Coupe de Grace: 1973 Mercedes-Benz 350SLC

  • December 16, 2020
Why We Like It

In 1971, Mercedes-Benz made sweeping changes to its model lines, with the new ‘R107’ SL replacing the outgoing W113 280SL. The R107 models to follow would enjoy production through 1989 and serve as likely one of the finest sports/GT convertibles ever produced. For its part, the new 3.5L SLC Coupe was internally designated C107, with a fixed coupe-style roof and 14-inch wheelbase extension yielding space for cramped two-passenger rear seating. Design remains “just right” today, with styling overseen by Paul Bracq, whose design credits include the 230/250/280 SL, the formal 600 sedans, and even France’s renowned high-speed TGV trains. Underpinnings for the new SL and SLC were sourced from those of Mercedes’ proven W114 sedans, with the various R107/C107 models powered by a succession of engines for specific markets ranging from 2.7 and 3.0L six-cylinder engines, to later, 3.5, 3.8, 4.2, 5.0, and 5.6L engines for the American market. Sleek and sporting with a top-notch Grand Touring character, the R107 and rarer C107 models continue to define Mercedes-Benz luxury and driving excellence.

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Interestingly, while Mercedes-Benz did offer 3.5L V8 engines in select markets, early examples of the 350SL and 350SLC were shipped new to North America with 4.5L engines. This 1973 350SLC is a wonderful survivor that looks extremely clean and well maintained throughout, including the underside. The seller’s very brief details leave us wanting to know much more about the car, which is reportedly from California with 74k miles. We do not know the exact paint code, but it appears to be gold over tan and looks great with the slightly larger SLC’s body design. A factory-appearing steel sunroof, automatic transmission, and power windows, plus an amazing-looking interior, are desirable features. Hopefully there are service records, books/manuals, and additional details on this great looking early 350SLC.coupe-de-grace-1973-mercedes-benz-350slc00D0D htZpoUgngmI 0cY09I 1200x900

As with the far more numerous SL, the various SLC models trade in a virtual bargain basement, whether privately, online, or at live auctions. In the experience of this Zero260 contributor, they generally come with extensive service records, full books/factory manuals, and loving prior ownership despite their amazing drivability and respectable performance. They exude quality and class in a quiet, restrained manner – sort of the automotive equivalent of the “strong and silent type” in dating parlance. Bring a Trailer has offered many R107 SL/SLC cars, especially so over the past 4-5 years, and sale prices occupy the $10k-$$25k channel, with recent breakaways to $40k and beyond for low-mileage specimens in great condition, particularly the final 560SL series. Hagerty’s current price guide values the early 350SLC from $12,300 for a good #3 car, and $20,500 for an excellent #2, while our subject car looks like a very desirable survivor, in very nice nick with great colors and a possibly restored, but well-appointed interior. Offered with an asking price applicable for a #2- car, we love it and if more details are available for review, it looks fair market to us.

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