Most Luxurious – 1974 Mercedes 450 SL

If you ever wanted to be Bobby Ewing, Rick from Magnum PI, or the Six Million Dollar Man, here’s the car for you. If you’re willing to settle for “1980s country club member/1980s trophy wife”, likewise, here’s the car for you. If you’re a fan of cars that are engineered like a tank, but also want the wind in your toupee, here’s the car for you. But, if you want sporty handling, short 0-60 times, or a loud engine, you’ve taken a wrong turn, partner. Fans of topless tanks who don’t have a lot of dough should check out this 1974 Mercedes 450 SL for sale in American Canyon, CA for $3800.

1974 Mercedes 450SL right front

Let’s see, what cars were around in 1974 that also made it into the late 1980s? Fiat X1/9, Alfa Spider, Jeep Grand Wagoneer SJ, Range Rover, Land Rover, and probably not many more… and that is part of what helped this car to 7th place on Sports & Exotic Car’s Top 25 Roadsters list, with just over 237,000 produced. Fortunately, the 1974 model year avoids vapor lock issues in 1975-76 cars, and the climate control issues in later cars. It also avoids smog testing in most states, including California. While 190hp and 240 lb.-ft. is not a lot to motivate this 3600-lb. porker, it’s still a lot better than the 155hp on offer in the later 380 SL. Having the engine working that hard means you’re looking at the fuel economy of a large SUV or supercar.

1974 Mercedes 450SL left rear

But who cares? You’re in an open top Mercedes, and your average johnny-in-the-street will have no idea if your car is from 1974, 1984, or even 1989! So take in those admiring gazes while you’re enjoying the car on the weekend, because come Monday it’s back in the Corolla to work you go. This particular car comes with a hard top and a soft top in good shape, and is said to run well, albeit for short distances. Use it to bomb around town and once you gain a bit of confidence (and fill up the piggy bank), try it out on a long-distance trip. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a classic car, packed with luggage, and covered with bugs and dirt – you know the owner is using it as designed.

1974 Mercedes 450SL interior

Bleh, sheepskin seat covers. That brake pedal is pretty worn too, but hey, at 225,000 miles you can expect to have to replace some rubber bits. Enough of these have been made that used parts should be readily available, and other than that, a good cleaning should help out a lot. Apparently the local car thief ring has decided to buck the Civic/Accord trend and focus on SLs – how else does one explain the club on the steering wheel?


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One Response to “Most Luxurious – 1974 Mercedes 450 SL”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    That guy that was married to Cindy Crawford drove one of these in “American Gigolo”.

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