1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Roadster
“Sport Leicht” or Lightweight Sport refers to a car capable of driving at high speed for long periods of time. 1974 was the era of Mercedes-Benz over engineering the vehicles they built, and this car is no exception.
Years of barn storage have rendered this car with lots of corrosion, underneath a fair finish of repaint that was performed several years ago sum up this consignment. The good news is a potential buyer is starting with a car that if restored will always increase in value, because of the period it was built.
Cracked and crazed red gloss repaint covers the exterior. A mohair convertible is in good condition and is manually operated. The top is black, which adds to the overall look with the red, as well as black interior. Chrome is fair, and some corrosion is seen on brightwork, and bumpers. Due to 1974 crash test requirements in the US, the bumpers are a full 8” longer in front and back. Headlights are sealed beam round vs the square European version which were illegal in the US in 1974. Doors are still closing with a melodious deep thud, as with any heavy, well-engineered car.
Black leather bucket seats are worn with age and show some cracking but not totally through. Rear bench seat is tight but in good shape. A center console houses the automatic shifter, electric window toggles as well as a storage area. The dash console has an aftermarket stereo and climate controls. The driver's seat is missing the chrome trim which hides the seat hinge, as well as lumbar adjustment knob. Necessary analog gauges are on the dash in front of the driver, and the original steering wheel is present.
An 8-cylinder 276ci V8 with electronic fuel injection rests under the hood. The engine shows extensive corrosion as well as spots of rust but runs smoothly. A 3-speed automatic transmission is present as is an air conditioning compressor. Underside also shows extensive corrosion and surface rust, as well as some rubber seal breakdown. Drum brakes all around as well as a below engine mounted catalytic converter and exhaust system in good condition.
This is a great example of a desirable sporting classic, a really well-built and entertaining drop-top that puts a smile on your face every time you drive it. Even after 44 years it has a quality German car feel, drives exceptionally well and seems pleasantly solid. Despite visual corrosion, and paint faults, a solid driver priced to move.