- Offered from The Youngtimer Collection
- Mercedes-Benz’s rally homologation special
- One of 2,769 examples, the rarest of all 107 chassis
- Highly attractive, gently patinaed driver with a pleasing color scheme
- All-aluminum 5.0-liter V-8 engine
- Equipped with aluminum doors, hood, and trunk lid
Widely celebrated and coveted by enthusiasts around the world, the Mercedes-Benz SL convertible, chassis code R107, and its coupe sibling, chassis code C107, have developed an avid following thanks to their enduring style, robust build quality, well-appointed interior, and variety of engine options.
As the most dedicated competition machine Mercedes-Benz had produced since abandoning circuit racing in the 1950s, the 450 SLC 5.0 was a homologation special designed to tackle grueling long-distance rally events. With the full weight of Daimler-Benz AG’s pocketbook at their disposal, the engineers put the C107 on a significant weight-loss regime, installing an aluminum hood, doors, and trunk lid. A special engine, the all-aluminum M117 5.0-liter V-8, was also introduced, further reducing the car’s heft while simultaneously bumping power output to 240 brake horsepower. A new front air-dam and rear spoiler improved aerodynamic stability.
An unlikely rally racing entrant, the luxurious coupe competed against diminutive four-cylinder-powered cars from Datsun, Fiat, and Ford. While unable to mount successful challenges in tighter stages, race-spec versions of the SLC 5.0 showed their true potential over long distances, securing back-to-back victories at the Rallye Côte d'Ivoire in 1979 and 1980. Just 2,769 examples of the 5.0-liter SLCs were produced from 1978 through 1981, making these cars the rarest of all 107 chassis.
The example offered here is believed to have been delivered new to Amsterdam and has been under current ownership since 2015, kept as part of an impressive collection in Switzerland, and then from 2020 in Kuwait. It is finished in subdued Grey Blue Metallic over a luxurious Blue velour interior, a fitting color combination for the understatedly elegant design. The car appears largely well-preserved, presented in driver condition with expected patina for its age. Well-appointed with many premium features available in the early 1980s, the coupe came equipped from the factory with automatic climate control, an electrically operated sliding sunroof, central locking, cruise control, and a Becker Mexico AM/FM cassette stereo. The car rides on correct, 14-inch, 15-hole, alloy wheels mounted with Fulda Carat Assuro tires.
In 2016, it benefitted from an annual service, which included replacing the engine and gearbox oil, purging the hydraulic system, and recharging the air conditioner. Among the included manuals and documentation accompanying the vehicle is the factory service book with data card.
Easily one of the most special Mercedes-Benz automobiles of the post-war period, the 450 SLC 5.0 represents a return to factory-backed racing for the legendary German manufacturer. Never officially imported into the United States, these cars are not often seen on public roads and will certainly draw interest at any event highlighting the marque.