King Juan Carlos I of Spain’s 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9

Some of my favorite cars to look at are special builds from manufactures to serve a specific purpose or person. One of those purposes is diplomat cars and all the crazy modifications they receive compared to the normal civilian version. Today, we have an already special 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 that was modified for Juan Carlos I during his rule as King of Spain. This M100-powered S-Class is fully armored and a rear sunroof was added so he and his wife, Queen Sofía, could stand on the rear seats to wave at people during parades and events. This W116 was also equipped with the customary flag holders on the front fenders and a siren to alert all the mere normal citizens to get out-of-the-way. But now, Juan Carlos I is 80 years-old and while he still gets driven around in a S-Class, he also prefers some faster toys too.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 on Mobile.de

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1973 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL

I get really excited when I come across a nice W116 Mercedes-Benz. Full disclosure, it is probably because I own one and enjoy it a lot. When I caught a glimpse of this 1973 450SEL up for sale in Chicago, my ears really perked up. Being a 1973, the first year for the W116 in North America, it meant that this car had its proper slim bumpers and not the diving boards they put on these cars from 1974 to 1980. Not only that, but I saw some red leather peeking out from inside the car. Now I was really interested! Come to find out, this 450SEL had just 54,000 miles on and looks to be in exceptional shape. Of course the gears in my head started turning and I started to guess how much this prime example was going to command. When I found out, I wasn’t too surprised, but I also knew that this car wasn’t going to be a quick sale just because of what the W116 is.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL on eBay

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1979 Mercedes-Benz 300SD

I love a really well-kept Mercedes-Benz W116. Maybe because I own one, but I can’t be alone in feeling this way. These cars feel as solid as anything when everything is sorted and won’t cost you a ton of money to buy and maintain one. All the gas-powered W116s are fine cars and the first ever production turbo diesel car to go on sale in the United States in 1978, the 300SD, was a gem as well. I have a hard time justifying ever selling my 300SD because for the money, nothing can replace it equally and frankly, there is nothing wrong it. So when I see these W116 300SDs come up for sale now and then I always take a closer look to see how other owners treat theirs. Today’s 1979 model for sale in Oregon has me envious and jealous thanks to a few OEM upgrades.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300SD on eBay

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1975 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL

I am a really big fan of “time capsule” cars. Not barn finds or cars that have sat and haven’t moved in X number of years, but actual cars that have low mileage, original everything and are ready to be driven normally just like you purchased it from a dealer’s lot. Today’s car, a 1975 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL, is one of those time capsules. This W116 checks in with a hair over 29,000 miles and looks every part of an original. But this isn’t your ordinary 450SEL, it’s what hides inside those bank vault-like doors that really sets this car apart from the rest.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL on Hemmings Motor News

Year: 1975
Model: 450SE
Engine: 4.5 liter V-8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: 29,109 mi
Price: $35,000

Preservation Class 450SEL. 29,109 original miles. All-original, unrestored 2-owner Type W116. First owner until 2014. All-original paint, interior, bright trim, etc.
Sunroof, original books, tool kit, the original license plate from 1974, and a copy of the original title. A/C performs like a contemporary car. Nothing has been replaced except for maintenance items, nothing modified or changed. Serviced up-to-date, with repair orders back to 1982. Must see and drive to appreciate. For the person who wants the best.
See In Northern Virginia adjacent to Dulles International Airport and Reston, VA

Open those doors and welcome straight into 1975. This car is business on the outside, party on the inside. All red interior is very rare on the W116 and I’ve only seen it a few times over the years, but none even come close to the condition of this interior. This interior is so red that in some of the photos, the seller’s camera has trouble focusing because it gets lost in how consistent and solid the red is. Personally, I love this interior with the plain silver exterior because it’s not really an ostentatious car outright. You have to notice and then take a peek inside to see what it is really packing. The thing is, you really have to stay on top of this interior to keep it nice or it can go south very quickly. I’ve seen some bad examples of these red interiors neglected and it’s not a nice place to be. The rest of this car looks just as good as the interior. There isn’t one bit that is out of place and it even still has the clean body-colored wheel wells.

The W116 market is a little wonky with prices thanks to speculators (used dealers) thinking that their 450SEL with a bunch of problems is worth $12,000 because the classic European car market is hot right now. They just aren’t. I still see private sale W116s go for around the $5,000 and below mark all the time. Hell, I’ve seen running, driving, W116s sell for a few hundred dollars because they just wanted it gone. There is a very small group of people in this world that love the W116 and spend the money on keeping them nice. I admit, I am one of them, as I keep my 300SD in my daily driver rotation, but they just don’t have the mass appeal. I’ll be the first one to say that in US-spec form they aren’t a pleasing car to look at with the bumpers and quad-round headlamps. But that is where my dislike ends with these. They are just such “heavy” cars. The doors are heavy, the steering is heavy, the throttle and brakes are heavy, it feels heavy going around corners and even the buttons need a bunch of force to use. All that is so satisfying to me.

