Lot 117

1978 Mercedes-Benz 450 SL

Offered from the Iannelli Family Collection


$67,200 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona



Chassis No.
US Title
  • Offered from the Iannelli Family Collection
  • A low-mileage, well-documented, and well-cared-for example of the beloved R107-chassis SL roadster
  • Showing just 12,201 miles at time of cataloguing
  • Finished in attractive Anthracite Grey over Red leather
  • Accompanied by a window sticker, owner’s manuals, a build sheet, service invoices, and documentation, including purchase records from its original sale

Few vehicles evoke a lineage of both groundbreaking engineering and refined luxury like the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. The first production Super Leicht (or “Super Lightweight”) cars were only slightly altered from the legendary 300 SLR racecars which had cemented Mercedes-Benz’s performance image by dominating the 1950s racing circuit. Stunningly quick and with gorgeous lines, the first SLs were technical triumphs, sporting among the first direct fuel-injection systems and advanced “birdcage” design, which necessitated the first generation’s “gullwing” doors.

It was the introduction of the open-top roadster models, however, that made the SL line the icon it is today. While stunning in capability, the first closed cars were considered cramped, with the high sills making entering and exiting a chore. The 300 SL roadster remedied these issues and, as the years passed, the SL line became progressively more luxurious while always maintaining its dazzling performance.

The third generation of the SL-Class, chassis code R107, debuted in 1971 and would become one of Mercedes-Benz’s longest-running production series. A marvel of modern motoring, the new SL was available with luxuries such as automatic climate control, cruise control, and real wood accents while also featuring the model’s first V-8 engine. That 4.5-liter eight-cylinder featured aluminum cylinder-heads and Bosch fuel injection. The new engine was said to be capable of accelerating the elegant two-seater to 60 mph in just nine seconds.

This 450 SL, presented in its factory colors of Anthracite Grey over Red leather, showed just 12,201 miles at the time of cataloguing. It is desirably equipped with both a matching Anthracite Grey hardtop and black fabric convertible soft-top. Factory options include automatic climate control, Tempomat cruise control, and a Becker Mexico AM/FM radio with cassette player. It rides on Mercedes-Benz 15-hole light alloy rims.

Under current ownership, this 450 SL has greatly benefited from being serviced by the experts at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in California. The car is accompanied by a window sticker, owner’s manuals, a build sheet, service invoices, and documentation, including purchase records from its original sale. These remarkable pieces of paperwork are organized within a large three-ring binder, indicating the meticulous stewardship bestowed upon this lovely roadster over the past decades. In preparation for the sale, the owner has had the vehicle inspected to resolve any apparent issues and improve functionality. This work included an interior and exterior detailing in addition to a fluid service. An invoice for the work is included.

The R107 SL-Class is steadily gaining the respect it has always deserved for its remarkable engineering, superb comfort, and timeless design. Truly well-preserved, low-mileage examples are increasing in popularity, making this one a great find for the discerning enthusiast.