The World Cup is in full swing, so now’s the perfect time to think about purchasing this Mercedes-Benz once owned by Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona. The Hand of God wheeled this Signal Red 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC 5.0 available at Bonhams Paris auction on February 2, 2023 with an estimated sale price of €150,000-200,000 ($157,660 – $210,214). Maradona led Argentina to victory at the 1986 World Cup and was named the FIFA Player of the 20th Century.
Maradona received the new Mercedes as a gift from a group of influential supporters while playing for his first professional team, Club Atlético Boca Juniors of Buenos Aires. The 450SLC was presented to him by Formula 1 legend Juan Manuel Fangio, who owned the only official Mercedes dealership in Argentina at the time.
At 816 produced, the 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC was a homologation special to qualify for the World Rally Championship. This four-seater grand tourer coupé has lightweight aluminum panels and an all-aluminum engine to keep weight down. The 5.0-liter V8 engine produced a factory-rated 240 hp when new and pushed the 450SLC to a top speed of 209 km/h (130 mph). This example has a console-shifted manual transmission.
“With the World Cup match between Argentina and Mexico taking place this weekend, we are delighted to announce that we will be offering this exceptional motor car – and piece of sporting memorabilia – belonging to Maradona, who led his national team to World Cup victory in Mexico in 1986,” Philip Kantor, International Chairman, Bonhams Motoring, said. “We are sure that the SLC will score highly at the rostrum in Paris.”
After Maradona’s ownership, the Mercedes ended up in private collections throughout Argentina and was then imported to the U.S. It has 62,000 kms (38,000 miles) since new and was professionally restored.
In 2021, Bonhams sold a 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Type 964 ‘Works Turbo Look’ Cabriolet owned by Maradona for €483,000 ($592,124).