The white Mercedes-Benz C107 Type 450 SLC
Production: 1972-1980, coupe, engine: M117 V8, 4520 cc
The Aguinaga Museum of Mercedes-Benz
In 1978 the factory prepared two examples for the one-off Vuelta a la América del Sur, a month-long event of some 7,000 kilometres in length that took the competitors from Buenos Aires and back via Rio, Manaus, Caracas, Bogota, Lima, La Paz, Santiago and Ushuaia. The car driven by Andrew Cowan and Colin Malkin won by 20 minutes from team-mates Sobiesław Zasada and Andrzej Zembrzuski.
In 1979 a 5.0-litre 450 SLC driven by Hannu Mikkola won the Bandama Rally in Côte d’Ivoire, with others finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4th. That same year the factory had used the 450 SLC ‘5.0’ to contest the Safari Rally, only narrowly missing out on victory because of suspension breakages. Nevertheless, the car driven by Hannu Mikkola finished 2nd.
Results in 1980 were less good, and the factory team was disbanded at the season’s end. An Albert Pfuhl proceeded to buy all six cars, equipment, and spare parts from the works team. Pfuhl and his team built a series of cars to compete in the 1984 Paris–Dakar Rally with a white and blue “BOSS” livery. The cars finished well down the order.