Now for the price of this car. This seller is asking a whopping $35,000. Personally, I don’t think there are any regular 450SELs out there deserving $35,000. I’d argue most of the 6.9 cars for sale aren’t worth $35,000. By the looks of it, this seller isn’t hurting for money so I don’t think the price will be dropped out of desperation any time soon. With any car, all it takes is one buyer that has the money to fall in love and spend this crazy amount of money for it, but that price is just way too high. $35,000 will buy you a nice 6.3 or can probably even get you into a project W100 600. Regular 450SEL cars will always suffer from “Ah, it’s not the 6.9” syndrome for as long as they exist and probably keep prices lower than comparable 6.9s. But if you really wanted a unique time capsule W116, this one is probably it.

– Andrew

Bono’s 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL

Boy, do I have a car for you today. If you are in the market for a car and still haven’t found what you’re looking for, maybe it’s time to put your heart and desire into none of than U2 lead signer Bono’s 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL. This magnificent W116 features a cowhide-patterned interior that would feel right at home in Miami or even The Playboy Mansion. If that wasn’t enough it, it also has a stereo system so large that will last you until the end of the world. Also let us rejoice, as if you are at a red light with a few seconds to spare, you can talk on the 1990s car phone but everyone that dials you will be an unknown caller. So are you ready to rise up, maybe even levitate? Or just continue to sleep like a baby tonight and let this 450SEL sit for another day?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Bono’s 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL on eBay

Year: 1980
Model: 450SEL
Engine: 4.5 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: Unknown
Price: Buy It Now £50,000 ($65,134)

 

To celebrate 30 years Joshua Tree, one of the best albums ever made

“Fitted with a pounds 15,000 sound system and cow-hide interior”

Do you want to buy piece of Rock an roll memorabilia.
Bono’s first car he got when he got few bob 🙂
He first bought just after U2 recorded the break through album Boy,
It’s very unique car Mercedes – 450 SEL in 1980’s

body in good condition engine needs work

 

Here is the thing with celebrity cars, they don’t mean squat for the value unless you are an absolute mega-star. Everyone wants to believe their cars once owned by a famous person 16 years and 4 owners ago suddenly quadruples it’s value. We see it all the time because it’s easy speculation. There is no work to be done, nothing tangible to see, just a story that someone likes to tell to drum up excited. At least with this W116 you can some kind of personal touches, but that doesn’t save it for being ugly and undesirable. It has your typical “engine needs work” line which could mean absolutely anything and most likely something serious.

The owner asking £50,000 (a little over $65,000) is just ludicrous. Without Bono’s name being attached this is a $5,000 car at best depending on what needs done. But there is one major problem with selling this car, someone actually bought this car at one time for €61,000 ($71,000). Except it wasn’t a person, but Pepsi Cola of all things. In 2000, Bono auctioned this car to raise funds for aid to Ethiopia. Pepsi broke out their checkbook and helped out Ethiopia as well as their bottom line for their taxes. So what is the problem? Everyone who owns this car has it burned in their mind that since Pepsi ponied up over $70,000 that it is worth that. Except Pepsi wasn’t buying this car, they were buying the publicity, the aid work and again, their reduced tax bill. The car will forever carry the honor of once being sold for $71,000 which explains why it has literally been for sale for over seven years. We actually featured this car way back in 2010 and the best part it is that it’s the same damn photos as the ones in this current auction. This car is destined to be driven on a street with no name because it’s never going to be sold unless the seller drops the price by about $55,000. Until then, Achtung Baby!

– Andrew

1972 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Hearse

Continuing this weeks theme of strange builds from coachwork companies, I present to you none other than a 1972 Mercedes-Benz 280SE. This W116 comes to us from the hills of Italy with the first ever “mayoral guarantee” I’ve seen attached to a description for a car listing. I can only assume a guarantee from a mayor of an Italian village is basically worth as much as the Sistine Chapel itself. Of course, as with any other custom conversion, this hearse has a bunch of odd things about it and me wondering if anyone ever actually buys these things. So let me try to break everything down before my mind wonders to the next crazy creation.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Hearse on eBay

Year: 1972
Model: 280SE Hearse
Engine: 3.0 inline-5 cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: Unknown
Price: Auction

 

I am advertising this to the mayor of my village in Italy, where i have a Holiday Home.. The vehicle is in Italy at the moment and if anybody is interested

Can be viewed at location. Sounds daunting however you can get a flight to Pescara from £31, each leg and takes only a little over an hour. I live in Devon, it would take longer and more expensive if one is coming from London. Do the math!
I have seen the car once when a local neighbour died and it looks very posh and the Mayor guarantee in perfect working order. I would vouch for his word because he is a honest respectable person, who supported me 100% when I bought my farm there and I trust he as my neighbour would never stir me wrong.

