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.
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.
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.
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.
Engine: 4.5 liter V-8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: 29,109 mi
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.…
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?
Engine: 4.5 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
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.…
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.
Model: 280SE Hearse
Engine: 3.0 inline-5 cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed manual
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.…