Auctions. They’re all the rage and always seem to be the destination of several highly revered celebrity artefacts. Whether it be jackets, guitars or classic cars, every year we’re presented with the opportunity to own a slice of celebrity history. But only some of us are able to submit a bid, mostly due to the eye watering prices collectible items fetch. And this time, it could be the Mercedes 450SLC that is having its moment. Diego Maradona’s 450SLC to be specific.
Diego Maradona – Argentina’s most infamous national footballer and celebrated icon’s Mercedes 450SLC goes up for auction with Bonhams in February 2023, marking a hat-trick in the number of items owned by Maradona to be sold off. These included his World Cup tee from the 1986 quarter final game against England in which the phrase ‘hand of God’ was coined – this sold for over £7 million, as well as the ball from the game that achieved over £2 million.
WILL THE MERCEDES 450SLC PENETRATE SIX OR SEVEN FIGURES?
This auction could be the first miracle for the SLC and a new chapter of appreciation for the model. Bohnams are predicting that this SLC could fetch anywhere between £135,000 and £220,000 – unprecedented numbers for the SLC that will certainly spark interest from enthusiasts and collector all over the world. Optimism is rife, given that Diego’s own 911 Turbo achieved over $400,000 in 2021. Maradona clearly has the ‘world in motion’ then. New Order references aside, there is all to play for SLC owners around the world.
ABOUT MARADONNA’s 450SLC:
It might read 450SLC but surprisingly, Diego’s model is just one of only 819 group 4 homologation specials produced by the Mercedes-Benz rally team who were aggressively competing in the late seventies and early eighties. This 450SLC, finished in Signal Red features a 5.0 litre M117 E50/117.960 series engine, which is 50kg lighter than the 4.5 due to being made from aluminium. It also produces 300bhp with peak torque listed as being 310lbft at 4000rpm – so quite a significant amount more than a standard 450SLC.
What makes this 450SLC even more special, is that it was presented by F1 Juan Manuel Fangio as a gift from Maradona’s supporters and fan when he played for Club Atlético Boca Juniors of Buenos Aires. Featuring an electric sunroof, black leather, air conditioning and cruise control, this SLC is a usable classic with space for four to tour in superb comfort.
Convinced yet? This is truly a special vehicle and one that quite rightly deserves the limelight. With most high-profile sales, there is always an adjustment in the market and we anticipate that this moment, as well as the limited supply of good calibre vehicles, will help reposition values of the SLC.
TOUCUHED BY THE HAND OF GOD
You don’t need to attend the auction of Maradona’s SLC to be touched by the ‘hand of God’ and acquire one of the last remaining low mileage examples left… We recently added a very special 450SLC to our showroom and one that similarly has an extremely low mileage and high specification.
A ROYAL ALTERNATIVE
Mercedes-Benz 450SLC in Astral Silver with Black Velour
SLSHOP took delivery of this sub-40,000 miles 450SLC from its current owner, second to the Kuwaiti Royal family who owned the SLC form 1980 up until March 2016. The royals covered only 36,000 miles throughout their period of ownership; with the car serviced religiously by specialists here in the UK and overseas where it resided for its first couple of years on the road.
Unlike Diego’s SLC, this is the 450SLC with the 4.5 litre version of the M117 powerplant. Like Diego’s SLC, this royal SLC features Air Conditioning, an Outside Temperature Gauge, Cruise Control, ABS, as well as an upgraded aftermarket audio system and Cobra alarm system. The only optional extra missing is the sunroof, but don’t let that put you off, as the SLC benefits from electric windows at the front and rear so you’ll have adequate fresh air should you need it. Cosmetic improvements that make this SLC stand out are the fitment of larger 15” Mexican hat ‘bundt’ style wheels, filling the arch more and offering more feel on the road.
Where the Royals spent a considerable amount, the second (current) owner, invested a handsome sum of over £10,000 in 2018, carrying out repairs to structural elements involving the refurbishment of the entire rear bumper assembly following a repaint. A full rust protection program has been applied to this vehicle, with the bulkhead, underbody and inner sills treated. This is just a snapshot of the works carried out.
In summary, what you have a beautiful Astral Silver 2+2 450SLC in fantastic condition, with rare history of low ownership and care, bolstered by additional preparation work carried out by SLSHOP.
To use the football analogy, it is unclear, which of the SLCs would win in a penalty shoot out. Diego’s SLC is rare and possesses remarkable provenance, while this Royal 450SLC is possibly one of the highest-calibre SLCs left in the world, with a certified low mileage and documented history of investment. The final score then is down to you. Which would you have?
This Astral Silver 450SLC is available immediately for a fraction of the price of Diego’s, ready to go and being ULEZ exempt, could happily offer a city enthusiast a great daily commuter to smoke around the ‘big smoke’.