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Sbarro Gullwing Mercedes 450SEL 6.9 powered

Here is an interesting situation. I posted this car on this blog almost exactly three years ago and now the car is back up for sale and the seller has copied the text of that post to use as description in the ad. Here is the original post.

Sbarro Gullwing Mercedes 450SEL 6.9 powered on eBay

1979 Sbarro 6.9016Year: 1979
Model: Sbarro Gullwing
Engine: 6.9 liter V8
Transmission: 3 speed automatic
Mileage: 9,100 miles T.M.U.
Price: Auction with a $21,995 Buy It Now

These are pretty unique cars and like many custom cars could be had in multiple flavors. What is surprising though is that Sbarro built the same car on different Benz chassis depending on the engine option that was chosen. This car having the awesome M100 6.9 liter V8 comes on the W116 chassis from the 450SEL.

While later twin turbo 5.0 liter Sbarro Gullwings could be had with a 5 speed manual, this car has the Mercedes 450SEL 6.9’s 3 speed auto built to handle the gobs of low end torque the powerplant generates.

We didn’t get mileage figures from that listing three years ago, but with the odometer showing just over 9,100 right now the car hasn’t traveled far. Pictures show the odometer listing 8,894 so the car has traveled a bit with this seller. The seller is calling that figure true mileage unknown, which is refreshing to see a seller actually come right out and say that. Chances are that mileage is accurate.

Three years ago this car had an ask price of an unreasonable, despite the rarity, $90,000. Now the seller has a much more sane $21,995. It appears the current owner is the same owner who had the car three years ago, but now the car appears to be at a dealer being sold on consignment. The seller gives the history of the car as being ordered by a member of the Seattle Supersonics before being sold to a Washington state businessman. The current owner purchased the car in 2002 and spent five years restoring it with a claimed $85,000 invested.

The underlying mechanical being from the 450SEL 6.9 don’t make finding parts quite on the level of unobtainium as you might expect with a custom coach built car. However it is worth noting that upon looking under the hood you can see the hydraulic reservoir that would indicate this car has maintained the 6.9s somewhat costly to fix hydro-pneumatic suspension rather than the far less complex, but ultimately not as cool or smooth, standard spring setup on the run of the mill W116 cars.

I had mentioned in the comments of my earlier post that I have documentation on previous sales of these cars. One of those sold in 2002 and I had thought it was a different car than this one, but with the seller of this one saying it changed hands in 2002 I could be wrong, how many Sbarro 6.9s changed hands in 2002. The photos don’t quite look the same. If the car is in as good an operating shape as it looks the price seems fair, look at what some W126 AMG coupes we have listed have sold for, twice this price. I have one of these changing hands at $40,575 so perhaps not an invest back then, but at this price making a little $ down the road seems much more likely. The car is just a bit too much of an odd duck with polarizing styling to bring the kind of money that similar era AMG cars have brought.

As I said in my previous post I’d probably axe those wheels and replace them with something more in line with the 80sriffic look, not because the wheels are on it are bad, but a car with such crazy 80s look styling needs wheels that also come from that time. I hope this car finds a good home, it is special and true Benz historians will recognize what it is. With bidding currently sitting at just over $7,000, I’m tempted to throw a bid in on this; as a 450SEL 6.9 owner, I appreciate the engine and I’m not holding out for the other famous tuner Mercedes Gullwing, the Isdera.



  1. motoringconbrio
    motoringconbrio February 8, 2013

    Can’t tell what’s worse, Sbarro pizza or Sbarro gullwings.

  2. Evan
    Evan February 8, 2013


  3. Dallas
    Dallas February 8, 2013

    Wow – that is a shocking looking car. Never seen one before, and as noted, Franco Sbarro’s styling choices can be… “polarizing”.

    This one needs wheels with proper offsets to fill out those wheelwells, and about 3″ less ride height, and it would look waaaay better. Maybe not great, but certainly much better. I like the wheel flares anyway.

  4. Lee-Type
    Lee-Type February 8, 2013

    What a wierd ride, but Sbarro was always that way. I’d still take the car over the pizza, though. In any event, the car is still here in Charlotte, so if anyone wants me to run over and take a look at it, I’ll be more than happy.

  5. David
    David February 8, 2013

    Whomever put those wheels on that car should be shot (and, no, it wasn’t Sbarro). And, it seems clear that the seller has no idea what they are selling. And, how does it take 5 years to re-do the interior (but no mention of any of the mechanical systems)?

  6. Lee-Type
    Lee-Type February 8, 2013

    That’s right, I’d bet the dealer really doesn’t know much about it. I agree those wheels are entirely out of place. Possibly replace them with some sort of Lorinser wheel from the ’80’s, if they can be sourced in the correct offset.

    Well, I AM going to go look at it, if for nothing more than to report back. I’ll let y’all know…

  7. Farkas
    Farkas February 8, 2013


  8. Greg
    Greg February 8, 2013

    I cannot believe someone spent $85k restoring this thing. For the total money invested he could have purchased a different 70’s German car; a BMW M1. And they have appreciated quite a bit since 2002.

  9. David
    David February 11, 2013

    Sold for $21,995 (BIN) w/ 21 bids (last bid before BIN was $13,543). Someone either got a hell of a deal (these puppies were over 300k DM new back in the day) or a 30+ year old car with needs.

  10. ready
    ready February 16, 2013

    my god this is a monstrosity that only a rapper would love

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