1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL – REVISIT

The low mileage 450SEL we featured last month is back up for sale. The car failed to meet its reserve last time at $18,800 after an impressive 50 bids.



With a new Mercedes-Benz S class upon us, it’s an opportune time to look back through the years and see how this luxury sedan development. The W116 S class quickly became an afterthought after the much loved W126 debuted at the dawn of the 1980s. This big bruiser’s moment came via a movie most of us all know and love, Ronin. The top of the range 6.9 made an appearance in this action packed flick, terrorizing a Citroën XM and duo of Peugeot 605s in the pursuit of a mysterious case. Even with a rocket launcher perched through the sunroof opening, the 6.9 still looked dignified going about its business. This 450SEL captures much of the 6.9’s aura even if the V8 is down on power. But for most, the power, safety and luxury this classic S class offers is quite adequate.

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

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V8 Week: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9

When it comes to V8s and Mercedes-Benz, the original 300SEL 6.3 is undoubtedly king. However, when it comes to capacity, the 450SEL 6.9 is the top dog. It still holds the title of the largest eight cylinder engine Mercedes has shoved into a production car this side of World War II and in its day it was a revelation of exactly how rapid a big luxury sedan could be. This big lump put out 285 bhp, a number which some say is conservative and 405 lb ft of torque. It also featured Mercedes’ first application of self-leveling hydropneumatic suspension, popularized by Citroën. Anti-lock brakes were also an option, and this 6.9 for sale outside of Dortmund, Germany represents one of the first production vehicles to feature this advanced technology.

Year: 1979
Model: 450SEL 6.9
Engine: 6.9 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 74,500 km (~ 46,292 mi)
Price: €54,900 (~ $74,263 USD)

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 on Mobile.de

On offer is a 450SEL 6.9, it has undergone an extensive restoration in our workshop. Besides a large inspection including replacement of several wear parts, the paint was restored in the original color and all the rubber seals were replaced. The body is rust free. The vehicle also features leather and burl wood that are in completely original condition with a beautiful patina. The hydro-pneumatic suspension functions reliably and accurately. There were also five new Michelin XWX mounted on obsolete, original Fuchs wheels in the dimension 215/70VR14.

Finish: 735 astralsilber
Padding: 201 black leather upholstery

470 anti-lock braking system
259 radio Becker Grand Prix cassette full stereo
502 Rear view mirror right
260 delete model designation on the left
531 automatic antenna
261 delete 6.9 badge
640 five alloy wheels

215 Hydropneumatic suspension
451 tachometer
248 electrically heated rear window laminated glass
570 front folding armrest
286 luggage rack on the driver and passenger backrests
580 air-conditioning
330 center console with storage compartment
584 four power windows
400 folding armrest in the rear
420 automatic transmission, 4-speed floor shift
731 wood trim burr walnut
430 rear headrests
600 headlight wiper system
812 rear speaker stereo with a fader

Bold = Optional

We offer this fully equipped legend of the seventies, including new HU / AU, H-plates decrease and 12 months warranty. Sale under § 25a, differenzbesteuert. Subject to prior sale.

Christian Nikolai, Mercedes-Benz Classic Ostendorf
Tel: 02381 425-732

Renowned automotive journalist Brock Yates was handed a 6.9 by Mercedes-Benz where he drove it from Manhattan to Road Atlanta. When he got to the track, Yates drove the car for another 40 laps or 100 miles. The car didn’t skip a beat. But the price of perfection at the time did not come cheap. The list price was about $40,000. Today, that would equate to over $150,000 in today’s money. The 6.9 has never commanded as much as the original beast, the 6.3, but values are the strongest of any W116 Benz. Good runners can still be had for well under $20,000, with the very best having a potential to crest $30,000 to $40,000. Priced as it is, this 6.9 would only grab the attention of a monied collector, but even at that point, it’s way ahead of the market.


