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1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Convertible with Hardtop
This 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Convertible with Hardtop is finished in cream over tan MB-Tex upholstery. It is not a show car but it shows, runs and drives as a clean car with lots of life and enjoyment left in it. The SL – for super leicht in German, translated to “super light”, though “sport light” has been used interchangeably – is an iconic name in the world of sport motoring.
From the seven-figure 300SL Gullwings of the 1950s to the 600+ horsepower AMG versions of modern times, it is also the longest running name plate in the storied history of Mercedes-Benz. While no authoritative verdict can be had, many consider this era of Mercedes-Benz, with the W126 and W140 sedans complementing this R107 SL, its best – certainly they were much more exclusive in North America. Adding to its reputation for quality, this body style of SL ran from model years 1972 through 1989. It was also the first SL to be equipped with a V8 engine, now a mainstay of the line.
CCC Vital Info
1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Convertible with Hardtop
Lot – 065
Seller – j-man (Private)
Seller location – Scarborough, On M1N
VIN – 10704412046631
Odometer – 231,000 km, non-functional, TMU
Engine Info – 4.5L Bosch fuel-injected V8
Transmission Info – 3-speed automatic
Exterior Colour – Cream
Interior Colour – Tan M-B Tex
Other features – No modifications – original Becker Mexico AM/FM/cassette and original floor mats included
Category – German
Carfax – N/A for pre-’81 vehicle (pre-17-digit VINs)
Hagerty.ca valuation (#3) $18,100
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Cream coloured paint on this two-seater looks rich and retains good finish. Trim, badges, lights and lenses are also in fine condition, reflecting care over the years. Chrome bumpers shine on this unibody constructed SL. The body-coloured hardtop is removable and when left behind for a drive (or the summer driving season), the car is also equipped with a brown soft top. The soft top has a couple of tears and the rear vinyl window is discoloured; it is best described as usable and repairable – condition is photographed in the gallery. Original 14” Bundt wheels are in good condition, lined with a matching set of General Altimax 205/70 tires installed in 2021, under 5K km ago. A fifth Bundt wheel is found in the trunk, with a spare tire installed. The car is further equipped with fog lights, power steering and power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes. Glass and mirrors are in good condition, the former branded SEKURIT in each instance, with the M-B three-pointed star. There are small dings, scratches and spots of surface rust, shown in the gallery – worst rust spot is behind the fuel door.
Inside, this Benz’s tan interior is complemented by woodgrain trim on the dash and console – it also presents very well. The carpets match the upholstery while Mercedes-Benz floor mats matching the exterior finish are in place. Underneath the light-coloured aftermarket M-B-branded mats sit the original mats which match the cabin carpet Despite what one might expect for its age, the car is very well-optioned. It is equipped with climate control air conditioning, power windows, central locking, its original Becker “Mexico” AM/FM cassette radio and cruise control. The Becker head unit is supported by a power antenna which remains functional by the raise/lower buttons in the cabin. Seat controls are manual. The woodgrain trim on the console does show small signs of cracking, though it is much better than many Mercedes products of the period, an armrest is also fitted. VDO Instrumentation is efficient. The centre-mounted 240 km/h speedometer is flanked by a combination gauge on the left with readings for fuel, temperature and oil pressure; to its right is a 7000 RPM tachometer, whose base houses a still-functional analog clock – second-by-second ticks are audible when the car is at rest. The non-functional odometer reads 230,000 km and we classify this vehicle as TMU – true mileage unknown.
Under the hood of this SL is a 4.5 litre V8 engine which remains strong and starts easily – it features Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and is factory coded M117. It is mated to a three-speed automatic transmission sending the power to the rear wheels. When new, the engine was rated at 180 horsepower (4750 RPM) and 220 lb.-ft. of torque at 3000 RPM. While not as flashy as those of today’s Mercedes products, the engine bay remains tidy. In 2021, the owner had this car reconditioned after a period of storage at his shop of choice. He has included a shop estimate in the amount of over $5,600 for all of the work performed in 2021 and paid for in cash. Highlights are the aforementioned General tires, brakes and rotors at all four corners, two brake calipers, four shocks, a tie rod, a cooling system flush and an oil change.
Underneath, the car is not perfect but rather presentable for its age. There are no major flaws and the owner is realistic about reserve price. Surface rust is evident, though no part of it appears near perforation, and a repair of the trunk floor can be seen in the gallery. Surface rust is also evident inside the fuel door but rocker panels, doors and body panels show free of any rust.
This 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Convertible with Hardtop is being represented by the owner’s shop in Scarborough, Ontario.
Photo gallery and more videos appear below the bidding section.
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