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1978 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC Rallye

1978 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC Rallye

1978 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC Rallye

Mercedes-Benz made history with the 300 SL´s double victory in the Carrera Panamericana in Mexico in 1952. The 450 SLC then added a new chapter in 1978 with another double victory in the 30,000 kilometre South American Rally through ten countries. The regulations did not allow tuned engines, so the four works-supported Mercedes-Benz 450 SLCs had standard 4.5 litre V 8 engines, albeit top-of-the-range engines with 227-234 hp instead of the production version´s 217 hp.

The weighty coupe proved its stability in the course of this punishing race: despite doing a quadruple lateral roll, the Finn Timo Mäkinen came in fourth in the 40-day race which included around 6,000 km of special stages – in a car that was somewhat the worse for wear, but still drivable. The overall winners were Andrew Cowan/Colin Malkin (GB) ahead of Mercedes-drivers Sobislaw Zasada/ Andrzej Zembrzuski (P) – double victory for Mercedes-Benz.

This win encouraged Mercedes-Benz to continue development of 450 SLC rally racing cars. For 1979 they fitted a new 5.0 litre all-aluminum engine into the C107 platform and this car became known as the 450 SLC 5.0. A small handful of homologation specials were made and sold the European market.

In Detail

tags c107
submitted by Richard Owen
type Racing Car
built at Germany
engine 90 Degree V8
valvetrain SOHC
displacement 4520 cc / 275.8 in³
bore 92 mm / 3.62 in
stroke 85 mm / 3.35 in
power 169.3 kw / 227 bhp @ 5000 rpm
specific output 50.22 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 117.01 bhp per tonne
curb weight 1940 kg / 4277 lbs
length 4750 mm / 187.0 in
width 1790 mm / 70.5 in
height 1330 mm / 52.4 in
transmission 3-Speed Auto
top speed ~220 kph / 136.7 mph