1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SL for sale 101022874
1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SL
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1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SL


Private Seller

Richland, WA 99354

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Classic Car Overview


Everything is original on this Benz, save for all of the necessary upgrades to rubber gaskets and parts, corroded metal fastenings and things. One major upgrade, performed by Mercedes-Benz themselves was to the fuel pump system. Oh and the stereo was upgraded in the 1980's as well as the chrome trim along the wheel wells, which honestly, add quite the nice touch. Other than that, the paint and interior is original and well-kept all except for the dash, which has faded a bit from 6 months of sun exposure, otherwise garage stored. 

Three owners total. Dad had the car the longest and would take mom on dates in the car before she passed. Dad refused to sell the car after that and kept the car for 25 years until I could take it and fix it up. I was the idiot who kept the car in the sun for 6 months. Otherwise the car is in just phenomenal shape. 

The car has a removable hard top and a black soft top (not shown). I have the original manuals, operators and mechanics, as well as a CD manual. Car also comes with a set of four vintage 1980s Enkei gold sought-after rims.

Had a Mercedes mechanic take the whole engine apart, clean it out, replace all of the gaskets and O-rings and put it back together, same with the fuel tank, suspension and the list below:

Date Upgrade & Repair:

7/25/2015 Replace Fuel filter

7/25/2015 Replace Spark Plug Wire Set & Plugs

7/25/2015 Replace Water Pump

7/31/2015 Replace Fuel pump

8/6/2015 Replace Thermostat

8/17/2015 Replace Upper Crankshaft Seal

8/17/2015 Replace Oil Pan Gasket Set

8/17/2015 Replace Upper Valve Cover Gasket

8/17/2015 Replace Lower Valve Cover Gasket

8/17/2015 Replace Lower Crankshaft Seal

8/17/2015 Replace Automatic Transmission Pan Gasket

8/17/2015 Replace Oil Pan Gasket

8/17/2015 Replace Front Automatic Transmission Seal

8/17/2015 Replace Back Automatic Transmission Seal

8/17/2015 Replace Fog Light Bulb

8/20/2015 Replace Secondary Air Injection Pump

12/2/2015 Custom Car Cover

12/6/2015 Replace Fuel Filter Again

12/29/2015 Replace Fuel Level Sending Unit

1/5/2016 Remove and Clean Out Fuel Tank

1/26/2016 Replace Shocks

3/12/2016 Replace Fuel Injectors

6/17/2016 Re-solder Fuel Sensor to Tank Causing Fuel Smell

6/18/2016 Misc Equipment (Don’t Remember)

6/19/2016 Replace Tires, Including Spare

6/20/2016 Misc Equipment (Don’t Remember)

7/7/2016 Replaces Brakes

3/8/2018 Upgrade Fuel Pump

3/8/2018 Perform Engine Tweaks by Mercedes Benz

3/8/2018 Mercedes Benz Overall Check and Suggestions by 450SL Expert

8/2/2018 Upgrade Headlights

8/2/2018 Sand and Wax Paint to Remove Scratches

8/10/2018 Drive Shaft U-Joint Replacement, Misc Under Carriage Rubber Replacements

Things that need to be done still (Quotes Cost by my mechanic):

Transmission gaskets need to be replaced, tiny leak, but is fine ($500)

Needs warm up regulator replaced ($650)

Soft top needs to be replaced, has a tear and is old ($500)

Dashboard should be replaced ($1000)

Steering linkage should be replaced ($150)

Still a slight fuel smell when tank is ~80-100% full--not sure what to do about it or how to fix it. I've had my mechanic take the tank out a couple times (HUGE effort) and not find a leak in anything. No leaks in fuel lines, they've been upgraded and replaced anyway, by Mercedes. Will check the gas cap to see if the gasket needs to be replaced. No quote available for the fuel smell issue; new gas cap gasket might fix this issue.

