Bargain Priced:

1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL
2-Top Roadster

Please wait a few moments while our high-resolution photos load.

Few cars have as stellar a reputation as Mercedes' 450SL Roadsters. Manufactured between 1972 and 1980, they have smoothly transitioned from a movie star car to a timeless classic.

Mouse Over the Photos to Enlarge.

And what's not to like here? The 450SL is an open-air 2-door sports car from a prestigious maker. It's built like a bank vault and powered by a bullet-proof V8 engine. The 450SL's competitors are Aston-Martin Volante, Chevrolet Corvette, Jensen Interceptor and Jaguar XJS Convertible, and perhaps the Porsche 911SC Cabriolet, all nice rides if money isn't much of a concern.

We've sold many 450SLs throughout the decades. Nice ones with not too many miles sell in the mid-to-high teens. Never, not even once, have we sold one under 10 grand. And offering one for $5,990 suggests that April 1st is coming soon. So what's the catch?

No catch, really. VIN *10704412021068* was built in June of 1974. That means the car doesn't have any catalytic converters and it lacks the black boxes and myriad emission sensors of its successors. It's smog exempt for live in the Golden State and many other states of the Union.

This Mercedes has been a California resident all its life, still carries the early 6-digit blue and yellow license plates front and back. It's a well maintained car that was parked in 2018, reportedly because its owner got too frail to enjoy it any longer. We bought it from a Euro car specialist right here in Ventura, the very shop that has serviced it for many years. The car is solid like a rock, runs and drives great, and needs just some straight forward cosmetics to be pretty again.
Let's have a closer look, shall we?

The 450SL's our-and-a-half-liter cast iron V8 behaves much like a good ol' American muscle car engine. It's a torque monster, loafing happily along at any speed, from its 550rpm idle up to its 6,000rpm redline, and it's capable of running on the Autobahn at 125mph, all day long. Assembled with utmost precision and fed by a BOSCH L-Jetronic fuel injection, this power plant is a simple -- but purebred -- athlete from the days of the dinosaurs, destined to outlive all of the high-tech toys of the new Millennium with their pre-programmed OBD II code nightmares.

The engine is healthy like the proverbial ox. It starts on the button and runs like a champ without any issues to report. There's no smoke and there are no untoward noises or any other issue to report. None. The engine is so clean that we wonder if it has been rebuilt in the past.

There are no fluid leaks of any kind.

The car comes with its original steel hardtop, with beautifully preserved, undamaged headliner. The black convertible top is ripped though, and needs replacement.

The 450SL's body is straight, without any significant dings or scratches to report. Thes Redmetallic paint, code 571H, has seen better days, with the clear coat peeling on all horizontal surfaces. The car needs and deserves a full respray, a great winter project.

The car rides on date-coded Mercedes Bundt alloys which all show beautifully preserved chrome. All tires have plenty of life left.

The parchment colored interior compliments the Strawberry red exterior nicely. Dash top is free of cracks and even the radio works!

Oil pressure is suberb, idle is stable and the car doesn't show any sign of thermal imbalance.

Comfy bucket seats are still firm and trimmed in wear-resistant MB-Tex. But after 47 years under the California sun, they can't hide their age, and since there are a few rips on the upper part of the driver's seat, we would splurge for a set of new covers. None of this needs to be done now, but can be done along the road.

All of the lights work as they should, every single one of them.

The early SL trunk without having to house the battery (which still resists in the engine compartment) is a simple affair. The carpeted trunk mat is aftermarket.

It protected the original rubber trunk mat, which presents itself in incredibly well-preserved condition.

Canvas tool roll is missing, but all of the factory tools come with the car. Original spare wears a used Michelin tire. Sheet metal under the spare is healthy and undamaged.

This 450SL's undercarriage is just stunning and the reason California cars are so desirable. The dark brown spots are remainders of the factory Cosmoline wax -- after 47 years!

Correct dark gray rocker finish and original floors in dream condition!

On Friday, March 12, we took this 450SL on a short cruise, snapping these photos along the way.

The car starts, runs, drives, shifts, handles, and brakes great. There's a bit of play in the steering which we traced to the ball joints -- an easy and inexpensive fix.

If you ignore the peeling clear coat and the sligthly scruffy interior, you are left with a desirable Mercedes Roadster that clearly displays the inherent qualities of the marque. This is a great and utterly healthy 450SL that is just cosmetically challenged. If we didn't have plenty of project cars lined up already, pushing this relatively cheap car further back the pipeline, we wouldn't offer it for peanuts.

If you don't mind getting your hands dirty, this car represents a unique opportunity.
Opportunity knocks, are you ready to answer?


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 or call us at 805-792-9797.