The W116 is perhaps one of the most forgotten Mercedes-Benz S class generations, but even this staid sedan had a few interesting versions. We are all familiar with the beast that is the 6.9, but here is an interesting version with what looks to be a 4.5 V8 and a 4 speed manual. Also included are a few tasteful modifications.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Paul who found this beauty and wrote the post, like the seller and the original importer has been duped. This car is not as the seller states a 450SE, but likely a much more significant Euro market 350SE. It could be the importer called this a 450SE to help ease the importation. A 450SE with a manual was almost unheard of. This car shows its Euro heritage with the Euro bumpers and headlights and also has only had the speedometer converted, the other gauges in the instrument cluster and the climate controls remain the original Euro, German language ones. The VIN number indicates a 350SE. Without seeing the actual engine data plate it is easy to confuse the two models, particularly this one which seems to have an air cleaner like the 4.5, earlier 3.5 engines had a smaller, circular, air cleaner with the intake on the passenger side. The 3.5 liter V8 was marked as a M116 engine in the W116 chassis. The 4.5 liter V8 was marked as the M117 engine in the W116 chassis. Many consider the smaller 3.5 V8 to be the better engine. It was a marvelous piece, very high revving and nimble. Couple that engine with a manual transmission and the short bodied 116 chassis car and this must be quite a fun ride. I would get rid of that particular set of aftermarket rims. Replacing the stock 14″ items with 16″ or bigger is a good idea, but there are much nicer looking rims for classic Mercs. A set of expensive AMG Ronal 5 spokes would complete the authentic AMG look. This is a great find and likely to only be appreciated by those in the know so look for a possible bargain here if it doesn’t attract too much attention. Though the price already is that of what a similar mileage 450SEL can be had for.
Back to Paul’s comments:
The seller states:
Hey everyone up for sale we have a mint condition 1978 450SE Euro model with 81k original miles and a manual 4 speed transmission. Not sure if it is a 3.5 or a 4.5 (Bureau of Automotive Repair says 4.5) I am the second owner of this beautiful car, The first owner was an elderly man that drove it seldomly and kept it garaged under a car cover most of its life. It runs great, engine runs very smooth and powerful, absolutely no leaks whatsoever, Shifts perfect, clutch feels like new, temperature is always steady at 80C. The two front windows are electrically powered while the two rear windows are manual (set up available for euro models only). It has Michelin Pilot tires with 85% tread left and an almost perfect interior as you can tell by the photos. The only minor defects are: a slight vibration at 55-60mph and the AC needs to be recharged. I have a clean California title thats ready to be handed over to the winning bidder.
Values of W116 S classes have been notoriously low for Mercedes-Benzes in recent history, except for that of the 6.9. There are 14 bids on this already as I write this with two days left in the auction, so we’ll see if the reserve is met and where the value goes.