1979 Mercedes 450SEL 6.9 no reserve

One of my favorites here. Check out some of our previous posts for more info about the mighty 6.9. Though I’m biased due to having owned a Euro spec 6.9 it is safe to say that this truly is one of the greatest sedans ever built.

This U.S. spec model isn’t as pretty or sleek as it was intended to be from the factory due to U.S. safety regulations it still retains the iconic W116 look. The U.S. quad round headlights have been replaced with Euro versions, but ugly bumpers remain. The U.S. engine is down a bit on power from the Euro engine, but the 6.9 liters of V8 still produces gobs of torque, 400 + lb-ft.

The car here has traveled 155,000 miles. The hydropneumatic suspension, an expensive set of parts if neglected, appears to have the car riding at the proper height.

What is confusing to me is how the seller seems to have first listed this car as a standard 450SEL and then only added a slight mention of it being a 6.9. Perhaps this is because the car has been debadged on the trunk, one of those great factory options from Mercedes to allow you to really be the ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing on the streets in the late 70s. This could be a bit worrisome, this is a specialized car with a few quirks over a standard 4.5 liter W116, namely the suspension, that really should be looked at by someone in the know. The driveline is fairly robust in these, but with all that torque you want to make sure transmission, diff, etc. are all in good shape. The torque is also fatal to flex disks on the driveshaft. I also always raise an eyebrow when I see an otherwise nice looking 6.9 end up at used car lot. 6.9s tend to trade hands owner to owner or though specialist dealers. A 6.9 showing up at an average used car lot could mean something benign like a car that came out of an estate being auctioned off, but may also mean its a basket case whose owner just wanted to get any sort of trade in value for. In this case the seller states the car comes from a women looking to sell her recently deceased husband’s car.

The car looks well maintained, that engine bay is very clean. The seller claims it spun up to 100 MPH without trouble on the highway and believe me with a well running 6.9 that really is effortless.

Without the need for the owner to make top dollar on this car it has been placed for sale with no reserve. We’ll have a chance to see some true market value on this car. Bidding is at a paltry $1,626. I’d go $5,000 on this based on the photos and minimal description alone. If two bidders really check this one out and it drives as clean as it looks a price closer to $10,000 wouldn’t be unreasonable. This is a collector car and prices are only going up on nice unabused examples.

1979 Mercedes 450SEL 6.9 on eBay


1975 Mercedes 450SEL 46k miles

On one hand I want to let people know that the prices of good w116 and w123 Mercedes have been steadily climbing. On the other hand the more we talk about it the less of a chance their is of me finding a bargain on what use to be an under appreciated classic, the w116.

This beautiful U.S. version 450SEL has covered a mere 46,000 miles. The car features a stunning red interior, with complementary subtle red pinstripe on the exterior, that is likely contributing to the bidding on this car.

Things look factory fresh with all the parts in the right places. Correct painted hubcaps and original Becker Grand Prix, have been saved rather than tossed for ugly aftermarket parts that are so common on these.

The engine bay is clean, the original tool kit complete, the A/C blows cold, the original manuals come with the car. These are all things that occasionally get over looked, combined together they paint a picture of good owner care and add to buyer interest.

Bidding is up to $9,000, with the reserve not met. I’ve said this before, 450SEL drivers could be had in the sub $2,000 range, some even into sub $1,000, not that long ago. We have seen several Benzs recently from the 70s and 80s show, still reasonable, but surprisingly strong prices. The w116 was a well crafted car and the appreciation monetarily and emotionally is growing. I can’t say it any better than what the seller writes: “these W116 chassis cars were made to be driven and clean low mileage examples like this one are getting very hard to find.”


1975 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL with 46k original miles

The W116 is one of the lesser loved Mercedes-Benzes, not garnering the praise of the legendary W126 and falling into the trap of 1970s vehicles with bigger bumpers and emissions constraints that made them less attractive than their predecessors. Still, I must say that this particular W116 caught my eye, given its tasteful appearance and low mileage.

