To be sold at the Bonhams auction on February 2nd for the Paris Retromobile Week Auctions 2023
Delivered new to Argentinian soccer legend Diego Maradona!
A homologation special from Mercedes-Benz with fascinating provenance
El Pelusa (The Fuzz) - Maradona always stood out for his short, stocky build and his large afro, particularly during the early years of his career. The Pelusa nickname, literally translated to 'The Fuzz', refers to his big hair and was first used in his hometown of Villa Fiorito. In 1980, Pelusa was in full swing playing for his first professional club, the Argentine Juniors of Buenos Aires. Due to his importance in the first team, a group of influential people who were the supporters of the club gifted this car to Maradona in the 'Red' club colors for whom he played between 1976- 1981.
One of just 816 examples produced for the model year with lightweight aluminum body panels and all-aluminum engine
Only 38,175 (61,437 km) original miles!
Benefits from a beautiful cosmetic restoration only as required under its previous collector's ownership, with the car retaining the original vintage Black leather upholstery and which has covered just 61,437 original kilometers (38,175 original miles!). As a color detail, the CTV of the province of Cordoba is displayed on the windscreen, in addition to the original domain with the legend Federal Capital engraved on the crystals.
Accompanied by copies of the original title and photos verifying Maradona's ownership including a photo of both the legendary Diego and Mario Kempes!
Orginal factory options include:
568H: Signal Red Paint
588: Auto Climate Control & Power Windows
592: Heated Rear Window
605: Headlamp Wiper Unit & License Plate Mounting
410: Electric Sliding Roof
440: Cruise Control
466: Central Locking System
West Coast Classics are proud to present an absolutely exceptional example of this original Argentina sold and registered in the name of the legendary Diego Maradona 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC 2 door hardtop coupe with only some 38K original miles (some 61 kms!), the last year and most expensive model of the legendary 450 series, at an original MSRP of $43,676 in the U.S. (over $162K when adjusted for inflation according to the CPI for 2022!) compared to $36,897 for the same year 450SL roadster, in absolutely beautiful condition throughout!
Mercedes Benz released two iconic models in the early seventies, the 450SL two seater roadster and the 450SLC two door coupe and these cars were the ultimate status symbol of their day, symbolic for their era of exclusivity and immediately identifiable by their uniquely original styling. They were to create a cult following which has continued to this day. They were sold as the R107 SL roadster and the C107 SLC coupe with the coupe model wheelbase lengthened by 14" to make room for the rear seat passengers in a fixed pillarless superstructure above the 2+2 cabin, whilst still incorporating its sports car dynamics. The 450SLC was built in very limited numbers and was one of the most exclusive coupes ever made, offering the sensations of a true sports car but with the refinements of a four seater grand touring coupe!
The particular example is to be sold with all its original documentation available showing its original ownership of Diego Maradona (along with pictures of him with his car) and has since been held in private collections in Argentina since 1980 until being imported for sale in the U. S this year. It is quite obvious that this particular example was always garaged with no accidents or rust and never smoked in! All options are working as they should including the air conditioning.
The original and very striking and rare factory 'Signal Red' color paint is in extraordinary condition and the striking 'Black' leather interior is also in gorgeous shape with virtually no signs of wear! The car has its original chrome Mercedes 'Bundt' wheels which are also in exceptional condition.
The car's factory options include: electric sunroof, Becker radio, automatic transmission, power assisted steering, power brakes, tinted glass, cruise control, electric window lifts, electrically heated rear window on hard top, fully independent suspension, power assisted four wheel disc brakes, limited slip differential, automatic antenna, Halogen head and fog lamps, working automatic air conditioning with climate control and central locking.
The car drives exactly like such a well maintained and serviced Mercedes should and must be seen and driven to be truly appreciated. The engine is extremely strong with no noticeable oil leaks, the transmission shifts smoothly through the gears and the temperature always remains cool. All the options are working as they should.
The car was recently inspected by our independent Mercedes specialists and has been given a clean bill of health for its next owner.
Without doubt, this is one of the finest classically beautiful designs built by Mercedes-Benz, probably the last classically beautiful series they built which are now at long last becoming more desirable and collectible than ever before - certainly you will look long and hard to find a finer head-turning example of this last year model with only 38K original miles, let alone with such a rare and extraordinary heritage, available anywhere else!