Lot 57

2022   |   Geared Online Scottsdale Edition

1978 Mercedes-Benz 450 SL

Estimate

$15,000 - $20,000| Without Reserve

Chassis

107.044.12.047791

Car Highlights

Owned Since New by Famed Hollywood Actor James Darren

Highly Original and Well-Kept 450 SL Example

Garaged at a Single Beverly Hills Home Since New in 1978

Retains Period Car Phone and Both Tops

A True Icon of Its Time

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Garth Hammers

The ultra-successful 107-Series Mercedes-Benz 450 SL model was at once a sleek, fast roadster, and a coveted symbol of success and privilege throughout its 17-year production run. Images of the 450 SL permeated the American consciousness as a staple of Rodeo Drive, and on the large and small screens, making notable appearances in productions including Beverly Hills Cop, Hart to Hart, and Dallas, among countless others.

This well-kept 450 SL has been the personal car of noted actor and singer James Darren since he purchased it new in 1978. Starring in big-budget Hollywood productions beginning in the 1950s, he later appeared in the Gidget movies, The Guns of Navarone, and The Lively Set. A lifelong car lover, Mr. Darren was right at home in mid-century Hollywood, striking up a decades-long friendship with “Kustomizer” George Barris, and driving one of his creations, an open, targa-style Buick Riviera as his personal car. In 1966, he purchased his sprawling hilltop home from Audrey Hepburn, then in 1978, brought this 450 SL home to its one and only garage. Maintaining it over the years, the Anthracite Gray (DB 172G) Mercedes-Benz has been his favored mode of transport in the years following, including daily trips to Warner Bros. Studios to film dozens of episodes of TJ Hooker, playing officer Jim Corrigan.

Seeking a slightly customized look, he had European-market headlights installed and retained the originals, which are included with the car, along with its original Becker Mexico radio. The roadster still sports its car phone and requisite cellular antenna on the windshield for an extra measure of period-correct detail. Showing just 90,000 miles, this charming Mercedes-Benz was seen at countless Hollywood parties back in the day, and stands ready to ensconce its next owner in period sporting style.