best 450SL?

For reasons I wont get into.. im looking to buy a 450SL, and was told that the 77 PROBABLY had the best engine of the lot. Does anyone really know about these cars to have an opinion?

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same engine was installed 1971-1980. no reason why one engine would be better than another, except for care of servicing. look for detailed records!

that
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wrote:

not true...in the US, with more emissions equipment installed over the years, the power of the same engine went down from 230hp in 71 to 190 in 75, 180hp in 77 and bottoming out at 160hp in 1980. While the 80 is the weakest it is also said to be the most luxurious (smoothest ride and most "standard" options) the US model also had lower compression and more mild cams than the Euro model. for engine only, the earlier the better i would say

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While this answer is mostly good advice, the power figure given for the U.S.-model 1972 350 SL (4.5-liter engine) is misleading. The difference in power between the early model and the later ones is not as pronounced as it seems from the above. The 230 hp quoted for the 1972 model was measured according to the SAE gross standard used to rate U.S.-model MBs until the 1972 model year. Starting with the 1973 model year, U.S.-model MBs' power was measured in SAE net. Translated into SAE net hp, that 230 hp rating turns out to be approximately 195 hp, so you can say that the power went down from 195 to 190, 180 and finally 160 for the 1980 model year.
Also, aren't some model years best avoided because of AC systems or emissions equipment for certain years being particularly bad?
There's a web page dedicated to the R 107 that has a copy of a buyer's guide on those SLs that was published by Road & Track magazine.
This isn't the one I had in mind, but it seems to cover the relevant material: http://fly.hiwaay.net/~gbf/107sl.html Just ignore their exlanation of the hp ratings.
Best regards,
Danny
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U.S.-model 1972 350 SL (4.5-liter engine) is misleading. The difference in power between the early model and the later ones is not as pronounced as it seems from the above....Translated into SAE net hp, that 230 hp rating turns out to be approximately 195 hp, so you can say that the power went down from 195 to 190, 180 and finally 160 for the 1980 model year.<<
Whether or not this is literally true, a 1972/73 450SL seems like an entirely different creature than a '79 or '80. The early is as overpowered as a 560SL from a driver viewpoint, notwithstanding the 450 engines came only with a three-speed trans.
In fact, the 380SL performs better up to legal speeds because of its better torque curve with its four- speed automatic.
Bill Ditmire Ditmire Motorworks,Inc. 425 White Horse Pike Absecon,NJ 08201 http://www.ditmire.com 609-641-3392
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Back when I was looking for mine I had pretty much ruled out the '75 & '76 models due to the catalytic converter being located under the hood, where the added heat contributed to early failure of anything resembling rubber (hoses, plug wires, etc.) I'd also decided I didn't want to lose an additional 20 hp by getting an '80 model. That narrowed my search to the '77 thru '79 models, which I believe to be just about identical.
Frankly, if I'd had the money I would have preferred the newest 560 SL I could afford. More power, better handling, ABS, airbags, the list goes on. Not even the same car. On balance, the 450 has been an excellent choice and everything we've all heard about the old iron block V8s being virtually indestructible is proving to be true - at least so far. Just my $.02. Your mileage may vary.
Jerry Wolfram '78 450 SL - 211K miles 'n' still purrin'
Bill Ditmire wrote:

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