The seller states:

For sale by owner is this 1975 Mercedes Benz 450 SEL with 46,555 original miles. The car runs and drives beautifully with great V8 power and the 3 speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly. All of the vehicles ammenties function as they should and the AC blows cold and the heat blows hot through all the proper vents. The car is also equipped with an enourmous power moonroof (see photos) and all of the power windows operate perfectly, and even the original clock keeps accurate time. The original AM/FM Becker Stereo is present and works perfectly as does the power antenna. All of the original books and keys are present as well as the original spare tire which has never been down.

The car was very well maintained by both of its previous owners, and the car is exceptionally clean both inside and out. These W116 chassis cars were made to be driven and clean low mileage examples like this one are getting very hard to find.

The thing that is striking about this car for me is the color combination. While bright red may be a bit offensive to some, I think gray with red leather is one of the most classic color combinations and works well on older Benzes. I remember spotting a 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250S sedan at the Mercedes-Benz Club of America’s June Jamboree in Montvale, New Jersey in this exact same color combination, and I was smitten.

This car was obviously well cared for over the past 36 years and ranks right up there with some of the classic Mercedes-Benzes I’ve seen for sale at Mercedes’ own Classic Center in California. Clean, classic Benzes like this somehow speak to me and this S class very much deserves someone to act as a responsible custodian of it for at least the next decade or so.


Happy Holidays 2010

Shoveling out a Mercedes 450SEL in Evan’s driveway.

Thanks to all our loyal readers for making 2010 a great success. We anticipate a 2011 filled with more  wonderful finds and surprises. As always we welcome your comments and suggestions.

Have a great holiday season,

Aaron, Ben, Dan, Evan, Nate, and Paul.

2 Unique Mercedes 77 450SEL Estate, 91 Koenig 300CE

1977 Mercedes 450SEL Crayford Estate Wagon on eBay

450SEL Crayford1450SEL Crayford2450SEL Crayford3450SEL Crayford4450SEL Crayford5450SEL Crayford6450SEL Crayford7450SEL Crayford8450SEL Crayford9

With a clientele that included Sophia Loren, Crayford conversions on 1970s Mercedes are an exclusive beast. These costly vehicles came warrantied by Mercedes and were the way customers who wanted an estate wagon for their fancy sedan could have the best of both worlds. This particular car interestingly shows the ugly U.S. market safety bumpers, but has avoided the recognizable, though inferior U.S. market quad circle sealed beam headlights in favor of Euro spec H4 beams. The seller, presumably using the register of Crayford Mercedes found here: http://www.crayford-benz.org, claims this to be one of only two or three in existence.

91 Mercedes 300CE Koenig Special on eBay.

300CE Koenig1300CE Koenig2300CE Koenig3300CE Koenig4300CE Koenig5300CE Koenig6

I may be mistaken, but I believe that this is not the only Koenig Special Benz once owned by baseball legend Ken Griffey Jr. in existence. Koenig epitomized the Miami Vice over the top bad ass look when it came to mid 80s Mercedes. This later 1991, has the same flavor with the in your face widebody kit, but I think the look is actually better pulled off by slightly larger W126 bodied Benz coupes like the 560SEC. Occasionally you will see the widebody kits in metal, but more often they are fiberglass and after nearly 20 years it may show some spiderweb cracking up close. It is hard to say what the premium here is for the owner provenance, but it safe to say this asking price is a significant discount from new. A new owner of this Koenig Special vehicle will need to remember that, though most mechanical parts won’t be any harder to find than standard 3 liter Mercedes fare, replacing the massive 315 size tires on the rears will be a cost. Fortunately with a 6 cylinder engine, instead of the torque of a 5 or 5.6 liter from a 126 bodied car, burnouts should be easier to avoid. The big V8 Koenig Specials sometimes came with even more outrageous 345 meats on the rear.