Lot 155

Hershey 2018

1980 Mercedes-Benz 450 SL


$17,050 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
  • Champagne Metallic paint over brown leather
  • U.S.-market model with 4.5-liter V-8
  • Three-speed automatic transmission

When it replaced the elegant, upright “Pagoda” roadster in 1971, the Mercedes-Benz SL pushed the German automaker’s droptop line in a very different direction. In some ways, it looked to the classic 300 SL for inspiration. The 350 SL that first hit the market in the spring of 1971 was powerful, with a V-8 engine taking the place of the outgoing model’s smooth inline six. Yet it was less sports car than its grandfather and more personal luxury boulevardier. Its interior was beautifully finished, with soft materials draping its elegant dashboard and doors. Wood trim with a deep gloss finish covered its dashboard and center console.

Launching first in the U.S. as the 350 SL, the roadster’s name was upgraded to 450 SL a year later to reflect its 4.5-liter V-8 engine. A vacuum-controlled three-speed automatic transmission provided smooth, unhurried shifts. A majority of R107s were delivered new to the U.S. market, including the example offered here. Painted in a classic Champagne Metallic over brown leather with a brown fabric top, this SL rides on correct “Bundt” alloy wheels. Its U.S.-market bumpers are straight and untarnished. Fog lamps, a popular period upgrade, hang from its front bumper.

Inside, the SL’s brown leather shows little evidence of wear. A period Becker radio sits high on its center stack with the automaker’s advanced automatic climate control taking up residence below. Thick-pile branded floor mats sit in its footwells. The SL’s engine bay shows signs of gentle use. This nice quality SL was built in October of 1979, making it among the last 450 SLs before the automaker succumbed to EPA pressure and replaced its 180-hp V-8 with a 155-hp version in the 380 SL for 1981.