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Home Pick of the Day Pick of the Day: 1976 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC, an underappreciated classic

Pick of the Day: 1976 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC, an underappreciated classic

The sporty GT coupe exists in the shadow of the sportier SL 2-seat convertible

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Sometimes a car can be overlooked due to another, more-desirable model that is essentially similar, such as the Pick of the Day, a 1976 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC.

During the 1970zs and ‘80s, the halo car for Mercedes was the two-seat SL convertible, so that its 2+2 coupe sibling, the SLC, got second billing, despite being more expensive and rarer. The SLC did not offer the top-down motoring experience, but it did have more interior room and a better ride due to its longer wheelbase.

As collector cars, the SL is a perennial favorite while the SLC remains an also-ran, a forgotten classic that deserves better.  

When new, the SLC received rave reviews and was considered by many motoring journalists to be the better car of the two. Mercedes would replace the SLC in 1983 with the larger and even more-luxurious SEC, but it was based not on the R107 roadster platform of the SL but on the S-Class sedan underpinnings. While these cars would sell better, they lacked the Old World elegance and charm of the SLC.

slc

The Lake Zurich, Illinois, dealer advertising this SLC on ClassicCars.com describes it as a one- owner car in original condition. Finished in Astral Silver Metallic over a black-leather interior, this SLC looks to be in very nice driver-level condition. The photos with the ad show no discernable issues, with originality down to the Becker Mexico radio.

This 450 SLC comes with a complete service history, and has had no accidents or bodywork, the dealer says.  It was bought new In California in 1976 and was there until 1991, when it was transported to Chicago, where it was stored nine months per year to keep it out of the harsh Chicago weather, the seller says.  The sellers pegs the mileage at 100,000.

slc

If this car is as nice as it seems, it would be perfect for crossing-country tours, taking to shows, or just driving for pleasure on the weekends. The asking price of only $8,500 is considerably lower than the cost of an SL in similar condition.

To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Hagerty
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Does everything work? Radio, air-conditioning, heater, seats, wipers, window washers, etc.? How is the engine? Leak oil? Is the wiring sound? How are the tires and brakes? Does the transmission shift smoothly or jerk between gears?
    I owned a 1986 560 SL with 80,000 miles and the transmission died, the wires on the engine were crystalline, and the engine began to run ragged. This is why I asked these questions.

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