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  #1  
Old 09-15-2002, 04:45 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: kansas
Posts: 47
thinking of purchasing a 74 450SL?

hi forum...I'm visiting here from the diesel forum...I currently have a 81 300D. I'm looking at a 74 450SL, no rust, under 200k, so-so interior...The selling party wants $8k for it. My question is: As I know nothing about the SL's..is there anything obvious that I should look for on this car?..Will this car cost more to maintain than my 300D? Is there a faq area of this forum that would probally answer most?

thanks in advance
sean
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  #2  
Old 09-15-2002, 07:00 PM
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Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
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I copied the article from Road and Track on the 107 Roadsters onto my hard drive, and they wrote the following:

"Still, all things being equal, it's best to avoid 1975-1976 U.S. federal models, and 1974 California cars as well. In the former, the cars carried catalytic converters inside the engine compartment. The heat generated by the converters tends to cook wiring and vacuum lines under the hood. Vapor lock was also a common malady. Mercedes engineers moved the catalysts farther downstream for 1977.

The 1974 California cars, according to Marx, were equipped with exhaust-gas-recirculation devices that cause stumbling problems."

"The 450SLs were subject to a formal recall, one still being honored by Mercedes-Benz, for cracking subframes. The dealer will replace or weld the subframe.

"During the Seventies, German cars were not noted for their effective air conditioners, and these SLs are no exception. Except for the servo units in the automatic climate-control systems of the 1977-1980 450SLs, which seem to fail every three years, the air conditioners don't break particularly often. "They just don't cool well", said Marx."

Frank Barrett's book, The Illustrated Guide to Mercedes Benz, gives all 72-80 450 SL's 3 stars (out of five).

Among the 450 SL's, he likes the pre-74 the best because they have the euro bumpers. The first couple of years had the best performance because they weren't strangled with emissions equipment.

The 72-74 U.S. models could use leaded or unleaded gasoline, but 75 and 76 models had the most vapor lock problems because their catalytic converters were in the engine compartment, where airflow was restricted by the tight-fitting engine hood. For 1977, the catalytic converters were moved back beneath the floor.

For 1976, CIS fuel imjection replaced the earlier electronic ignition, accompanied by hydraulic valve lifters and breakerless electronic ignition.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #3  
Old 09-15-2002, 08:47 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: kansas
Posts: 47
Yeah..I'm still just really torn on whether or not to get rid of my 300D...It's mechanically, a great car! I've always wanted a 450SL...but the v8 engine kind of spooks me a little. I'm sure a lot of people say that about the deisels. I looked at it again this afternoon...both valve cover gaskets are leaking on the outside about in the middle, and on both sides...There is a slight trans. leak..most likely the pan..but not sure. I've now learned that the odometer has been replaced and that the miles are listed as "unknown"....Wouldn't this hurt the value of it?..I cannot find ANY rust on it...which is rare for here in KS. The owner says if he doesn't sell it, he'll take it to an auction in Branson, MO??..Ever hear of this auction? I keep dumping lots of $ in my 300D...and my other reasoning is: If I'm gonna dump $ in an old Benz..might as well be a SL!...right?

sean
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  #4  
Old 09-15-2002, 10:57 PM
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Location: Northern Calif Sacramento
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Interior $2,000
Suspension 1,000
Transmission 1,000
Paint 1,000
Misc 1,000
Car 8,000
--------
$14,000

Thats a lot for a big bumper cat choked car. Gorgeous restored and documented ones are in that price range.
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Darryl, Hill
2005 SL55 AMG Kleemanized
1984 500 SEC
1967 W113 California Coupe
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  #5  
Old 09-16-2002, 12:41 AM
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Location: kansas
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you mean keep looking?

I thought the 74's didn't have cat's? - You may be right..esp. since there is no documented odometer reading...But what if I could get it cheap?..I think the seller is motivated. I'm next to a big military base that rotates with frankfort Germany...There's a lot of old benz's around...some are grey market, some not...

Would it maybe be worth it if I got the guy to take say....6k for it?
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Old 09-16-2002, 01:42 AM
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I was just trying to enlighten you to the cold fact$. As far as the CAT goes, you're right. $6,000 is a good price if it is solid and runs well. But have a good Mercedes mechanic check it out. As you mentioned you probably will recover a little more of the $'s invested. But believe me you will spend it on fuel and "it's a beautiful day lets go for a ride syndrome"
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Darryl, Hill
2005 SL55 AMG Kleemanized
1984 500 SEC
1967 W113 California Coupe
[SIGPIC]
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  #7  
Old 09-16-2002, 09:40 AM
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There is no more expensive car than a cheap Mercedes. This sounds like a "story" car, and the risk of major repairs is so great that the selling price almost becomes irrelevant. There really are a lot of fine SL's with good ownership history in this price range. So become a knowledgeable consumer before you put your money down.
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'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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  #8  
Old 09-16-2002, 04:45 PM
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Location: Texas
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The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to have it THOROUGHLY checked out by a certified Mercedes tech who is familiar with older models and all their quirks. The money you spend will be well worth it. The seat covers for the interior can be replaced in MB tex for $300. I do not know how much other interior parts cost. Also, if one of the techs is reading this, I have a couple questions about my 1975 450 SL, I wanted to know if you can remove the catalytic converter and retrofit one further down the line in the exhaust to where it is on the later years? This would eliminate the excess heat generated by it being under the hood but still have the car pass emissions tests. Also, my battery is in my trunk and I thought the battery was not move to the trunk until 1978? Thanks for any advice you have.
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