This might very well be the prettiest SL we've ever featured. Already notable for its build quality, this 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SL also delivers one heck of a cosmetic punch with anthracite paint and a brilliant red leather interior. Who says the Germans don't know how to have fun? Showing just 44,713 original miles, this lovely roadster remains first-class transportation if you like to have a little fun on the side. With a shape that has aged quite well and is among the world's most recognizable automobiles, this lovely dark gray convertible will be welcome everywhere it goes. Built to last forever, the finish is exemplary and shows three decades of care that kept the paint shiny, the chrome clear, and the glass clean. Hailing from down south, it has obviously led a good life away from the elements and the legendary build quality is tangible from the first time you pull the door closed. A bright red pinstripe is a bright contrast to the dark gray paint, but it's not garish or excessive, just a subtle reminder that even conservative Mercedes-Benz can build cars that are beautiful. The chrome bumpers remain in excellent condition, as do the instantly-recognizable ribbed taillights that were a fixture on US roads throughout the '70s. The real highlight of this car is the gorgeous red leather interior. Given how conservative typical Mercedes-Benz customers typically are, bright red leather has to be incredibly rare. It shows a few signs of age and use, but leather has that special property that makes it more comfortable the more it is used, and the inviting hides soften the SL's Teutonic personality a bit. Burled walnut appliques on the dash are a reminder that this was a genuinely expensive car when it was new, and the big, no-nonsense steering wheel makes you feel as though you're at the helm of something substantial. The gauges are clearly marked and the original Becker Mexico AM/FM/cassette stereo remains in the dash. For 1979, the automatic climate control was fairly advanced and far easier to use than the incomprehensible levers that came before, and the gated shifter is easy to use if you're a fan of shifting for yourself. The black canvas top looks almost new and fits snugly and even the trunk is lined in bright red carpets that look almost new. Few cars have duplicated the R107 SL's combination of poise, performance, and durability (they aren't called der Panzerwagon for nothing). Much of the credit for its wonderful road manners must go to the bubbly 4.5 liter V8 engine, which feels like it could accelerate forever without strain. It was, after all, designed to hammer along the Autobahn at triple-digit speeds, and even 30 years later, it's a superlative highway cruiser. It's much smaller than it looks, so handling is nimble although there's plenty of isolation in the steering, and with 4-wheel disc brakes, stopping power is impressive. The fully independent suspension feels sporting but never ruffles its occupants, and the bubbly V8 engine note is unique and quite pleasant at speed. The low miles show themselves in a very clean undercarriage and in the very nicely preserved Mercedes-Benz alloys which wear 235/60/14 blackwall radials. Like I said, this might be the prettiest R107 SL we've ever seen, and given the solid engineering and care that it has received over the years, it's one you can enjoy for years to come. Call today!
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