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The SLC is really one of those cars that most of the time I ignore, but occasionally a really neat one pops up and grabs my attention. Sometimes that’s a cool 5.0 WRC homologation model, but I also like the base cars in European specification:
1980 Mercedes-Benz 280SLC Euro-Spec
Today we have another of these Euro models to consider, though this one decidedly looks more a child of the early 70s than the previous few I’ve looked at:
I’m certainly not a huge fan of the R107, and when it comes to beautiful and classic Mercedes-Benz models, it’s hardtop sibling – the C107 – probably isn’t on the top of anyone’s list. But it is an interesting car, and it has some unique history – including competing in the World Rally Championship before Audi redefined the category:
The Big, Bad, Automatic Benz That Took on the WRC – the C107
These C107s occupy an interesting spot in the marketplace; generally ignored, they offer a lot of classic Benz attributes without breaking the bank. And recently one popped up on Bring a Trailer with some neat modifications that really had me intrigued. So when a similar European-specification 280SLC popped up, I thought it was worth a look.
The US-spec C107 Mercedes-Benz SLC probably isn’t going to win any beauty contests. Mercedes had their hands tied with bumper and headlight regulations and probably knew people were going to buy their cars regardless, so they put a band aid on it and that is what we live with. In countries who didn’t have to live with antiquated regulations, things were much better. Slim chrome bumpers and flat headlights plus some engine and transmission choices that made everything just a little bit more exciting. Luck would have it, this is what we have today.
This is a 1980 280SLC that was sold new in Germany and imported to California some time ago. It has the M110 2.8 liter inline-6 paired with a 4-speed manual gearbox, a combo that is rare to say the least. This seems like a far cry from the lumpy V8 and sluggish automatic that was offered to the US buyers when new. Is this a Porsche 911 or E30 BMW M3? Of course not. It’s a car that wasn’t very attractive nor fun to drive and is now slight less of that. Right?
The majority of the time, I can ”figure out” a car pretty quickly. I usually give them a quick glance, form an opinion on them, then move on to the next interesting car. Not with this one. Not with this 1980 Mercedes-Benz 280SLC.
It started out harmless enough. A listing for a $1,500 for a 280SLC. Naturally I’m intrigued by this. The 280SLC with the M110 inline-6 engine was never officially sold in North America so this was a big plus for me. Then I peeked inside and saw a manual transmission – things are looking even better. Yes, it’s pretty rough looking, but the extra parts the seller is throwing in with the car could make this deal worth it especially since one of the parts looks to be a real pre-merger AMG bumper. But when I really started to do some digging into this car I was just confused.
I go back and forth as to whether or not I like the C107. It was just a R107 with a fixed top, 14 more…