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SL Market Letter’s Route 66 Adventure – Tobin Retrieves 1979 Mercedes 450SLC 5.0 Grey Market Car from SL Market Letter Subscriber in New Mexico

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Mercedes 450SLC 5.0

We got a call here at the SL Market Letter office a couple of weeks ago, from a long time subscriber who was ready to downsize and sell his Mercedes. The car in question happens to be a 1979 Mercedes Benz 450SLC 5.0, a European model that was imported for its owner by John Olson at the SL Market Letter way back in the early 1980s. The same gentleman owned for all those years and has been an SL Market Letter subscriber for all those years. Olson suggested that I fly out to Albuquerque, NM, pick the car up and drive it back to Minneapolis. It would be easier to just ship the car back, but not as fun… and it would be good for me to get some real windshield time in one of the rarest post war Mercedes-Benz models, the 450SLC 5.0.

I flew out the morning of September 10th… the idea was to stay at the owner’s house that night, get up early in the morning and start heading East. Luckily enough, Interstate 40 was the way I’d be heading back, across New Mexico and into the panhandle of Texas. Interstate 40 through much of the West is what replaced US Route 66 in most places… I would retrace some of the old road on my way back East, reliving the trip I took 13 years ago when I traversed the entire length of old Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles in my Volkswagen Westfalia.

Consider this a preview of the full write up of my cross country trip… unfortunately I needed to ‘make good time’ and get back to Minneapolis in a couple of days so I wasn’t able to do more than a few hundred miles along the old road.

I was able to stop and see some old sites in Tucumcari, NM and one of my favorite places, Stanley Marsh’s Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo, TX.

More to come…


The 1979 450SLC 5.0 in front of the Tucumcari Trading Post, on a rainy morning, Tucumcari, NM.


Blue Swallow Motel along Route 66, Tucumcari, NM.


The 450SLC in front of Cadillac Ranch, Route 66 near Amarillo, TX.


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