Mercedes Benz 450 SLC coupe automatic (1977)

Very usable, 4.5 litre, V8 engined version of the SLC, in blue with ivory leather. These supreme pillarless coupes are now increasing in value with the very best examples achieving growing prices.

One of the late, renowned motoring author, LJK Setright’s favourite cars, the Mercedes SLC coupe (model designation C107) was launched in the same year (1971) as the R107 SL roadster. Despite sharing a distinct family resemblance, the SLC was not simply a coupe version of the soft top model. It was a much larger car, a full four-seater not merely a 2+2, on an extended chassis with a variety of different engines in its lifetime. As Setright observed, it wasn’t a coupe in the sense that nothing had been “cut” to make it. Rather, it had been increased in length. He figured SLC stood for “slightly longer coupe”, or perhaps the C stood for “comfort”, which he complimented at some length. When it came to introducing a new model in the 1980s, the SLC wasn’t directly replaced. Instead, the much larger, saloon-based SEC coupe was its successor leaving the 1970s SLC as a standout car in Mercedes long and illustrious history.
Never designed or intended to be a sportscar, nonetheless it was noted for a successful rally pedigree including winning the 1978 South American Rally. This was achieved with a team of cars which, performance-wise, were standard road models, only being adapted for safety and the tough, 30,000 km length and high-altitude Andean passes.

This particular car is the 4.5 litre, V8 engined version of the SLC, in blue metallic (code 931), a colour apparently only available between 1975 and 1977, with an ivory leather interior. These engines are from the old M-B school of robustness and benefit from greater torque than the straight-six versions and, consequently, are much less stressed in normal use. Ideal as comfortable, long-distance tourers, they hail from a different era. The bodywork and chrome are good and the interior is decent, while the leather could be improved further to make a very nice car.

It has a sheaf of previous MoT certificates and invoices attesting to care and attention in the 1990s up to which it achieved most of its miles. In 1991 (reg as 365CAA) it had recorded 96k. A few years later in 1994 it was showing 111k when it received significant refurbishment to the underbody. Between then and now it has only covered an additional 11k to stand at 122k. Also during that time it has been fitted with refurbished flat-face alloy wheels. These suit the car well as they were fitted to SL roadsters although not, at the time, originally to the SLC (the spare is still a standard Mexican hat alloy). It was also fitted with a stainless-steel exhaust (recently replaced) and has clearly been repainted to a good standard and had new door cards judging by their condition. We have restored the front grill using original parts, replaced the carpets and will supply two original stock M-B hardwearing front overmats for future protection.

Our car has a current MoT, having had a generous amount of work done to satisfy the tester, including to the brakes, suspension towers and replacement with four brand new tyres. It now has only one, small advisory. On a short test drive it proved willing with a nice V8 burble. It stops and starts well and changes up the gears quietly through the standard automatic box as well as having the optional S and L settings to hold the gears when necessary. Complete with working electric sunroof and all four windows for that classic pillarless look, a (disconnected) Becker Mexico and owner’s handbook, it is now ready for a further period of use.

MoT to November 2020.

Price - £15,350

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Mercedes Benz 450 SLC coupe automatic (1977)Mercedes Benz 450 SLC coupe automatic (1977)Mercedes Benz 450 SLC coupe automatic (1977)Mercedes Benz 450 SLC coupe automatic (1977)Mercedes Benz 450 SLC coupe automatic (1977)Mercedes Benz 450 SLC coupe automatic (1977)Mercedes Benz 450 SLC coupe automatic (1977)Mercedes Benz 450 SLC coupe automatic (1977)Mercedes Benz 450 SLC coupe automatic (1977)