1979 Mercedes-Benz 400-Series
Movie star looks on a Wal-Mart budget is the magic of the R107 Mercedes-Benz SL. Cars like this 1979 450SL convertible pack all kinds of charisma, great performance, and bulletproof hardware, they look like they should cost a million bucks, yet are remarkably affordable. If you want to get noticed in a car, this is probably the most affordable way to do it! Hard to beat a yellow 2-seat convertible and even conservative Mercedes-Benz put bright paint colors on their color chart in 1979 knowing that some folks just wouldn't have it any other way. It's actually more of a cream, and given the impressive quality of these cars, it is quite possible that this one is still wearing its original paint. Sure, it might show a few signs of its four decades of life, but there's absolutely no need for a repaint if you just want to drive and have some fun. Most importantly, this is a southern car so it hasn't been slogging through winter weather for years and as a result the doors slam with that precision that you almost can't find today. Americans have grown accustomed to the heavy rubber bumpers so they give the car a substantial look and remain in very good shape, as does the rest of the bright trim, and a pinstripe accentuates the clean styling. The tan leather interior is a fantastic upgrade over the usual MB-Tex vinyl that was standard equipment in these cars. Again, it's unlike Mercedes to be so flashy, but it totally works in this 2-seater. The seat covers have some stretching but remain quite inviting, while parts like the door panels and dash pad are in very good condition and the deep, plush carpets haven't faded in the sun, another very good sign. A lot of woodgraining gives it an upscale look, including the center console that is actually real wood. These cars came loaded with every feature they could think of in 1979, including power windows and locks, cold A/C, and even a rear defroster in the removable hardtop. There's also a neatly installed AM/FM/CD stereo head unit to replace the original Blaupunkt unit, and it's a big improvement. The trunk is reasonably spacious and beautifully finished with matching carpets and the car includes both a 3-year-old canvas convertible top and a matching cream hardtop. The 4.5-liter V8 engine really needs no introduction. Powering Mercedes-Benz automobiles for a decade, it is smooth and torquey, and if properly maintained, will run practically forever. This one starts easily and idles with a precise mechanical feeling that's quite different than the isolation chambers we're used to today, but no less pleasant. Fuel injection gives it sharp throttle response and the flexible power curve makes it fast without feeling like it's working too hard and it comes with maintenance records and the all-important timing chain upgrade, so you can buy with confidence. A 3-speed automatic transmission seems a little syrupy at first, but you'll find that the faster you go, the better it seems to work. In fact, that goes for the suspension and brakes, too, which were bred for the autobahn and make this car supremely competent on American roads. The exhaust has a pleasant bubbly V8 sound and those wheels from a later SL give it a distinctively sporty look and are wrapped in new 215/60/15 radials. These cars remain perennial best-sellers here at Streetside Classics because they represent performance, style, and value, and this one is no exception. Call today!