower and 221 lb.-ft of torque. Those numbers were near identical to the obvious competition – the BMW 635CSi, though the E24 was a few hundred pounds lighter and more fun on the back roads. On the Autobahn, though, the trip to the Alps with your small family would be achieved just as fast and with more luxury:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 380SLC on eBay

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1981 Mercedes-Benz 380SLC

Carter’s post on the Euro market Mercedes-Benz 450SLC had me thinking it was time to revisit a favorite Mercedes of mine. In the wake of rising R107 SL prices, values for its hardtop sibling, the SLC have stayed relatively flat. We have, though, seen a few very choice examples over the past couple years, this low mileage 380SLC being one of them. Model year 1981 would be the last year for the SLC, with the introduction of the 3.8 liter V8 and 3-speed automatic. A total of 3,789 were built, which is rather impressive for just one year. This would be the only four-place Mercedes coupe based on an SL chassis, as the following model year would see the introduction of the much more popular C126 SEC.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Mercedes-Benz 380SLC on eBay

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Last minute RARE 1981 Mercedes 600SLC AMG

I’m not sure how this one snuck by me until now so I apologize to any of you potential buyers as there is less than a day left on this auction.

What we have is a 380SLC that has, according to the seller, a genuine AMG 6.0 liter conversion, again according to the seller, a bored out 5.6 V8.

I’d obviously like to know what documentation there is on this, the seller makes some claims that seem legit, but we know how many different variations there are of undocumented AMG cars from this era. I’d also love to see the dataplate and if there are any AMG work stickers on the sills.

The basics as the seller tells them are:

560 powerplant bored .40 over to 600 powerplant producing over 400hp

This vehicle exterior color is AMG BLACK with AMG GRAY LEATHER

This very RARE SLC started as a 380 SLC, then was transfored to a 600 SLC AMG by the North America AMG Factory in Chicago in the 1980’s, modifications are:

560 MB Powerplant that is Bored .40 over to a 600 MB Powerplant

Complete Front and Rear Euro Bumper Conversion

Complete AMG Black Paint Job

AMG Front Fenders

AMG Black Hammer Wheels

AMG Suspension (white coils)

AMG Heavy Duty Rear End

Complete AMG GRAY Leather Interior with Recaro Seats

AMG Dials

The Coversion Cost were between $60,000.00 to $85,000.000, this AMG has never been restored since it left the AMG Factory in the 1980’s.

The seats on this are very expensive and sought after power Recaros. Those genuine flat face AMG wheels also can be a challenge to find as original, good condition pieces.

It would be interesting to know if the engine is from the factory, the real one in Germany, or if the machine work was done in the states, not that it would really effect the value on this very interesting one off.

Period AMG cars like this, particularly ones that involve engine work, are very special. I’ve said this before, but this kind of conversion done later in life would not be nearly as special as this one completed in the 1980s.

The car looks great, the “Hammer” floor mats I could do without as the only AMG Hammer is the W124 based model. No doubt though this R107 SL has some Hammer like performance. The car has seen a good deal of use, 112,296 miles, something we don’t always see on a rarity like this, but why not. The AMG engines are reliable and the Mercedes auto transmissions normally up to the task.

A few things I note on a quick glance, the exhaust has been replaced at some point, at least the tips stand out as not looking contemporary with the car. I really want to crawl around this car, look at the exhaust, does it have AMG headers for instance? Also the front fenders have vents that strike me as a bit odd. If this car was destined for a hot climate maybe AMG would have added those for heat, but Mercedes were equipped to handle the 5.6 liter stock and AMG wasn’t known for cutting holes in their street creations. So these may have been added later, but maybe not. I kind of think that look, unless functional, goes better on Koenig style cars.

This car is listed on the dealer’s website at $29,999 and right now it is sitting with no reserve with many bids at $25,100. That price shows that these cars are valued. What makes this one especially rare, but maybe not more desirable, is that it is a SLC model rather than the drop top SL. You can expect a stiffer chassis with the fixed roof, though outside of their rallying, this era of SL was never really thought of as the type of car you really throw around corners.

Very cool, very rare car, that most would walk right by not knowing how special it is. Note to the future owner post up more info on this car or send us a photo of the dataplate for deciphering.

1981 Mercedes 600SLC AMG on eBay

~Evan

1981 Mercedes-Benz 380SLC

Mercedes-Benz coupes have always been revered for their elegance, however, the SLC was an interesting beast. Based off the R107 SL, the chassis was stretched directly behind the door to create somewhat odd proportions. The 1981 model year represents the last year of the SLC, and the only year the 3.8 liter, all alloy V8 appeared in the coupe. Here is a clean example for sale in Florida.

The seller states:

This car has been well maintained and is in excellent condition. Full power everything. All working components and all original equipment. With only one previous owner, this automobile is ready for you. The mileage represented on this vehicle is accurate. This is a smoke-free automobile. There are no signs of prior damage on this vehicle. There is no damage evident on this vehicle. There are no noticeable dings on the exterior of this vehicle. This is a garage kept vehicle. This vehicle has a smooth shifting transmission. The engine on this vehicle is running properly. All power equipment is functioning properly. This vehicle has no known defects. The exterior of this vehicle is extra clean. Extra clean interior. Absolutely no rips, odors or abuse. There is approximately 75% of the tire tread remaining.

The price of clean R107 SLs is on the rise, but the SLC derivative is one of those obscure Mercedes models that proves to be a good value for savvy collectors. The asking price of $9,900 seems quite reasonable given the vehicle’s history and the fact that it comes from a sunny state. Sound investments are hard to come by these days, but this is one investment vehicle (literally) that you won’t lose your shirt on.

-Paul