2006 Melbourne Spring Classic Auction - Monday 4th September
1973 Mercedes-Benz 350SLC Coupe
Result: PASSED IN
This lot is no longer available
When Daimler-Benz were designing a replacement for the much-loved Pagoda-roof SL range it was decided to simultaneously offer a longer wheelbase 2+2 version of the new model to fill the gap left by the demise of the W111/112 coupes and thus the SLC was born. The new SL/SLC range, dubbed W107 in Stuttgart's parlance, was an altogether stronger, safer and more sophisticated design. With chunky, squared-off lines the SLC boasted massive construction techniques that incorporated side impact protection in the doors and crumple zones to offer unparalleled safety. The SLC had a slightly raised roofline to provide additional headroom and an unusual side window treatment, with louvres and no B-pillar to make the big Mercedes a true pillarless coupe with the windows wound down. Inside, the SLC was typically well thought out and finished to the highest standards - the cabin was capable of seating four adults in comfort while the long doors made access to the rear seats relatively painless. Mechanically, the SLC was initially offered in two versions, either with the classic twin-cam six-cylinder engine (in the 280SLC) or the new overhead-camshaft V8 (in the 350SLC), the latter available only with a three-speed automatic transmission. Suspension was via semi-trailing arms that provided more predictable handling characteristics than the swing axles of earlier generation SLs. The SL proved a supremely successful sports tourer (or GT in the case of the SLC) and remained in production, largely unchanged, for 18 years with just under 240,000 built. Today, prices of the SLC in particular make this one of the most affordable SLs of all, yet the virtues - incredible build quality, robust mechanicals, safety and the added bonus of driving something with the three-pointed star up front - make them great value.