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Old 07-09-1999, 12:04 PM
Keith Arndt
Posts: n/a
> I'm looking for basic information on the 1980 450 SLC. My web searches
come up fruitless. I want to know more about these cars in terms of what
their strengths and weaknesses, repair and maintenance issues, restoration
tips, etc.
> Any help will be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks.
Old 07-09-1999, 09:54 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
These cars are not seen much because they are not very sought after. The only one I work on is limping to stay on the road. Most of them are in the junk yards by now. I don't know why but they did not ever catch on like the SL. The SLC did feel better on the road and was less cluncky than the SL, but that rag to kept people wanting the SL.
Old 07-10-1999, 02:57 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Los Angeles, Ca.
Posts: 21
Pity the poor 'SLC. Twas the top o' the line at one time ya know. I've got a '76 w/ 130K and consider it to be one of the better car available for under 10K here in So. Cal. If you've got one to sell, there's not many buyers. If you're looking to buy one, you may be able to find a pampered pet that somebody will unload for under 10K.

I got mine for $5,600 and have had to replace the timing chain, rear-seal, drag-link and flex-disc. I'm good with wrenches so I've done quite a bit of work on it myself. The interior is in good shape as is the body and paint. So if you are mechanically inclined and have a good starting point, you may be quite pleased with what you get.

When you consider it, there are few cars you can get for under 10K that have a serious chance of appreciating. The SLC is kinda-like the Goldie-Locks of cars; not to big, not to small, not to fast, not to slow. It's also big-enough to make you feel nice and safe (relatively). Besides anybody (you can substitute a different word here) with a little money can go out and get an 'SL. That's a no-brainer. You'd have to know your cars to go out and get an 'SLC.

The biggest drawback about my '76 is the fact that the catalytic converters are located under the hood. The heat retained in the cats will cook components over time. 77's moved the cats downstream and solved the problem.
75's had early smog gear and electronic ignition, which caused problems. 76 and forward had mechanical CIS injection.

If I had to do it all over again, I'd get a 77-79 450. 77's and forward also had Automatic Climate Control, which can be problematic. Take your time, you'll probably find a car that some old-timer has kept up in perfect shape and now can't get rid of it.

Of course, I'm looking for a 450 SLC 5.0 or a 500 SLC. Very rare, big engined, lightened up SLC.

So to summ it up, I've got a relatively rare, good looking car, with available parts, that's totally paid for and in excellent mechanical shape. You don't need a special computer to diagnose the car and tell you what to replace - so if you're mechanically endowed, you have something to work on in your spare time. Also, if I get whacked in it I feel pretty safe (they don't call 'em Panzer Wagons for nothin') and know that I can go out and get another one without much fuss. You should go out and get one to.

P.S. Get original mag wheels, they make the car look much better than the plain old hub-caps.

P.P.S. Check out this site to see what a European felt was worthwhile to restore.

Old 07-12-1999, 10:32 AM
Keith Arndt
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the input, Steve.

Anybody else?

Old 07-12-1999, 07:23 PM
Bill Conroy
Posts: n/a
I too have a 1976 450SLC. I picked it up last year in AZ and drove it back to MN. It has 21K original miles. Needless to say, it has spent most of its life in garages.

The car was purchased new by my wife's grand-uncle for his wife to use. However, she never obtained her drivers license, so the car sat in a garage for the first dozen years of its life. My father-in-law then bought it from him and he didn't drive it too much either (he thought he was getting a SL). I got the car from him last spring and I store the car during the winter.

I did have to spend over $1,000 to replace lots of fuel system components. Unfortunately, no one used any fuel stabilizer and the long periods of time that the car sat took its toll. I have also changed all fluids (and filters) and replaced them with synthetics. Oh, and the a/c needed a seal replaced and R-12 freon added. New Michelin MXV4s were installed a few years ago. And I needed a new battery before it could be started.

The 450SLC does allow the whole family to ride in it, as it has a back seat. It cost more than the SL when new, but Tim is right in that it is the Rodney Dangerfield of MBs; it gets no respect. But it really is a more practical car than the SL and built like a tank. The '76 model does get real hot under the hood. Not sure if it is worthwhile/possible to move the CATs downstream, where the '77s are located.

I am taking this car on a long driving trip next week and I'm sure I'll have more than my share of funny looks and stares. You can't say that with most other cars!
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