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1978 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC-5.0

1978 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC-5.0

1978 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC-5.0

Encouraged by the success of the 450 SLC in the 1978 South American Rally, Mercedes-Benz updated the base model to suit future racing. A minimum number of road cars needed to be made for homologation purpose that reflected any updates. The most important of these is the all aluminum 5-liter engine developed for the rally cars.

Capable of 240 bhp, the new engine had considerably more power and also reduced the weight of the already heavy 450 coupe. Futhermore Mercedes-Benz fitted lightweight aluminum panels such hood and trunk. The cars retained the standard 3-speed automatic transmission with a torque converter.1

Racing versions of the 450 SLC-5.0 were eligible as a Group 4 rally car and were stripped out and entered in events like the African Safari Rally, and Ivory Coast Rally. By 1980, the model was replaced by the 4,975cc, Group 2, 500 SLC.

In total only 1,470 cars had the 5.0 engine compared to 31,739 standard cast iron cars. A correct 450 SLC-5.0 will have a VIN that starts with 107026, it won’t have a chrome strip underneath the Mercedes badge on the trunk.

Sources and Further Reading.

1.Greg. ‘The 5-litre SLC Rally Cars’. Das Rundschreiben. June/July 2005.

In Detail

tags c107
submitted by Richard Owen
type Series Production Car
built at Munich, Germany
body stylist Bruno Sacco
production 1470
engine 90º V8
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
block material All Aluminum
valvetrain Chain Driven SOHC, 2 Valves per Cy
fuel feed Bosch Mechanical Fuel Injection
displacement 5025 cc / 306.64 in³
compression 8.8:1
power 179.0 kw / 240 bhp
specific output 47.76 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 142.01 bhp per tonne
body / frame Type R107 Unitary Steel Monocoque
driven wheels RWD
front tires 205/70VR14
rear tires 205/70VR14
front brakes Discs
rear brakes Discs
steering Recirculating Ball
f suspension Double Wishbones w/Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspension Swing Axles w/w/Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar
curb weight 1690 kg / 3726 lbs
wheelbase 2820 mm / 111.0 in
front track 1452 mm / 57.2 in
rear track 1440 mm / 56.7 in
length 4750 mm / 187.0 in
width 1790 mm / 70.5 in
height 1330 mm / 52.4 in
transmission 3-Speed Automatic
final drive 3.07:1