I'm a first time Merecedes owner that just bought a very nice 1973
450 SLC. I have always liked this particular car, and have looked at
several that have been for sale in the past. Invariably, they either had
bad transmissions, or the trans had been replaced. The latter is
the case with my car.
Other than weak transmissions, what are the other weak points of these cars?
I have always pulled my own wrenches and don't mind digging into just about
anything, but my experience has been mostly with classic British sportscars.
I've never owned a German car before this.
So far, I'm very impressed!
I've no contact with the 450SL/SLC's but have a "tad" of experience with the
British stuff. If you lived to survive such insanities as synchronizing SU
carbs, troubleshooting Lucas electrics (Lucas... "The Prince of Darkness"),
wobbly-spoked wheels with knock-off hubs, dual-6 volt batteries, horn
buttons in the middle of the dash, etc. etc. I've no doubt that your new
project will be a (ahem!) "ride in the park"!
I love the English classic sports car look (they always tended to look
similar to German cars built thirty years earlier, giving them the look if
not the feel of perennial classics), but the engineering was straight from
hell! Yep... I think your new toy will be a lot less taxing on your
--- http://www.astro-nut.com ---
I've owned British cars since I was 15 (33 years now!), and consider the
little nuances as normal maintenance. Currently have 9 in my collection
a couple of big Healeys (my all time fav), and MG-TD and a few others.
SU carbs are very easy to set up once
you know how, and I've never had an electrical failure. The most frequent
problem has been with the hydraulics (brakes and clutch). They just used
alloys, and when they sit a long time, corrode. I really love my Britmobles,
right now they aren't talking to me. I've got all of the Brit speak down
Whitworth, boot, etc). Now I have to learn German! ;-)
I'm looking forward to learning more about my new ride. It doesn't have the
looks of my Britmobiles, but the overall quality is much better.
Positive ground electrical systems, dual 6 volt batteries in series to
provide 12volts, interior cable release in lieu of door handles, laminated
bumpers, side curtains (what's a window crank?), distributors mounted so
close to the ground that early morning dew prevents starting, are only the
tip of my "fond" British automotive remembrances! :o)
One of my all time favorite Brit-car experiences was actually a situation
"enjoyed" by a friend. We were both stationed at a northern Maine military
installation at the time (Loring AFB 1968-1972, 27th Fighter Interceptor
Sqdn), and he had chosen to re-up (re-enlist) for an additional 4 years so
as to get enough $$$ in re-enlistment bonuses to realize his dream of
getting an E-type Jag' convertible (often mis-referred to as an XKE... there
was no such critter as an "XKE"). Nevermind the nearest dealer was hundreds
of miles to the south of us, and our climate consisted of 9 months of
severe winter followed by three months of spring skiing conditions, he HAD
to get that car!
Well, it was everything he had ever hoped for and then some... until the
first rainfall. It seems it had a leak that emanated from the bow frame (oak
I think) that formed the "hood's" (convertible top) coupling with the
windscreen. Not a minor leak mind you, but water gushed in like a friggin'
waterfall! After several trips to the dealer without correcting the problem,
he was referred to a larger distributor (Boston, I think?), and they too
were unsuccessful in finding a fix. By now, after traveling many hundreds of
miles and totally despondent over the situation, he fired off a letter to
Jaguar (British Leyland?) in England. Their response was classically
"proper" British mentality (no offense intended) and I still laugh my arse
off everytime I recall it: "Sir, a gentleman does NOT drive his Jag' in the
rain." End of message... you just have to love it!
I left the base shortly thereafter (not "needing" a new car I did NOT re-up!
:o), but assume he enjoyed the next 4 years of his military career, safe in
the knowledge that he had now fulfilled his dream! :o)
I did covet the Healey 3000's, Morgans still get my attention (the ash
frames are kinda' weird though), but my jaded experiences were mainly from
ill-fated relationships with MG T types and a twin-cam 1600 MGA... pretty to
look at, fun to drive, but requiring constant tinkering to keep purring. I
like to get my knuckles dirty too now and again, but my first love with cars
is to actually DRIVE them! :o)
In any event, your SLC will likely become a favored classic in your
--- http://www.astro-nut.com ---
You should know that M-B has a "Classic" parts department that can
supply nearly anything your car may need. Call MBUSA 1-800-367-6372 and
ask for the Classic Parts Dept.
Since you DIY this is a good car for you. It has mechanical valves that
need adjustment every 15K or 20K miles - that's an afternoon's sport.
There are owners' groups see www.mbz.org, also www.mercedesshop.com? and
MBCA mercedes club of america
Good luck with your new prize.
The Sycrolock transmission is the best in the world. These tranny's
should never wear out when properly maintained!
Unfortunately, there are too many examples that haven't been.
Have the fluid/filter/torque converter serviced by a certified MB
mechanic every 30,000 miles and you will be ok.
I have no idea about cars...but I know what I like :) and I too
am a first time MB owner and went for the 1975 450 SLC. The thing is a dream
to drive (compaired to my only other cars, 2 x1.3ltr fords, escort and
and I look forward to my honourary OPEC oil membership card. The only and
biggest issue Ive had has been fuel consumption. It is a thirsty car! let me
know if you get better than 6kms/ltr, Ill be very jealous.
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