By 1978, the C107 was fairly long in the tooth. It wasn’t so much that it was an antiquated design; sure, it was 7 years old but let’s not forget that the R107 convertible version would soldier on for another amazing 10 years, meaning it was one of the longest lived Mercedes-Benz chassis ever. But the personal coupe had two issues – one was from within, with a new big coupe launching in the early 1980s in the W126 chassis. The much more modern C126 effectively negated the purpose of the C107. But the real issue was the competition from BMW, and more importantly Porsche – both of which managed to thoroughly out-class the sports coupe. The E24 was a much more modern and sporty car; though it had a smaller inline-6 motor and no V8 was available, the E24 was several hundred pounds lighter than the C107 and much more of a sporty coupe. But the real revolution was Porsche’s new front-engined Grand Tourer, the 928. Porsche managed to get both more power and more sport out of its interpretation of the GT car, making the C107 seem decidedly dated in comparison. Now a few generations on, finding clean 6s from the 1970s is near impossible in the U.S., and while there are 928s out there, rightly or wrongly they have a certain reputation as complicated cars that are hard to keep running correctly (or, at very least, quite expensive to). The result? The C107 may be the best 1970s personal sports coupe value these days:
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While the R107 Mercedes-Benz is fast becoming the quintessential classic Mercedes-Benz, it’s hardtop sibling, the C107 SLC coupe has been relegated to a bit of obscurity in the annals of automotive history. It was a curious offering, a large Mercedes coupe based off the smaller SL roadster. I always wondered what would have became of the SLC if Mercedes developed it fully to the end of the R107 run, but with the introduction of the SEC coupe in 1982, it was not to be. This 1976 450SLC is a one family owned car and smack dab in the middle of the production run. With just over 54,000 miles on the clock, this is one to watch.
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Relative to the W113 that it replaced, the R107 and C107 coupe version are still relatively unloved and undervalued in the world of classic Mercedes-Benz models. Much like the E24 6-series compared to the 3.0CS, the design wasn’t quite as striking as the original but the refinements of the newer model really changed the class the car was considered in. If the W113 was a bare-bones roadster, the W113 added luxury and weight to the recipe; for some, it was very appreciated and made the R/C107 a more usable car than the W113 was. For others, the “Sport” was gone and the result was more a personal luxury vehicle. But is that such a bad thing? The SLC has always been an interesting car to me, and today’s example is no different. An early model, it has the slim European bumpers and steel wheels giving a classic look:
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When the R107 Mercedes-Benz SL debuted in the early 1970s, it was a decidedly more boulevardier cruiser than it’s Pagoda-roofed predecessor, the W113. Mercedes then decided to base their replacement for the W111 Coupe on the R107 chassis, resulting in the C107 SLC. This was the only Mercedes-Benz coupe to be based on a roadster, rather than the other way around, with exception of the SL65 AMG Black Series. With the extra ten inches in length and unique louvers in the rear quarter windows, there was no mistaking this larger SL variant. Most R107s and C107s that arrived on US shores came with automatic gearboxes. Those in other markets could specific a manual, mated in some cases to the the larger V8 engines. This 450SLC with the 4.5 liter V8 and 4-speed manual transmission is for sale in Missouri. It wears later style alloys, comes with the original set of bundt alloys and has covered a low amount of miles for its age.
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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: