Factory Lightweight: 1979 Mercedes 450SLC 5.0

This listing for a 1979 Mercedes 450SLC 5.0 almost snuck right past me, as I wasn’t aware of this limited-production factory light weight coupe built to meet homologation requirements in the late 70s. That’s when Mercedes embarked on a highly successful campaign to compete in grueling rally events like the Paris to Dakar race with the classic C107 hardtop. With only 1,470 cars made and only about 40 ever believed to have been sold in the United States, saying it’s a rare specimen is an understatement – and this one looks to be in excellent condition. Find the rare 450SLC 5.0 listed here on RMC Miami website for $39,000. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Kyle N. for the find. 

The C107 was always a rare car in the USA, with its convertible sibling seemingly outselling it handily. The hardtop model was a respectable package out of the box, even if the looks felt a bit awkward with the C-pillar always feeling slightly out of place (to me, at least). The seller notes this is one of the 40 cars intended for U.S. sale, but also states it was federalized at its point of entry. This is curious to me as models destined for our market would normally be fitted with U.S.-specific safety and emissions equipment at the factory, not the port. Plus, this car still retains its European-spec bumpers and H4 lighting, two items typically swapped during federalization.

Of course, with production numbers so small, it’s hard to say whether Mercedes specifically created a U.S. version of this rare, factory light-weight, or customers just had the option or ordering it through their dealer when it was introduced. In addition to its styling, the 450SLC was a genuine homologation car in tribute to the factory racers, featuring light-weight, alloy body panels and an all-aluminum 5.0L V8 that pushed out a very respectable 240 b.h.p. The car’s performance outshone many other of Mercedes’ more celebrated performance models, and as a competition car, it offered a surprising amount of luxury in a purpose-build competition vehicle, from leather to completely finished trunk compartments.

The seller claims this limited production model also featured an upgraded transmission and differential, but I’ve yet to find any information confirming this. Mercedes didn’t shy away from building high-performance vehicles for road-going use, so it certainly wouldn’t surprise me. In addition to period-correct BBS wheels and rear spoiler, the Mercedes will come with a comprehensive service and ownership history, accompanied by a binder full of records and the original bill of sale. This lightweight C107 of those cars that comes along exceedingly infrequently, so if you’ve been looking to buy one, now’s the time.

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    I found my C107 on BarnFinds earlier this year. Same color as this in Ikon Gold. I believe what the seller is referring on the differential is limited slip which was very rare in the 107 chassis. My plan for mine is I found a wrecked 560sl which is going to donate it’s suspension and drivetrain to make a 560slc. Should be a nice cruiser and I agree the C107 is under appreciated and yes the C pillar is kind of odd but I’m a coupe guy and not a convertible guy.

    Like 5
    • JDawg76

      I love SLCs, but wouldn’t touch an R107 SL with a 10 ft. pole. Yes the C pillar is a little awkward, but they’re still pretty cars.

  2. 4spdBernie Member

    For $39,000 I’d expect the front bumper to be level and correctly positioned.

    Like 6
    • Randy

      You are right — the front bumper should sit slightly below the grill surround. At some point it has been ‘bumped’, and when the repair was made the bumper was not aligned correctly.

    • Jef Fowler

      $39K seems a little on the low side if this is as rare as mentioned.

      Never heard of lightweight version. Surprised it retained the auto box.

  3. 370zpp

    That after-market inspired rear spoiler just begs to be removed.

    Like 3
  4. Beyfon

    I’m guessing it was around 2015 that I found an SLC 5.0 in the local Craigslist for sale in Riner VA. The price was very reasonable, perhaps in the $3k range. Unfortunately it was a very tired example- some rust, ok-ish interior but the engine had a terminal sounding knock that made me pass. But it is indeed a very rare version even though 99.9% of the car people won’t know and won’t care about the subtle differences vs a regular SLC.

    Like 1
    • JDawg76

      One was for sale on Craiglslist in Atlanta 5-6 years ago, asking price was $5K range. It was a complete/running survivor, with a little rust as usual. Should’ve grabbed it.

  5. ACB

    The front and rear spoilers were both factory-fitted. All left-hand drive, the 450SLC 5.0 was a WRC homologation model (the V8 which was slightly smaller than the subsequent release & the aluminum body parts) and an even rarer regular production 500SLC followed, the major difference being a 4 speed transmission. It wasn’t around long, being soon replaced by the C126.

    Like 4
  6. Mitchell Ross

    I never understood why SLCs, which cost much more than SLs when new sell for 25% of what similar condition SLs do. This car is real nice though and and even though it looks like most other Euro spec SLCs, a Mercedes aficionado with deep pockets will get a special car.

    Like 1
  7. Tom c

    It’s different , it’s a benz and it’s not crazy expensive. What’s not to like.

    Like 1
  8. Bing

    I found one 15 years ago, had the spoilers, 5.0 engine etc. A prior owner had a full roll cage installed, numbers applied, wire mesh over the headlights. It came to me via California where it supposedly had track time at Riverside. Not much torque off the line but once rolling it seemed to not have a top end. I enjoyed the car for a while, sold it to a New York lawyer who wanted it for a car museum he was setting up in Florida. The car drew looks wherever I went. Silver with a black interior. Had Europium gauges in the dash.

    Like 1

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