Ran When Parked: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC

If you have access to the various club websites for marques like Mercedes-Benz or Jaguar, you get access to members-only classifieds that often have some hidden gems that the rest of the world can’t see. This 1979 Mercedes-Benz is a rare hardtop model, otherwise known as a 450SLC, with an internal chassis code of C107. They’re not necessarily the most desirable two-seater Mercedes ever made, but finding a hardtop body doesn’t happen every day. The seller calls this one listed here on the Mercedes-Benz Club of America website as a two-owner car with the familiar designation of having “ran when parked” to entice a thirsty Benz fanatic into sending $2,000 hard-earned bills to Texas.

Image courtesy of Amazon.com

Now, the seller only includes the one photo of the Mercedes with its nose parked in the weeds – not exactly helpful. But it’s also dirt cheap and the seller is probably figuring someone hungry enough for a project will offer $1,500, which is a fair offer for one of these provided it’s not completely rusty. Being that it’s in Texas, there’s a good chance that, despite its unfortunate parking space, it’s still pretty solid. As this advertisement from 1974 points out, the company didn’t produce very many hardtop coupes, so it certainly seems rare enough to warrant saving. But this was also the point in time when R107s and C107s began to suffer from overly-aggressive emissions and safety requirements, negatively impacting both its looks and performance.

Image courtesy of Bring A Trailer

That being said, you can still make these coupes look quite tasty. As this example shows us, swapping on the European-market chrome bumpers, headlights, and rear spoiler enhance the looks significantly, as does lowering it over a set of period mesh wheels from the likes of BBS or Rial. This exact car almost made me snatch up a later model C107 abandoned at a junkyard in Connecticut, but it popped up at a time when I couldn’t stomach the thought of another junkyard rescue. This one in Texas is likely even more of an undertaking, but the big question is: is it worth saving?  Thanks to Barn Finds reader Ace10 for the find.

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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    I would assume a rebuild on this car would be an eye watering bunch of money. Even in the ’80s our Merc customer’s cars took a lot of cash inflow for parts and the labor rates were sky high. That open right side window probably didn’t do a thing for that leather interior.

    Like 3
  2. alphasud Member

    There are enough of these around to be picky on selection. This is a parts car pure and simple.

    Like 6
  3. Rodney - GSM

    Saying, “Ran when parked” is like saying about Grandpa, “Breathing when he went to bed…”

    Like 11
  4. Bob Mck Member

    Ran when parked…I bet it ran when it was new too.

    Like 9
    • CJinSD

      And it was a one-owner car when the first owner sold it in 1985.

      Like 4
  5. Arby

    Well, it’s not a 2 seater…

    And leaving it in a field is not “parked”.

    Like 5
  6. CJinSD

    I know garage and barn finds are supposed to hold some special appeal that sellers use to rationalize not presenting clean, clearly-presented cars. Swamp finds should still be cleaned off and pulled onto terra firma.

    Like 4
  7. jerry z

    Screw keeping it stock. I would put in a LSX/6 spd combo and drive it like I stole it!

    Like 2
    • Stan Marks

      That’s probably how it wound up there, in the first place.
      Seriously, I would love to know how/why it landed in the high weeds.

      • Stan Marks

        BTW.. That rear bumper sure looks suspicious.

        Like 1
  8. Bob Roller

    I worked on these “Legends in their own minds”cars in the 1980’s and until
    the mid 1990’s and the parts are available at the highest possible prices and they ARE captive market parts.

  9. RjKeenan

    My guess it’s been parked in a dry Texas spot so it “could” be a decent parts car.

    • Stan Marks

      Keep in mind, it’s been parked in high grass. Lots of moisture at night

  10. chrlsful

    I think itsa 300ci/5L bent8 gasser w/250hp. I like the hrdtop and interior. Not what I need as a daily but would take a neighbor’s up the on-ramp and out to the 1st or 2nd exit depending on smiles per miles. This one looks hit-in-the-rear. “Parked when ran” are only fun when U get paid to get to the barn/ garage, have a day or 2…but I love solving problems, that sense of accomplishment. This is priced right…1, 2, 3K $ max but need an interior pic to B sure.

  11. Bob Roller

    I would say the last owner consigned it to the tall weeds when
    the cost of making it into a useful car was revealed.It is not the
    first time th has happened.We had a V12 Jag with 4 worn out carburetors and the woman that owned it had a low paying job.She told us that her late
    brother gave it to when he found out his illness was terminal.She had someone come to get it an we never saw it again.

    Like 1
  12. Rich

    Having owned one of these back in the ’80’s – if you can see rust somewhere (like on the trunk lid), then they will have rust EVERYWHERE. And body panels are priced in the stratosphere…
    My advice would be to run away as fast as possible!

    Like 2

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