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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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450SL & General Convertible Questions

Hi Gang,

This is my first post here and at this point, I do not own a Mercedes. I have always lusted for a 380 or a 450SL (both convertible) with their vintage, classy looks but I have some questions about them, as in the future, I may be interested in purchasing one.

- Does anyone have a website they can point me to that shows all of the convertibles that Mercedes made for the past 25 years? I'm not exactly sure what model or year I'm looking for. Hopefully, a sight with pictures, model numbers and engine info will give me more to go on.
- Does the 2 door 450SL ever come in a hardtop only or is it only removable hardtop/convertible?
- As for the convertibles (mainly the 450), how is the handling? Nimble and agile or is there a lot of body roll? Engines are mainly V6 I'm guessing?

Sorry for all the questions, I'd just like to get to know some more info before I think about purchasing something like this.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 04:58 PM
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RE: 450SL & General Convertible Questions

Quote:
Slumlord - 8/31/2005 12:27 AM

- Does anyone have a website they can point me to that shows all of the convertibles that Mercedes made for the past 25 years? I'm not exactly sure what model or year I'm looking for. Hopefully, a sight with pictures, model numbers and engine info will give me more to go on.
- Does the 2 door 450SL ever come in a hardtop only or is it only removable hardtop/convertible?
- As for the convertibles (mainly the 450), how is the handling? Nimble and agile or is there a lot of body roll? Engines are mainly V6 I'm guessing?

Sorry for all the questions, I'd just like to get to know some more info before I think about purchasing something like this.
1. not sure about website. You need to surf a bit. Also look in the 107 forum and search the threads. Plenty of discussion photos etc.
2. there is a 450SL which is a convertible with a detachable hardtop and there is a 450SLC which is a coupe version of the same car.
3. don't know the handling, the 450SL/SLC is a V8. Again please look in the 107 forum/search threads.

Best regards
Sisu
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 05:04 PM
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RE: 450SL & General Convertible Questions

[QUOTE]Slumlord - 8/31/2005 12:27 AM

- Does anyone have a website they can point me to that shows all of the convertibles that Mercedes made for the past 25 years? QUOTE]

Take a look in the galleries section of this site and you will find lots of pictures of all the models.

It seems you shouldn't go for a 380 as they have problems with timing chains.

Best regards
Sisu
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 05:10 PM
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RE: 450SL & General Convertible Questions

Quote:
Slumlord - 8/30/2005 5:27 PM

Hi Gang,

This is my first post here and at this point, I do not own a Mercedes. I have always lusted for a 380 or a 450SL (both convertible) with their vintage, classy looks but I have some questions about them, as in the future, I may be interested in purchasing one.

- Does anyone have a website they can point me to that shows all of the convertibles that Mercedes made for the past 25 years? I'm not exactly sure what model or year I'm looking for. Hopefully, a sight with pictures, model numbers and engine info will give me more to go on.
- Does the 2 door 450SL ever come in a hardtop only or is it only removable hardtop/convertible?
- As for the convertibles (mainly the 450), how is the handling? Nimble and agile or is there a lot of body roll? Engines are mainly V6 I'm guessing?

Sorry for all the questions, I'd just like to get to know some more info before I think about purchasing something like this.
Greetings, Slumlord!

A good website with pics and model numbers is http://www.oursl.com

All US-spec SL models for 1973 on were V8. Either 4.5L (450SL/SLC), 3.8L(380SL/SLC) or 5.5L (560SL). There were 6 cyl models in Europe and a few were grey-marketed here, but there aren't many.

The handling, in my opinion is great!

Come on over to our forum:
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/forums/forum-view.asp?fid=23

Felicita e un bicchiere di vino con un panino.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 05:17 PM
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RE: 450SL & General Convertible Questions

1. www.oursl.com will tell you everything you need to know about every SL model ever made. Also try www.sl107.com for info exclusively about the 1972-89 models (body style 107), of which the 450SL is one.

