The Dallas Oilman's Car:

1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SL
Two-Top Roadster!

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Dallas has long been the capital of America's oil industry, a cherished place of business for those who made their wealth by mining black gold, depicted to great effect in the long-running, eponymously named 1980s TV show.



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Even back then, the rich and famous liked Mercedes-Benz automobiles, and the choice of many of Texas' super-wealthy -- even before Bobby Ewing -- was the Mercedes-Benz 450SL Roadster.

One of those mega rich was oil tycoon R.H. Pickens, who ordered his 450SL from the factory in black, with black hardtop, black canvas top, and a sumptuous black leather interior. The only way to set it apart even more was to order genuine chrome wire wheels with knock-offs, and so he marked that on the option list as well.

Many years later, VIN *10704412050305* found its way to the Golden State, where it has resided in another upscale enclave, Montecito, playgound of the ultra rich.

Fast forward 4 decades, and the 450SL still looks as attractive as ever, fully retaining the ambiente of German solidity.
Let's check it out!

The four-and-a-half-liter cast iron Vee Eight behaves much like a good ol' American muscle car engine, certainly aided by its advanced single overhead camshaft design. The 450 is a torque monster, loafing happily along at any speed, from its 550rpm idle up to its 6,000rpm redline. Yes, this Roadster is capable of running on the Autobahn at 125mph, all day long.

This car's matching numbers engine is as healthy as can be. It starts on the button, hot or cold, and falls immediately into a mellow idle. There are no fluid leaks to report, nor any other issues that could spoil the fun.


As one would expect, there are no signs of corrosion or damage on this cherished SL; all factory finishes appear to be intact and "as delivered."

Not only does the SL combine the best elements of a luxurious tourer and an exhilarating sports car, but its versatility is unrivalled, since all R107 models came factory-equipped with 2 tops. The steel hardtop, with its heated rear window, permits year-round driving, even in inclement weather conditions. It can be removed within minutes, transforming the car into a true Roadster. Of course, a folding convertible top is waiting to be raised in the event of a surprise rain shower.

Hardtop is super clean, inside and out. Black German canvas soft top is in wonderful condition, without any tears or rips. Plastic rear windows are clear.

Repainted once in its original "schwarz" color, the car presents itself in beautiful condition. There are no dings, dents, or scratches worth mentioning, just miniscule signs of usage.

A special treat are the chromed spoke wheels with knock offs. Incredibly expensive when new, they are in absolutely beautiful condition today, 38 years after the car was built.

Moving on to the car's inside, we marvel at the beautifully preserved cockpit. Even the vulnerable dash top is in near new condition!

Having been driven on special occasions only, to the tune of less than 2,500 miles annually, 90,206 is the correct, total mileage of this car. Check out that beautifully preserved Zebrano wood!

This photo looks like it might be lifted from a factory brochure, circa 1979 -- rest assured, it is a pic of the actual car for sale, taken in 2017! Also note the beautiful original carpeting.

Comfy bucket seats are trimmed in genuine black hides and remain in splendid original condition. This SL was garaged all its life and it shows, especially here, since sun damage to the interior is the bane of most California cars.

Carpeted area behind the seats provides plenty of space for two of man's best friends -- or one Great Dane.

All the lights work as they should.
Ready for a test drive? So are we, but before take off, let's take a look at the trunk.

Dressed in matching velour carpeting, the trunk provides plenty of space for a couple of golf bags.

Resting in a separate partition below the trunk floor, the matching spare is equally well preserved.

Thursday, April 13, turned out to be another lovely spring day in our olde mission town San Buenaventura, and we were excited about exercising the 450SL.

Nothing beats chauffeuring a low-mileage original classic, and Mr. Pickens' star cruiser didn't disappoint.

The car starts, runs, drives, shifts, handles, and brakes very nicely, with no untoward noises emanating from its drivetrain. This SL exudes an air of utter confidence! Especially with the top down, one enters a spiritually uplifting zone of wellness while driving this Roadster.

Returning home, we are very impressed, indeed. The inherent qualities of a Mercedes-Benz Roadster are based on a long tradition of hand-built automobiles. You are looking at a car that has barely aged in four decades. Factory fit and finish of every part is just about perfect.

Mercedes 450 SLs are wonderful automobiles. They are as safe as a bank vault and provide trouble-free motoring. Still extremely affordable, compared to their predecessors, clean 450SLs are destined to continue to increase in value.

If you've been looking for that special SL, a Benz that stands out in a crowd and drives as good as it looks, here's your car!


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You are most welcome to inspect this fine automobile at our location in Ventura, by appointment, or have someone inspect it for you.
Please, direct all inquiries to bill@californiaclassix.com or call us at 805-653-5551.