Ok, so here it goes.....
Always liked the 107... The burble of the V8, the tough but nice styling, and the ride of the SLs of that era were just fantastic. Dallas, Hart to Hart, Beverly Hills cop.... all of those images only deepened my resolve to get one one day. About 10 years ago I convinced my father in law that a 107 would be the perfect "new" car for my mother in law. She untimately got her "new" car which was a 1972 350 SL in white . Both my father in law and I loved it, but I think my mother in law has never really forgiven me..... Having said that, she got a newer car a few years ago, but she will not sell her Merc, not even to me when I asked!!!!
So back to my SL... I had a few Mecs as a daily driver in the past 15 years. A 200E (124) followed by a C220 (202) and a 190e 2,6 AMG (201). I still wanted my elusive 107. About 4 years ago, I was still living in South Africa, and I saw one advertised for a very good price. When I went to see it, I realised why.... It was a wreck :
I did my sums and worked out that I would break even if I bought this one and rebuilt it, compared to buying a good one. This way I could afford to get it. I am also a sucker for punishment, and I felt sorry for this SL. So I parted with some cash and was the proud owner of a light metalic blue 1978 450SL.
Then the work started..... The following has been done to it.....
All metalic and Rubber piping around the engine for cooling.
Tie rod ends
Steering box rebuild
Fuel distributor replacement
Exhaust section below manifold replacement
Wheel bearings all round (Back ones were expensive
Brake disks and pads all round
Steering Shock Absorber (Dampner)
Fuel sender unit
New fuel pump and all fuel hoses.
Opened, cleaned and re-welded fuel tank (Done by experts)
Automatic gearbox rebuild (Totally dismantled and rebuild)
That is the mechanical stuff. Told you it was a wreck....
Most of this was farmed out to an expert. I had got to know a garage that specialised in Mercedes because I always serviced my other Mercs there. Also got to know a Merc wrecker for parts which ment I could get second hand good parts for a good price. The garage owner agreed to fix the SL between his other work, so it made it more cost effective. He really knew his Mercs too....
I have done other things to it too, such as fixing electric window switches, door panels, removing aftermarked security system and getting wiring back to original. I also got rid of vacume leaks, replaced window weather stripping. I also welded in a new piece of flooring just bellow the accelerator that had rusted through, the only bad rust the car had thank goodness
The weather is good to cars in Johannesburg. Cleaned up boot (trunk) and re-layed carpet. Installed new boot rubber seal. Found a second hand plastic grill for underneath of the front of the car, so replaced that. Replaced softop lid lever that was broken. Missing covers under dashboard were sourced and replaced. Rubbers for air ducts (Under dash both sides) to door were sourced and installed.... and many other small issues were sorted.
Ok so now I decide to move to Sydney, Australia with the family ..... and the car..... Well that had to come with, of course.....!!!! A 40 foot container was filled for the move. One half, a 450 SL and the rest garage tools! Oh.. and we fitted the furniture and other household goods in the small spaces that were left...
My wife said we needed some of that other stuff.....
We have been in Sydney over two years now. Both countries drive on the left, so no issues with that... The few last things to do are:
Re-spray (After a few dent removals) (Can do that myself)
New soft top (Can do that myself)
New leather seat covers (Can do that myself)
New door seals (L&R after re-spray) (Can do that myself)
Few other small cosmetic things....
So there you have it... Still a work in progress. Hopefuly it will be done in a year or so. Hoping to buy a house with more space this year, which will help.
Just one last thought...... I got lot of service history with the car, yet it was a wreck.... I just dont understand how somebody can neglect and abuse any vehicle, let alone such a nice make and model....
Suppose it takes a sucker like me to help keep them on the road.
(BTW it seems I will still be about equal in costs to buying one is good condition when it is done, not counting my time of course. But then I will know that most everythig was re-done and should last a while now... as long as I look after it!!!)
Happy Benzing to you all