Lost in the sea of Mercedes-Benz R107s is the SLC that is one of those ”Oh yeah, I remember those” cars because honestly, you just don’t see them anymore. I’ve checked them out before, but none like this one for sale in New Jersey. This is the ultra-rare 500SLC 5.0 which doesn’t sound like much right now, but let me explain.
Mercedes-Benz actually ran the SLC in the FIA World Rally Championships and in order to do so, they had the homologate the cars as they ran 5.0 liter V8 SLCs in the races. Mercedes wwas only making the 4.5 liter cars at the time so a 5.0 liter car for the streets was necessary. Like most homologated cars, the production numbers were extremely low with just 1,133 500SLCs being made over a few years. None of these cars were ever made for North America, but somehow there is really nice for sale in America’s favorite state. But the price? All those creme puff 560SL owners will be jealous.
Rallying and Mercedes-Benz are terms that don’t seem to go hand in hand, but at the end of the 1970s, a most unlikely contender would emerge on the scene. The C107 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC 5.0. This homologation special would do battle in the 1978 World Rally Championship. Later, the car would become known as the 500SLC. What differentiated these from a normal C107 SLC? A brawnier V8 engine with 240 horsepower, aluminum hood and decklid and a small rear spoiler on the edge of the trunk. The 500SLC would bring to the fray a 4-speed automatic, replacing the 3-speed automatic that did duty in the 450SLC 5.0. Only 1,636 examples of the 450SLC 5.0 and 1,133 examples of the 500SLC would be produced, making this 500SLC for sale in California quite special.
Towards the end of the C107 run, Mercedes-Benz decided to try its hand at rallying, and entered the 450SLC 5.0 into the 1978 World Rally Championship. This of course spawned a homolgated street version of the rally car in the form of the 450SLC 5.0 and later, 500SLC. There were some significant changes to these performance coupes, most notably a V8 engine pumping out 240 horsepower, aluminum hood and decklid and a small rear spoiler. The 500SLC would debut in March of 1980 with slightly less displacement than the V8 in the 450SLC 5.0 but now with a 4-speed automatic gearbox in place of the previous 3-speed unit. Given these were a homologation special, of course, few were made. Only 1,133 500SLCs left the factory. The Canary Islands isn’t where you would typically expect to find such a rare Mercedes, but with one owner since 1984, it is quite the find.