The 450 SLC 5.0, developed by Mercedes-Benz, was a competition car designed specifically for grueling long-distance rallies and was the most dedicated racing machine produced by the company since abandoning circuit racing in the 1950s. To ensure victory in the races, the engineers had access to Daimler-Benz AG’s ample resources and put the C107 through a significant weight-loss program.
The car’s hood, doors, and trunk lid were all made from aluminum, reducing its weight, while the all-aluminum M117 5.0-liter V-8 engine increased power output to 240 brake horsepower. To enhance aerodynamic stability, the engineers added a new front air-dam and rear spoiler.
Although it was a luxury coupe, the SLC 5.0 competed against smaller four-cylinder-powered cars from Datsun, Fiat, and Ford. While the car was not successful in tighter stages, race-ready versions of the SLC 5.0 demonstrated their true potential over long distances, winning consecutive victories at the Rallye Côte d’Ivoire in 1979 and 1980. Only 2,769 units of the 5.0-liter SLCs were produced between 1978 and 1981, making them the rarest of all 107 chassis.
Source: RM Sotheby’s