The Mercedes R107 and the Mercedes C107 are now classic Mercedes sports cars produced between 1971 and 1989 which made these the second longest-lasting model series in Mercedes history, only trumped by the good old Mercedes Benz G-Class.
One of the most popular R107/C107 models is the SL450 which uses a 4.5L V8 which is both exciting and powerful. These engines offer between 220hp and 243hp and are now really popular Mercedes classic cars because they don’t cost all that much but are really cool-looking and fun to drive.
The best Mercedes Benz SL450 year is the 1972 model thanks to the cleanest design and a relatively barebone platform which means that reliability is also decent. The 1977 450SL is also one of the best ones you can get as it is a slightly more updated version of the 1972 model but in addition with a 6.8L V8.
Finally, it’s also worth mentioning the 1979 450SL which also comes with the aforementioned 4.5L V8 and 243hp. It’s worth mentioning that all of these are extremely popular nowadays as they offer a thorough Mercedes classic car experience without an exorbitant price tag.
1972 Mercedes 450SL
Many owners online praise the 1972 450SL to be the best pick of the bunch because it comes with a clean exterior design and is relatively affordable. The 1972 450SL uses a 4.5L V8 with 225hp and 279lb-ft of torque. These engines are far from being efficient but are reliable because they are fairly simple in construction.
The 1972 450SL gets all the praise because it comes with smaller bumpers when compared to many other 450SL generations. As such, most people prefer the way the 1972 model looks as opposed to some older models which use beefier bumpers that somewhat ruin the exterior look of the car.
The 1972 450SL is a 2-door roadster convertible made for cruising in style and comfort. The 4.5L V8 sounds amazing, especially if paired with a decent exhaust system. Sure, these cars do cost quite a lot of money to maintain, but that is often the case with classic V8 Mercedes cars.
1977 Mercedes 450SL
The 1972 450SL is often being compared to the 1977 mode which offers a somewhat revised experience overall. The 1977 450SL comes with beefier bumpers front and back which is not the preferred option for most Mercedes classic car enthusiasts. However, the 1977 450SL offers a 6.8L V8 which is one of the largest engines ever offered by a Mercedes.
This engine puts out 250hp which is not all that much better when compared to the 1972 model, but the 360lb-ft of torque is a hefty increase. 1977 is not the most popular model of the bunch, but it comes with a lower price tag when compared to the 1972 model which means that it could be a better option.
Design-wise, these are really similar throughout, but the most obvious differences are the bumpers. All in all, the 1977 450SL engine is the more exciting one to drive, even though it is even less efficient. Be that as it may, no one buys a 1970s Mercedes sports classic car for efficiency reasons.
The 1977 model lacks A/C which is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that these cost a lot of money to fix if they start causing issues, and they do. The “bad” news is that you will have to keep your cool by keeping the roof down.
1979 Mercedes 450SL
If you want the cheapest Mercedes 450SL, at least as far as maintenance and running costs are concerned, you should look for a 1979 model. The 1979 model comes with a 4.5L V8 with 180hp and 220lb-ft of torque which manages to offer better efficiency results when compared to the previous two models.
The 1979 model looks almost identical to the 1977 model which means that from the outside it’s impossible to tell the difference. The 1979 450SL seems to be the most reliable one of the bunch because it is detuned for longevity reasons.
Design-wise, the 1979 model can also be had in a striking gold paint which was only available for later models. The greatest difference between these models is the engine which means that you should take your pick depending on what you value the most, power or efficiency.
Should I buy a Mercedes 450SL?
The Mercedes 450SL is a classic Mercedes which means that not all that many people are interested in buying it. It takes quite a bit more time and dedication to maintain a classic car such as this when compared to modern-day Mercedes models. Either way, if you are willing to try classic Mercedes ownership, the 1970s 450SL is a good start.
All three of these are similar and have their ups and downs. Value-wise, the 1972 takes the cake because most people prefer the way it looks over later 450SL models.
Is the Mercedes 450SL reliable?
The Mercedes 450SL is designed as simple as cars get which means that it should be reliable. However, these cars are now almost 50 years old which means that they can not be viewed as modern-day cars. They need constant tender love and care which means that even though they are reliable, they are going to cost money to own.
All engines are similar when it comes to reliability, but it seems like the older 1970s models are the most reliable according to some Mercedes classic specialists.
How much does a Mercedes 450SL cost?
A 1970s Mercedes 450SL costs $15,000 on average, but the prices vary depending on the model year, the condition, the mileage, and the specification. You can find these for extremely affordable prices which means that there are a few of these lurking under the $10,000 mark, but these are not the ones you want to own as they tend to cost the most during ownership.
The $20,000-$25,000 mark is where it is at as these 450SL models tend to be kept in decent condition and are not as beaten up as some cheaper models. You need to pay extra attention to issues such as corrosion as that can literally kill a Mercedes 450SL value.