2. The hardtop version is called the SLC. It has a little longer wheelbase than the convertible, and hence a (bigger) back seat.

3. At this point in the car's life, handling depends alot on the age and condition of the suspension components. It was never a true sports car, rather a luxury roadster, so don't expect it to handle like a Miata. All U.S. engines were V8s, either 4.5, 3.8, or 5.6 liter (450SL, 380SL, 560SL).

Happy to help.

Steve
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 05:33 PM
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RE: 450SL & General Convertible Questions

Boy, 3 replies in the time it took me to write mine. Impressive.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2005, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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RE: 450SL & General Convertible Questions

Hi gang,

Thanks for the great information and friendly responses. I wasn't getting emails stating that I had replies so I thought that nobody had any info, good thing I came back and manually checked!

I think, from the sound of it the 450SL/SLC or 560SL would be a good fit for me. Someone said that the 380 had timing chain problems, which could be a deciding factor.

Do any of you know if having a convertible vs a coupe/hardtop makes much of a difference in handling? I'm not expecting a hard, tight ride like the Miata example, but I don't want lots of sag and body roll either. I don't drive my vehicles hard at all but every now and again I like to 'feel' the road :)

How's the power on the V8? Is it a fairly strong engine? Is it peppy or more torque related? How about releasing hidden horses? Are there a few upgrades that would give it a little boost (think minor like a K&N filter, etc.)?

Again, thanks for the good info. That makes me happy to know that the forum is responsive and friendly enough to help someone who doesn't even own a Benz. In fact, I own the competitor (BMW) :)
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2005, 04:11 PM
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RE: 450SL & General Convertible Questions

Quote:
Slumlord - 8/31/2005 5:02 PM

Do any of you know if having a convertible vs a coupe/hardtop makes much of a difference in handling? I'm not expecting a hard, tight ride like the Miata example, but I don't want lots of sag and body roll either. I don't drive my vehicles hard at all but every now and again I like to 'feel' the road :)
Makes some difference, but not much. The 107 is a very stiff convertible so cowl shake and twist, while present, are minimal. The road feel is great.

Quote:
Slumlord

How's the power on the V8? Is it a fairly strong engine? Is it peppy or more torque related?
The 5.5L V8 is plenty gutsy and the torque is plentiful as well. The car goes like bastard!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2005, 04:13 PM
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RE: 450SL & General Convertible Questions

Welcome

I have a 1988 560, and have driven a 1977 450. I prefer the 560 over the 450 for many reasons, namely TORQUE. The HP on the 560 is advertised as 227, but the torque is 279 ftlbs at around 3500rpm (can't remember exactly). The trannies by design take off in 2nd gear unless near full throttle (which induces lots of wheel spin in the right conditions). You can opt for 1st gear take-off by manually engaging the "B" valve from the shifter lever if you want.

The torque is very noticable in accelerating from boulevard cruising speed of 35mph to 60 when compared to the 450. Bear in mind... neither are HOT-RODS! The handling in my 560 is not crisp, but it does not deter me from the twisties ever so often. Seems there is more understeer with teh 560, compared to the 450, possibly due to the all alloy 560 engine, compared to the 450's cast iron block.

As to body shake... I do not notice cowl shake too much over the bumpy back roads of NE alabama... especially compared to the 84 vette, 1971 MGB, and 2002 prowler I have had the pleasure of bending around the back roads.

All in All, I say a fairly solid ride, provided all suspension parts are up to snuff, and bushings on subframes are good.

RM Smith www.rmsmithco.com

Where is it again that we are going... And why are we in a handbasket?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2005, 04:18 PM
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RE: 450SL & General Convertible Questions

I would add here, in the interest of fairness, that both Ears and I are R107 forum hosts and 560SL owners so there is a possibility, however infinitesimal, that we are both biased ever so slightly, but maybe not, but maybe we are, I'm just not sure.

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