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Lot 088: Mercedes-Benz 450SLC

Classic Car, Motorcycle & Automobilia, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (24 June 2009)

The SLC was surely never intended as a sportscar. It is so elegant, so superbly balanced in line and form, so exquisitely contoured to look beautiful from any viewpoint that to subject it to the gross indignities of any kind of track would be sheer vandalism. And yet the car begs to be driven in a sporting way, positively solicits the fast corner, the fine balancing of foot and hand, of centripetal and centrifugal accelerations. It is surely the best Mercedes-Benz ever to have been built for common sale. As you will deduce from the above, the famously hard to impress motoring writer, LJK Setright, was a huge fan of the 450SLC, rating it far superior to its convertible SL sibling and being one of the panel who voted it European Car of the Year in 1974.

The only Mercedes coupe ever to be adapted from a soft-top rather than a saloon, the SLC was basically a W107 Series convertible stretched by ten inches to give room for two rear seats and given a fixed steel roof. Launched in 1972 and remaining in production until 1980, it came in four engine sizes, the largest and most powerful being the 4,520cc V8 you see here. With 225bhp and 278lb/ft of torque on tap and driving through a three-speed automatic gearbox, it was a superb grand tourer and was good for a top speed of 135mph. Fantastically strong and stable at speed, it made a great long distance rally car, winning the South America Rally in 1978 and coming second on the East Africa Safari.

Dating from the last year of production, this particular car had just one husband and wife owner from new until 2008. Only ever used on special occasions, it has covered a mere 20,500 miles in its life to date and is in stunning condition throughout. Always garaged and always impeccably maintained, it comes with an extensive service history and all its original handbooks. Desirable factory options include fully functioning air conditioning and an electric steel sunroof  with all the windows down, no side pillars and the sunroof open, it almost feels like a convertible inside. If you have ever wondered what these cars drove like when they were new, now is your chance to find out. Surely the best, lowest mileage example you could ever hope to find, this is a hugely desirable car that is worthy of the serious Mercedes collector.

Lot Details
Auction Classic Car, Motorcycle & Automobilia
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster
TypeCar
Lot Number088
Estimate£12000-£14000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£10600
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1980
Condition rating0
Registration number359 HCG
Mileage-
Chassis number10702422028983
Engine number11798522048997
Engine capacity (cc)4520
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors