Not many cars can defy time like this beautiful, low-mileage 1975 Mercedes-Benz 450 SL. Even today, nearly 30 years after they went out of production, they still command respect from the general masses and remain Grade-A cars to own and drive, representing huge bang for the buck. This low-ownership, well-maintained example is one of the nicer ones we've ever featured, having lived most of its coddled life under the care of 2-owners who treated it like a member of the family.
Like most luxury models, you could pretty much get whatever color you wanted on your SL, even in 1975. While so many of these cars were black, white, or silver, this 450 SL is sporting a lovely Blue that looks splendid with the matching Blue leather interior. With its dual headlight and bumper brackets (overkill specific for the American market), it represents the high-water mark for the R107 roadster, a near-ideal blend of style and luxury that made it the premier luxury car of the era. The paint, although not perfect, remains in exceptionally good condition given the car's age, a testament to the quality of the original materials and the care this car has received over the past two-and-a-half decades.
Gaps and panel fit are to typical German standards and remain excellent today. Light colors tend to minimize flaws, but even on close inspection this one has laser-straight flanks, crisply rendered body lines, and almost zero signs of road rash, although there is obviously some evidence of age, which is all but inevitable, and it could all be remedied greatly with a professional buff and polish. All the chrome and stainless remains bright, and even though the bumpers are a bit overzealous, they're in great shape too. It's obvious this car was loved for many years.
The blue leather interior is a sporting compliment to the slick red paint, with seats that are all-original and it all still looks pretty good. The bolsters inserts in the seats are still very supportive while the carpets are appropriate to the car's age and mileage, and the rear package shelf - which always gets baked in the sun - shows zero discoloration.
You'll also note that lots of features were standard on an SL, ranging from air conditioning to cruise control to power windows just to name a few. Overhead there's a gorgeous blue convertible top practically still looks new and with some practice, you'll be able to stash it or pull it up in moments. And if you want even more protection, a color-matched hardtop comes with the sale as well. The trunk has its original mat, which was still rubber in 1975 and we like the no-nonsense look.
The biggest virtue this SL has to offer are the ultra-low 65,356 actual miles, a healthy stack of maintenance receipts, and long-term ownership from only 2-owners in its lifetime. The 4.5 liter V8 is a wonderful machine, torquey and smooth with a fantastic bubbly exhaust note that sings in appropriately hushed tones thanks to a lively factory exhaust system. Known for their longevity, these engines are virtually indestructible given proper maintenance, and will happily run for hundreds of thousands of miles with just gas and oil changes. Evidenced by the underhood area, this one has been lovingly maintained, and practically everything has been replaced or serviced at some point in the not-too-distant past, so it runs great.
A 3-speed automatic transmission was standard equipment on US-bound SLs and the rear end is stock-speck and spins friendly 3.08 gears to make this roadster a bonafide open-road cruiser. The fully independent suspension rides extremely well, yet gives the roadster competent handling when the road turns aggressive, and strong power disc brakes at all four corners shed speed without concern. And while rust is always the enemy, this car has clearly spent its life away from the elements, because it's amazingly clean and solid throughout underneath.