Homologation Special: 1979 and 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC 5.0s

It’s hard to believe it’s been over two years since Paul last wrote up a 450SLC 5.0, a homologation special intended to get a big motor into a lighter SLC to make it competitive in World Rally Championship. Remember, this is the pre-Quattro days, so a heavier rear driver wasn’t such a crazy proposition. It was aided by a fair amount of aluminum, too – the engine, doors, hood and trunk all were switched to aluminum. In the case of the hood – long enough to land a small aircraft on – that change made a difference. They didn’t sell like hotcakes though, and few remain today; they’re rare sights for sure, and it’s a treat to get two at the same time. Let’s start with the 1980:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC 5.0 on Carandclassic.co.uk


Year: 1980
Model: 450SLC 5.0
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: 14,000 mi
Price: $30,000

1980 Mercedes Benz 450 SLC 5.0
– LHD
– Low miles: 14k
– Dark Blue on Grey

107.026-12-000454

Here is another little sleeper in the collection – a 450 SLC 5.0 Originally made by Mercedes Benz for road rallies, this is one of the rare “grey market” cars that made it to the United States.
– It is estimated that only 200 are in service worldwide today.

The 450SLC 5.0/500SLC coupes were produced by Mercedes-Benz from 1978 to 1981 and are the rarest post-war models ever produced by Mercedes Benz.
– They were manufactured by Mercedes Benz to homologate the 450SLC for road rally purposes. Some cars were campaigned with factory support, but the rest of the production was sold to the European market to meet homologation guidelines.

– Fewer than 100 cars were imported into the United States as grey market cars during production. A few more cars were brought into the USA during the 1980’s as a one time “personal” exemption.
– No one really knows how many of these cars still actually exist, but most estimates are that less than 100 road worthy 450SLC 5.0 and 500SLC’s still exist in the United States at this time.

The cars differed from the stock 450SLC’s in several ways. The hood and trunk lids were made from aluminum for significant weight savings.
– The cars also had front and rear spoilers from the factory that resulted in a 9 –10% reduction in wind resistance and a higher top speed.

– Top speed exceeded 142 mph.

– The motor was among the first aluminum V-8 production motors produced by Mercedes-Benz.
– It was lighter than the 4.5 liter iron block counterpart and produced 240 (DIN) horsepower (over 300 HP in SAE HP terms commonly used today).

The combination of the rigid chassis, lighter weight and higher horsepower makes for a quick, reliable and competitive car that won or placed in several international road rally events, such as the Paris to Dakar and Mexican Road Rally events.

– Serious collectors please…more pics coming and on request…

$30,000- USD or American dollars…

This car has a serious amount of draw for me. I’m not usually the biggest fan of the C107, but with Euro-spec goodies, in a great color, and with awesome gold BBS wheels, this car looks spectacular. The miles are spectacularly low as well, and as a collector opportunity this car ranks pretty high on the affordable, neat classic-o-meter. Not many will know what it is, but it’s got a neat history and is very special in it’s own way. But at $30,000, it’s a little overpriced for the market; realistically, it’s probably a $25,000 car, but if you’re splitting hairs over the price you’re not likely to find another soon – or you need to be prepared to fix one up:

This 1979 example is also a Euro-spec car, but with many more miles and not as nice condition. In more classic Mercedes-toned Champagne, this car looks pretty classic but is in need of some love to bring it back to prime condition:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC on eBay


Year: 1979
Model: 450SLC 5.0
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: 86,469 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

Notes regarding this auto:

1. It runs and drives well, and would seem to me to be capable of any travel you might ask of it. In fact, it has impressive power and kick. It is however a 35 year old auto, and in keeping with that age….regular maintenance is expected. I ceased driving it about 6 years ago, and other than short drives of 20 miles or so each six months, it has simply been stored in my garage. The tires have less than 500 miles use. New Battery.

2. Known defects include: 1. Both drivers and passenger side rocker panels are rusty. 2. The A/C & Heat Servo is not working (not leaking though). 3.It has a quarter size rust bubble on the passenger side front qtr panel, and larger than a quarter size bubble on the driver’s side rear wheel well (see photos). 4. The odometer hasn’t worked since I purchased it 15 years ago, therefore the mileage is not accurate. 5. The driver’s seat is worn (I keep a sheepskin cover on that seat). 6. The two rear windows are very slow to close once you open them. 7. Cruise Control does not operate.

You will note from the build plate, that this car was ordered from the factory without the model designation on the trunk, and without the traditional spoiler. I, therefore, tried to keep it as it was built. As was typical, the elimination of the rear spoiler caused the factory to place a steel trunk lid, in order to increase the weight. The engine hood is aluminum in keeping with the model requirements.

Notes from the website: http://www.mbca.org/forum/450slc-50-500slc-history

The 450SLC 5.0/500SLC coupes were produced by Mercedes-Benz from 1978 to 1981 and are the rarest post-war models ever produced by Mercedes Benz. They were manufactured by Mercedes Benz to homologate the 450SLC for road rally purposes. Some cars were campaigned with factory support, but the rest of the production was sold to the European market to meet homologation guidelines. Fewer than 100 cars were imported into the United States as grey market cars during production. A few more cars were brought into the USA during the 1980’s as a one time “personal” exemption. No one really knows how many of these cars still actually exist, but most estimates are that less than 100 road worthy 450SLC 5.0 and 500SLC’s still exist in the United States at this time.

The cars differed from the stock 450SLC’s in several ways. The hood and trunk lids were made from aluminum for significant weight savings. The cars also had front and rear spoilers from the factory that resulted in a 9 –10% reduction in wind resistance and a higher top speed. Top speed exceeded 142 mph. The motor was among the first aluminum V-8 production motors produced by Mercedes-Benz. It was lighter than the 4.5 liter iron block counterpart and produced 240 (DIN) horsepower (over 300 HP in SAE HP terms commonly used today). The chassis numbers for the 450SLC cars started with 107026 and the motor numbers started with 117960 indicating the 5.0 aluminum block motor.

The combination of the rigid chassis, lighter weight and higher horsepower made for a quick, reliable and competitive car that won or placed in several international road rally events, such as the Paris to Dakar and Mexican Road Rally events. An original 450SLC 5.0 car was sold recently for $ 350,000.00 and another example resides in the Mercedes Museum in Germany.

A Registry of all known remaining automobiles of this sub-model is found at: http://www.mercedesrallycars.com/registry/registryData.html

You will find this automobile on that registry since 1998 when I purchased it.

I own both this car, and my parts car #744 (on the registry as well). I will be selling more parts from that car soon, but not until after this listing is completed. You will find my feedback contains comments from my sale of large parts from #744 a number of years ago….which you will find to be highly rated.

You’ve got to want this one; rust, broken A/C and heater, odometer off, windows that don’t work and heavy seat wear – it’s not a spring chicken. This car also had the spoiler optioned out, an interesting choice but one that makes the car more of a sleeper. To counter the apparent lack of downforce, the factory reinstalled the steel trunk. This car is likely to sell much lower than the blue car, but it should; of the two, I’d rather buy the one that is set to go with low miles and the right look rather than one in need of a full restoration. Despite that, they’re both awesome to see on the market!

-Carter

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One Comment

  1. Those are sweet. I recently tried to buy a rusty one with an engine knock on the east coast but the seller wouldn’t accept my $2K offer. Oh well.

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