As to delivery or pick up. I imagine who view the car would want to drive it back but if one don’t have the time, I offer the service for delivery, providing travel expenses are met.

I personally vouch for the integrity of the car and if one buy’s and feel it does not meet the expected stander, it doesn’t have to take it. But I am sure it would meet your needs for whatever purpose.

Also arriving in Pescara Airport, you can get a train to Vasto in less then an hour where pick up can be arranged. There is a local B&B for 20 Euro’s per night.

I hope this clarifies better and please do not hesitate to contact me for further questions.

Thanks for considering.

I’m really surprised to see this is a very early 1972, the first year for the W116, that was probably taken straight to the coach builder for the conversion. It’s as bare-bones a model as I’ve ever seen, with manual everything along with no radio and no air conditioning. What is even more surprising is that if you are wondering why the straight-six M110 engine looks a little odd it’s because it has been tossed away for none other than the legendary OM617. This looks to be the OM617.910 or OM617.912 because it is the non-turbo model from probably a W115 or W123 300D. It isn’t getting you or the deceased anywhere fast but of course it is robust as granite. This is a little odd in my eyes, but I guess they didn’t mind a little soot on the coffin every now and then. Also, I should mention that this W116 has the wheels from the W126 which I’m not a huge fan of as I much prefer a clean set of the 14 inch Bundts.

I honestly don’t know who buys cars like these. I guess if you wanted a wagon you could strip out all the cabin rollers and giant a bit of storage space but a W123 wagon would serve you just as well. The car looks presentable on the outside but the interior has seen better days with heavy wear in some spots. I don’t know if  anyone is lining up to bid on this W116 for 5,000 GBP ($6,435), but who knows how much that mayoral tax guarantee is worth, maybe it could be worth someone’s while.

– Andrew

1979 Mercedes-Benz 280S

Produced between 1972 and 1980, the W116 was the first car from Mercedes to officially bear the name “S-class.” Representing the pinnacle of luxury, safety and German engineering in the period, American customers could choose from several gasoline-powered V8s: a 3.5 liter unit in the 350SE/L, a 4.5 liter unit in the 450 SE/L and a gargantuan 6.9 liter unit in the infamous, high performance 6.9 SEL. But in Europe, the car was also available in base spec as the 280S, powered by a carbureted (rather than fuel injected) version of the M110 2.8 liter straight six.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 280S on UK eBay

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1973 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL

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Last week I checked out a 1978 350SE that was chock-full of little goodies but didn’t really past muster as a good buy. Today we have another W116 that seems to check all the boxes of of what a proper 1970’s S-Class should bring to the table as a nice driver and possible collector car. Located in Switzerland, the black paint is only the tip of the iceberg as to what this 450SEL offers. So let’s check out this blood-red big Benz.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL at Küng Classics

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1978 Mercedes-Benz 350SE

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Another week, another Mercedes with a bunch of strange things that I try to make sense of. This handsome 1978 350SE located in Tennessee caught my attention with its slim euro bumpers and other little details that makes this car stand out from the rest of the pack. So let’s take a look at what makes this W116 so special and a little bit odd.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Mercedes-Benz 350SE on eBay

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1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9

1The 450SEL 6.9 was the top of the range, high performance version of the W116 S-class, produced between 1975 and 1981. To make it, Mercedes took an ordinary W116 and shoehorned the largest V8 into its engine bay that they could find: a mammoth 6.9 liter unit making 250 hp and 360 ft-lb of torque in US spec. They then added a sophisticated hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension system that gave these cars a dual personality. On ordinary roads they had a magic carpet-like ride that would soak up bumps in a manner entirely befitting a W116, while on the track they would handle far more nimbly and capably than their size would have led you to believe. The result was an early luxury super sedan; a 70s incarnation of today’s souped up AMG S-classes. But unlike their modern counterparts, on the outside the 6.9s didn’t look any different to the rest of the W116 lineup. Distinguished only by a discreet “6.9” badge on the trunk lid, the understated menace of these cars meant they quickly found favor among the sorts of people who wanted to go very fast and had lots of money, but didn’t always want you to know just how much money they had. Driven by Hollywood moguls, gangsters and foreign dictators alike, these cars were expensive, fast and technologically advanced.

Jumping forward to today, these cars have rather languished on the classic car market. You can still find tired examples on Craigslist costing only a few thousand dollars, often resting on their emergency bump stops as a result of failed suspension, with faded paint and sad interiors. Lately however, nice 6.9s appear to be climbing in value, with more and more nice condition examples coming to market with large price tags attached. And that leads me to today’s car.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 on eBay

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