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Mercedes 450SLC, Blue, for sale in Charlotte, North Carolina, for $7,995.
Everyone is familiar with the Mercedes SL roadsters of the 1970s and early '80s. But not everyone realizes that at the same time they were also building a hardtop 4-seater SL called the SLC. Built on a slightly longer wheelbase, these handsome coupes were luxurious sport-touring cars with admirable performance and typical Mercedes luxury. If you needed a little practicality with your sporty performance, the SLC was a great choice.
This car is finished in its correct original colors of Magnetite Blue (code 931) and offers a lot of Mercedes style for not a lot of cash. The deep blue finish is sophisticated and entirely appropriate on the sleek 4-seater, and there's no signs of damage or botched repairs in the past. Of note, this appears to be a European version, with the large halogen headlights and smaller Euro bumpers that give the car a much more cohesive look than the bulky US-mandated rubber bumpers. There's a distinct lack of ornamentation, and the muscular shape seems stretched taut over the chassis, for a classic look that will never go out of style. A bit of chrome here and there, including window surrounds and wheel arches (which are removable) dress it up without being garish.
The 450SLC is powered by a single overhead cam (SOHC) 4.5 liter V8 making 222 horsepower and 278 pounds of torque, which were impressive figures in 1977. With Bosch fuel injection, the engine has a bubbly, friendly idle, and smooth power delivery that feels like the engine will pull forever. A dual exhaust system with a single muffler and resonator delivers a pleasant, bubbly idle and a rich full-throttle growl that is perfectly appropriate to the sport/luxury mission of the SLC. The 4.5-liter engines are typically Mercedes reliable, and with a long production run, parts are still plentiful and easy to find. A Mercedes mechanic recently tuned up this particular car, and the odometer currently shows reads 60,773. Underneath, it's clean even though it remains completely unrestored, and there's no sign of rust in the rockers, which was a notorious issue with these cars in northern climates. Braking is via 4-wheel discs and it wears a set of vintage 15-inch BBS alloy wheels, which are the perfect period accessory.
The matching blue leather interior has obviously received some attention in the not too distant past, with recent MB Tex seat covers and a fresh dash pad that really brighten up the driver's compartment. But the condition of the original carpets and door panels suggest that this car was nicely maintained all its life. That giant Mercedes steering wheel connects to a nicely weighted power steering system that makes this coupe track like a cruise missile at highly illegal speeds. Power windows, a 3-speed automatic, A/C, and a newer stereo system make it a very comfortable place to spend some time, and even today, it would be a great daily driver that requires no sacrifices compared to a new car.
These remain great-driving, fun, comfortable cars, even thirty years later. The V8 makes great sounds and delivers spirited performance. With typical Mercedes-Benz build quality, they practically last forever when properly maintained. With just over 60,000 original miles, this one still has a lot of life left in it and needs nothing today, and you'll never get tired of the double-takes people give you when they see the back seat. If you're looking for something a little out-of-the-ordinary that can still be driven and enjoyed like a modern car, try this 450SLC on for size.
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Location:Charlotte, North Carolina