Market value of a very clean 1973 Mercedes 450 SL?

used

#1

A retired freidn is selling a very clean 1973 Merecedes 450 SL with 2 tops, since his wife will no longer be driving it.



The car has been professionallly maintained by the dealer and in the last 10 years only driven in the summer. Always garaged; mileage about 80,000 miles.


#2

You’re asking what the price should be? You might want to check Hemmings Motor
http://www.hemmings.com/
and EBay for comparables.


#3

Thanks, I could not find any for sale in the local papers. This little car is sqeaky clean.


#4

On Ebay they bid up to between $3,000 and $9,000. Me, I’d prefer the much later 560SL, same looks, better in most every way. Those early ones are, well, old, and the systems (heat, ac, etc) need lots of attention. Also, around that time they had issues with the thermal reactors they used for pollution controls. Of course, a 560SL would be more in the $8,000 to $15,000 range…


#5

Thanks, I suspected thatin 1973 emission controls would not be state of the art.


#6

Here is one of the FEW 1973 450SL that have actually SOLD…MANY are for sale for dream-world prices, but they seldom if ever get the price.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercedes-Benz-SL-Class-450-SL-1973-Mercedes-Benz-450SL-Roadster_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem27b036b073QQitemZ170460098675QQptZUSQ5fCarsQ5fTrucks

If you are an eBay member, go to advanced search, 450SL, completed auctions, to view the ones that have been listed and have actually sold. Red ink means no sale, green, item sold.


#7

Yeah, those $$ I mentioned are max bid numbers, very few ‘sold’.


#8

I believe (and I’m not quite the whiz on these things I once was) that 1973 was the last “good” year before they started doing federal pollution controls in 1974, so unless it’s a California car it should be no problem.

I suspect this is going to be a car that’s going to vary a lot in value based on where you live, so maybe checking to see if any have sold on the local craigslist might be another thing to check.


#9

You really need to go to a vintage Benz site for accurate information. I can send you more than a few very good forums if you wish Doc.

The 1973 450SL is a collectible Mercedes. The 107 chassis that ran from 1972 to 1989 included the 450SL, the 380SL and the 560SL. There was a long chassis hardtop coupe version called the 450SLC and 380SLC as well. These are the American models that were inported by MBUSA. The gray market European 107’s had a slick little straight six, and are more collectible.

Like any chassis run, that was marketed for 18 years, there is a pecking order of model years when it comes to current value. This pecking order has been debated many times in forums, and covers many opinions. Here’s my opinion when it comes to the 107’s;

1972-1973 450SL
Although the 1972 is badged 350SL it has the 4.5 cast iron engine. Both '72 and '73 have the low smog higher output engine. They have the small bumpers. They also have the somewhat troublesome climate control system. There is a CC upgrade that fixes everything.
An early SL in very good shape is a find. I’d buy it if the price is right.

1986-1989 560SL
The all alloy engine was increased to 5.6 liters for the last run of the 107. These are the newest of the models and come with anti-lock brakes and an air bag. Still sought after by many.

1977-1980 450SL
Last of the cast iron 4.5liters. has many updates from the early 450SL’s

1984-1985 380SL
The late 380SL’s presents the most value in the 107 chassis. All the early engine gremlins are sorted out, and it has the new style climate control. These will appreciate.

Models to avoid;
1975=1976 450 SL
Had the catalytic converter under the hood mounted high. This caused all sorts of heat problems under the hood, burning up components and such.

1981-1983 380SL
These had the infamous single row timing chain that would eat engines. Most were upgraded to the double row by the factory, but some never were. NEVER buy a '81-82 380SL without checking for the double row upgrade.

Here’s a site that spells out most of the upgrades:
http://northernresource.com/mercedes/107-changes.htm

The two seat SL’s still represent a good value to someone who want a V8 powered roadster. They all have removable hardtops and a soft top. They all have four wheel disk brakes and fuel injection. They’re built like tanks, and may be the safest roadster ever built. They won’t give embarrassing performance, but if you want a sports car buy a Porsche 911.


#10

Thanks, Benzman; this vehicle was originally imported into Canada, but there were so few that they used the US Lower 48 emission and safety standards.

Will check out the site you suggested.

This car was owned and driven by a doctor’s wife and spent most of its time going to the country club, 80,000 miles over 37 years.

P.S. Benzman; would appreciate additonal forums and sources. This car would fit the “very good” category, and shows well. Color is brownish gold metallic with hard and soft top. Always stored inside in dry climate. Minor chips in paint. Old Car Report Price Guide of April 2010 would have this sell at $15,300. Not a great deal of work needed to put this in Show Car category. Climate control would have been used from end of May to mid September. If I had a 3 car garage, I would buy it myself.


#11

Also check out nadaguides.com Classic Cars/Luxury car tabs. It has some pricing info available as one more data point.


#12

It might be worth it to double check to see if the car was a gray market 1973 that Benzman mentioned. I’m sure that you could determine it from the VIN if you haven’t already.

http://www.carportstation.com/

It looks like the snow will roll off some of these. You can put the Corolla in the canopy when the weather gets nice.


#13

Hmm…$15,300 sounds pretty high for what they get bid to on Ebay. Course, asking prices can be all over the map.


#14

It looked high to me too, but that was the price listed in the “Old Cars Report Price Guide”. I suspect these prices may have been pre-recession figures. They may not be actual bids, but estimate as to what the price “should be”. A local auction house estimates it would go for about $10,000 or a little more because of the very good condition.

Two tops fetch $2700 more than the coupe at the Very Good level.

They have a range or 1 to 6 for condition the car is in. The figures go from $1350 for parts, to $34,000 for Concourse condition to win prizes. The $15,300 was for Very Good, requiring no mechanical work and fully operable.


#15

That is cool… Thanks!


#16

It also depends on the geographic location. Do you live in the rustbelt or the Southwest?


#17

The best market for these cars is Florida, So-Cal, Arizona…But with the economy the way it is, cash buyers are hard to find and the market is flooded with “toy” cars…A 38 year old car is still a 38 year old car…


#18

I was more thinking along the lines of cars from these locales fetching better prices because of the favorable climate (no rust even on 38 years old cars).