The 450 SLC had two-doors, hard-top, and seating for four. It was similar to the 450 SL but with a longer wheelbase which increased the weight slightly. The rear passengers window is actually a 1/4 window with a louvered panel which provided extra privacy. Production lasted from 1977 through 1981. The 450 SLC is renowned for its performance and was constructed by the manufacturer as a homologation special to compete in marathon rallies. Another purpose was to act as an experimental car, a test vehicles which would gather data for use in the construction of their next generation aluminum engines. The competition cars were similar to the production cars with the most visual difference being the safety components such as roll-cages.
The 450 SLC 5.0 was built in limited numbers with 1470 being created for road use which was enough to satisfy ONS/FIA homologation requirements. Only a few were used for motor-sports events. It is believed that 40 were sold to the United States. The all-aluminum 5.0 liter V8 engine produced 240 horsepower which was similar to the one that had been used in competition.
The Rallye cars were similar to the production vehicles. There were only slight changes such as the alloy wheels are .5 inch wider and there are special center caps with three-pointed star emblem. On the interior the ash tray has been moved to rear of the center console to accommodate a Rallye Counter. There is a roll-bar and an oversized batter located in the right rear corner of the trunk floor. Special lightweight materials were used throughout the competition cars to decrease weight. This included alloy door skins, alloy wheels, and alloy hood.
In 1978 Mr. Andrew Cowan and Colin Makin won a marathon race which covered most of the South American Countries, a distance of 18,000 miles. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2006