1977 MERCEDES-BENZ 450 SLC Rally Prepared

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1977 MERCEDES-BENZ 450 SLC Rally Prepared

Background

The Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC was a five-seater Coupé from the C107 series. The car was part of the SL family and was built from 1973 throughout 1981. In comparison to the two-seater R107 series cars, the C series had a longer wheelbase and a fixed roof. The SLC was the first ever Mercedes-Benz Coupé that was built using a sports car platform; previous models having relied on the more common already existing passenger car platforms (the S-class saloons). When the SLC model run ended in 1981, it was replaced with the larger SEC series model. A total of 66.298 units of the 450 SLC were built over its 8-year production run.

In September 1977 the 450 SLC 5.0 was introduced. This version was in fact homologation special that used a newly developed aluminum V8 engine with 5 liters of displacement. The 450SLC 5.0 was launched to homologate the SLC for the 1978 World Rally Championship. What was considered an act of folly at the time, soon turned out to be a stroke of genius: Mercedes-Benz simply added some lights and a roll cage to their very reliable road car and created a rally car that would become hugely successful. In its first outing, at the Vuelta a la America del Sud, the 450SLC promptly won the first price after a grueling five weeks and 30.000kms of racing with Andrew Cowan and Timo Makinen in the cockpit.

The vehicle on offer here is a 450 SLC that has been modified to pay homage to Mercedes-Benz’s 1970s rally legend.

The Vehicle

The car on offer has been prepared to rally specification in greatest detail. Most of the works had already been completed to a certain degree, so the current owner improved and finished the works. As can be seen in the pictures, the modifications range from body modifications to electrics and interior. As such, this looks to be a very capable car for someone who is eager to compete in rallies or who is simply looking for something slightly different. The Mercedes-Benz features an automatic gearbox and the 4.5 litre injection V8. The odometer shows a total of 178.400 kms, which we believe to be the original mileage of this car. This 450SLC has been prepared to such degree that it is eligible to obtain a FIA HTP (Historical Technical Passport), a certificate it has effectively already previously obtained but needs renewing by the new owner. This pass will allow the car to be entered into a variety of historical rallies.

On the Outside

On the outside, one can immediately perceive the black painted bonnet, inspired from the 70s 450SLC rally car. For better visibility at night, two fog lights have been added. A sump protection shield has also been mounted. The most visible modifications to the bodywork are the widened wheel arches that accommodate the black Keskin 18-inch wheels and give the SLC a particularly aggressive look. A fire extinguisher latch is mounted on top of the right front wing.

The paint is in very good condition without any traces of rust, testament to the recent body restoration in 2020 that the car has had and of which we have pictures and invoices on file. It should be noted that these works were done using steel wheel arch panels (not plastic). The bumpers are in good condition, with a couple of scratches especially at the front on the right-hand side. The lights are in good condition all round, but the left-hand side rear indicator glass is cracked. The chromes, badges and windows make a very good impression. A second set of wheels including all-weather Michelin tyres is included in the sale.

On the Inside

During the rally preparation work done in 2020, a lot of attention to detail has been put towards the interior. The inside of the vehicle is filled with a variety of rally instruments and gadgets. As such, the vehicle is equipped with Sparco bucket seats, a footrest for the passenger, a helmet box at the rear that can also function as an additional storage compartment, a Sparco steering wheel, four-point harnesses, added storage nets attached to the door panels, pen holders, a Brantz Rally tripmaster including a remote, a cut-off switch and most importantly a fitted roll cage for maximum safety. The fact that this vehicle has obtained the desirable FIA HTP shows the level of detail that the owner went to to prepare the car.

The doorpanels are still original. The original black leather interior including the two front seats and rear bench is included in the sale and seems to be in decent condition.

The engine bay looks clean and well maintained with most of the rubber parts recently replaced. The battery fixation could possibly be improved.

Underneath

The 450SLC makes a good impression from underneath. This is a car that has clearly received some attention over the past couple of years. The current owner reports that he undertook a sympathetic mechanical restoration to make for a very reliable and strong driver. No major rust points are seen, and all the moving components look dry and clean. During the rally modifications, the brakes have been changed and overhauled. The exhaust has been modified to bring out that beautiful V8 growl. As previously mentioned, an oil sump protection plate had been added.

Please do not that we have not been able to test drive the vehicle.

History Highlights

Chassis number 107.024.12.020.195 left the factory in December 1977 as a standard 450 SLC. A sticker in the engine bay, that seems to be original to the car, mentions an importer in Schlieren, which could be an indication that the car was sold new to Switzerland. Daimler have confirmed the car was delivered new to Europe but could not indicate where to precisely. Little is known about the early history of the car, but from available documents, we know that the car had found its way to Belgium by February 2000, at which point it had completed 151.017 kms. In April 2020, the car was sold to its current owner who registered it in France with 177.000 kms on the odometer. The new owner completed the rally modification works soon after purchasing the Mercedes-Benz and has since only driven the car for about 1.000 kms before deciding it was time to pass it onto a new caretaker in order to focus on other (car related) projects.

What We Think

If you are looking for a rally car that combines reliability, comfort, and racing pedigree, but wish to have something different, then this Mercedes-Benz 450SLC is for you. The vehicle has been rally-prepared in detail and we are sure it will make for a very pleasant driver and, who knows, a successful rally competitor too. The car is currently located and registered in France and the owner reports that it is fully functional. The open (gravel) road awaits!

We are confident to offer this stunning car with an estimate of €30,000 - €55,000.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

le clos

  • Location: 28260 ROUVRES, France
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 178392 Kms
  • Chassis Number: 107.024.12.020.195
  • Engine: 4520
  • Gearbox: auto
  • Steering position: LHD
  • Colour: Astral Grey Metallic
  • Interior: Black
  • Estimated Price: €30,000 - €55,000

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