Between 1974 and 1981 Mercedes Benz manufactured and sold 62,888 SLC models, the coupe version of the SL model. Depending on engine size and production year it was badged 280, 350, 380, 450 and lastly 500. This particular 450 is a special one from the start: it is indeed a 450 model, but it's one of only 1636 that got the more powerful 5 litre motor (and the 5.0 badge). This was a homologation special featuring a new all-aluminium five-liter V8, aluminium alloy bonnet and boot-lid, and a black rubber rear spoiler, along with a small front-lip spoiler. The 450SLC 5.0 was produced in order to homologate the SLC for the 1978 World Rally Championship. It was a 240 horsepower car capable of 225 kmh (130 mph).
What makes this even more rare and special is it's history: it was owned by Diego Armando Maradona, widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time. He was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award and was the first player in football history to set the world record transfer fee not once but twice. This 450 was given to him as a gift from his fanclub (Argentinos Juniors) as a thank you for his exploits. It was presented to him by Juan Manuel Fangio - statistically the greatest racing car driver of all time winning 46% of all races entered- whom at the time was the owner of the only official Mercedes dealership present in Argentina in 1980.
If this wasn't enough, this is the car that Maradona himself picks as a life milestone when he went from famous to superstar. In his own words from his autobiography "Yo Soy el Diego - I am the Diego": ...."I was already famous, but I never imagined that putting on Boca's shirt was going to mean such a big change for me. At that time I couldn't go to eat in a restaurant without something happening, I would find myself surrounded by two hundred thousand people asking me for four thousand autographs.
I moved from Argerich's little house to a bigger one, on Lascano street. The Fiat 125 I had was also behind me, I was already driving in a Mercedes Benz. Another story, another lifetime. A very big, huge change for me..."
The "Pibe the oro" - the golden foot - kept the car for over a year following which it went back into the market. It originally resurfaced in 2011, being sold by the owner that had kept it the longest, since 1995. At this stage the car a mileage of about 59,000 kilometers (approx 37,000 miles) and was in need of a restoration, being over 30 years old and used seldomly. It was then acquired by it's current owner that in recognizing it's double historical value, being connected both to Fangio and Maradona, decided to bring it back to original condition. The restoration was done professionally and is documented by photos and receipts for original parts only. The car currently needs nothing and is ready to be sold to the next collector anywhere in the world. It currently shows 61,337 km (38,335 miles).
The documentation provided with the car includes:
- The original Title showing Maradona's name and the sale date of the car.
- An official transcript from the Argentinian motor vehicle authority of the ownership history of the car, again showing Maradona as being the first owner.
- The original licence plate with it's documentation (it became mandatory in 1994 to replace all older licence plates with new ones).
- A copy of the book "Yo soy el Diego" where the car is mentioned
- A digital copy of the magazine "El Grafico" (the Argentinian equivalent to the TIME magazine) where the car is mentioned and photographed with Maradona and Kempes (yet another famous football player connected to this car!) in front of it
Contact us for inquiries about becoming the owner of this vehicle