Wish list items (quote if available):

Paint as a few nicks, mainly on door edges ($300 for nick repair)

Could be rewired throughout

Original carpet is worn in areas, could be replaced

Radio antenna should be replaced it doesn't go down all the way on its own ($150)

Heater (of all things) doesn't work (A/C does) maybe just don't drive it in the snow or rain and you'll be fine

Breaks still squeak at slow speed even though they have been replaced, go figure

The car has its quirks, but what old car doesn't. You will fall in love with the thing like I have.  And you will probably be able to fix it up better than I have been able to. I brought it back to life and maybe you will be able to bring it to perfection. I hope you will be able to take it from a 15K car to a 25K car because that's what it's worth. Every mechanic I take it to tells me this car is worth a fortune and I should keep it and continue working on it, but I just don't have any more in me to do it. I've gotten it out of my system and now it's time to pass it on to someone else who will take it the rest of the way. By the way, the photos were taken August 2018, so what you see is what you get!!

UPDATE 12/20/2018: I am not able to get the hard top off--it is stuck. 

To start, here is some basic information for removing hard top: 

Top levers position behind the drivers seat:

- turn the big lever fully counter clockwise to the 9:00 position. 
- turn the small lever clockwise to the 5:00 position
HOWEVER the rear latch seems to be stuck and one of the leavers seems to free-wheel. I have googled the issue and found the below information, but I have yet to fix it. If the car sells before I fix it, I've included the information I found:
To remove a stuck 450SL top: Rotation will free the hard top, but there are some simpler steps to try first. The steps involve pulling the catch away from the rod (or "bullet") to release it.
There are very good writeup on this at:

1) https://www.benzworld.org/forums/r-c107-sl-slc-class/1440752-help-hard-top-removal-help.html, showing proper operation of the release handles behind the driver's seat; it also discusses some alternatives if that fails.

2) https://www.benzworld.org/forums/r-c107-sl-slc-class/1486586-soft-top-rear-pin-release.html, has discussion and photos of alternate tools for release.

3) 380SL rear center top bow latch - Mercedes-Benz Club of America Forums has a good verbal discussion of alternate release methods at post #9

Regardless of the specific SL model (280, 380, 450), all of the R107s with manual releases work the same.

The posts also discuss how (with assistance of another person) you can rotate a hard top top 90 degrees (or less) to one side or the other, and the pin will release. Be sure to lift the top as far as you can (keeping it level), and protect the paint on the rear deck and doors when you do this!! See https://www.benzworld.org/forums/r-c1...ase-latch.html for cautions.

You don't want to try the "rotate" process with a soft top. You would have to remove the frame from the pivots behind the doors, something you need not get into.

An excellent looking repair post once the hard top is off:
1) https://www.benzworld.org/forums/r-c107-sl-slc-class/1697017-hard-top-stuck-my-fix-part.html
FYI: Forums will be your best friend for this car. There are many of these vehicles out there (mostly a bummer, I know) and all of the various problems you can come across for this vehicle have been solved by someone. Simple searches on the forums listed above will help guide you or your mechanic on all discovered issues with a 450SL. They have come in handy over the years during my portion of the restoration of this vehicle.
Vehicle is also posted for sale on eBay. Just search for '1978 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class 450SL' on eBay and you'll find it.
While there are many of these cars out there, I would have to say, this particular one is in just excellent shape. Like I said before, it has its quirks, but the thing is nearly fully restored as I've covered in the repairs performed, repairs needed, and wish-list items.
How I came up with the price: $15,000 (average comparable value to other 450SLs out there) minus all repairs needed that have quotes from my mechanic, equals $11,750. Knock of the $50, and you get the price of $11,700.
Thank you for taking the time to review this lengthy item description. I look forward to hearing from you. Also please be patient with my response time. I will respond to every message received before selling the vehicle.

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Vehicle Specifications

  • VIN
  • Classic Car ID
  • Stock Number
  • Category
    Import Classics
  • Body Style
  • New/Used
  • Condition
    95% Finished
  • Mileage
    81,630 miles
  • Engine
    8 Cylinder
  • Drivetrain
  • Transmission
    3 Speed Automatic
  • Exterior Color
  • Custom Color

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