Model story

Mercedes-Benz 450SL



Chassis type:


Manufacturing period:

1973-1980 (450SL)

Production limit:

237 287

Year of manufacturing:





2-seater 2-door roadster with soft-top and removable hard top




M117, V-type 8-cylinder

Engine capacity:

4520 cm³


190 hp (142 kW) @ 4750 rpm




SOHC, duplex chain


3-speed, automatic transmission

Drive type:


Maximal speed:

207 km/h



Average fuel consumption:

18.5 l/100 km



Car's weight:

1632 kg


This model was produced solely for U.S. market.

The Mercedes-Benz R107 and C107 are automobiles, which were produced by Mercedes-Benz from 1971 through 1989, being the second longest single series ever produced by the automaker, after the G-Class. The R107 took the chassis components of the midsize Mercedes-Benz W114 model and mated them initially to the M116 and M117 V8 engines used in the W108, W109 and W111 series. Volume production of the first R107 car, the 350 SL, started in April 1971 alongside the last of the W113 cars. Sales of the SL and SLC models began in the US one year later than in Europe.

The R107/C107 since introduction on North American market sported quad headlights, and from 1974 front and rear bumpers had added 8 inches (203 mm) of rubber on each end to comply with the U.S. regulations.

When the first 350s were exported to the US, they were shipped with low compression 4.5 litre engines to meet stringent US emissions requirements.

The 450 SL was produced until 1980. Model years 1975 and 1976 450 SLs suffered from vapour lock and hard restart because of the under-hood position of the catalytic converter. Starting in MY 1977, the catalytic converter was moved to replace the resonator, located just behind the transmission in the exhaust system.

Next was the 380 SL imported from 1981 to 1985. The 380 SL was the least powerful of the US imported R107 roadsters. This engine came with a single row timing chain from 1981 through 1983. MYs 1984 and 1985 came with a double row timing chain from the factory. These early 380 models were plagued with chain failure problems and the problem was corrected by Mercedes-Benz, free of charge. Some models, however, escaped retrofit and may at some point fail as a result.

Another problem area for late 450 SLs and early 380 SLs was the automatic climate control system. Based on a "servo", which controlled coolant flow to the heater core, as well as vacuum to actuate the vents in the interior of the car, the system proved unreliable. It was installed on 450 SLs from 1978 through end of production in 1980, and continued on the 1981 MY of the 380 SL. Models produced prior to 1978 had a manual climate control system, models produced after 1981 received a more reliable automatic climate control system.




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