Sunday, October 19, 2014

5k: Cheap 4-Speed Euro Style: 1975 Mercedes-Benz 450SL

The gorgeous Mercedes-Benz R107 generation SL roadster was introduced in 1971 and lasted for an incredibly long 18 years of production.  It was finally replaced in 1989 by the smoother but less cool looking R129, but if you want a deal on a classic, reliable and drivable 2-seat roadster, the R107 is the way to go.  Find this 1975 Mercedes-Benz 450SL offered for $4,950 in San Rafael, CA via craigslist.  Tip from Alex.

For Californians, this 450SL brings an additional benefit -- it is pre-smog, which means it isn't subject to the biennial tailpipe emissions testing, which is mostly a problem with a classic because you cannot update any old style tech or components to new/better un-CARB approved stuff even if it improves emissions and drivability.  The difference between the value of a '75 and '76  model in California is huge on something like a BMW 2002, and is going to be equally significant on the R107.

Another plus hiding in this beauty is that funny looking shifter -- that is a 4-speed manual gearbox, something you don't see every day on a 2-seat Mercedes roadster.  It will, however, make a tremendous differences in smiles per mile. This European imported example should be equipped with a 4.5 liter V8 that is rated at 225 (SAE net) horsepower and 278 ft-lbs of torque.  The reason I point out the SAE net rating is that a few years prior this engine would have used the SAE gross rating and probably be given a 275 horsepower rating similar and have power similar to something like a HiPo K-code Mustang 289.  With a 4-speed gearbox and 3600 lbs, it should still be fun. 

 See a better way to spend $5k and get a future classic 2-door with V8 power?


  1. The 450 SL was never available from the factory in any market with a manual transmission. If this car really has a V8 engine and has not been modified, then it is a European 350 SL.

  2. If the R107 is gorgous then why do they sell for 1/10th the price of the previous SL model w113? There must be something people don't like about them.


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