Cohort Outtake: Mercedes-Benz 450SL – The Ultimate Beater?


It’s frequently discussed that some of our favorite cars of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s would make impractical daily drivers, with some combination of a quivery structure, a lack of power or sloppy handling. But this uniquely battered Mercedes 450SL spotted on a Texas freeway by pbell56000 makes a great point.  Being older than a 1981, there are nevertheless more than a handful still around today, and with solid construction, ample torque, a great combination of softness and control, and the option of topless motoring, the Mercedes R107 actually makes a practical choice for daily use.


Of course, like all Mercedes, practicality was the first goal in designing this roadster and while its sedan counterparts were often saddled with diesel engines or a heavier body when equipped with an engine this large, the 450SL was in a very lofty position when it was sold between 1972 and 1980. Today, it’s at least a thirty-four year old car and in this sort of condition, can only be so expensive. Perhaps it’d even be a bit of a nightmare to own and expensive to feed, but Benzes of this era are surprisingly easy to work on and with a body like this car’s, it’s hard to think of a cheaper consistently rewarding beater.  Do you think the driver of this convertible would agree?