1977 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Euro-Spec- REVISIT

After failing to sell in 2014, the Euro-spec manual 280SE with some AMG bits that appeared here twice last year is back up for sale with a lower price but from the same seller. This car appears to be really unique and well presented and would certainly turn heads at any show. I especially love the over the top AMG-spec wheels and Euro-goodies that slim down and beef up the S-Class just a bit. At $9,999, this seems like a good deal for a great vintage Benz:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Mercedes-Benz 280SE on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site July 26, 2014 and September 6, 2014:

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1973 Mercedes-Benz 450SE

Yesterday Paul wrote up a rare 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SE; for the W116 and W126, the short wheel base cars almost seem to be a bit odd. The long lines of the S-Class, especially in the case of the W126, seem normal with those long back windows. But for me, the W116 almost looks a little out of proportion in “L” guise. In part that’s helped when you delete the large bumpers that most U.S. bound examples had – in original Euro configuration, it looks much better in my mind. But drop the wheelbase to the “SE” version and the W116 just looks right to me. This ’73 example is a great case in point, with period green over green leather and Bundt alloys:

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

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1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 Euro-Spec – REVISIT

The stellar looking two tone 1978 European specification Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 with unique Ronal Racing 3 piece Turbos is back on eBay, this time with a “Buy It Now” of $30,000. That puts it about about a condition 2 price level by Hagerty’s valuation guide, which overall seems pretty appropriate. Appreciation of these big Benz models is growing and it’s expensive to repair one to properly sorted level. Period mods can go very wrong, but somehow I really love the look of this car – it may be the coolest 6.9 I’ve ever seen. What do you think?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site July 2, 2014:

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Double Take: Early Mercedes-Benz W116s

Even though it’s old enough to be considered a classic, the W116 Mercedes-Benz S –class seems to lack the following that its predecessor, the W108 or its successor, the W126, have garnered. Today, we’ll take a look at two W116s which appear similar on the surface, due to their golden huge, but are, in fact, rather different. First up is this 280S for sale in Germany equipped with a 4-speed manual gearbox, a combination we never saw here in the US market.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Mercedes-Benz 280S on Mobile.de

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1975 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9

What, the 500E AMG 6.0 AND 500SL AMG 6.0 weren’t enough? Okay then, how a 6.9, this time lumped under the long hood of a W116? Well, if I’m honest I’m disappointed, as this spot was originally supposed to be filled by a rare 1990 560SEC. It’s not that the 6.9 isn’t rare, it’s just that particular SEC was a claimed AMG widebody 6.0 with full documentation. The highlighted text brings you to the auction. You know when they put “seller reserves the right to end the auction early”? Well, apparently that’s true. In any event, though I’m fairly disappointed that car disappeared early, it does give us the chance to look at this lovely early European-spec 450SEL 6.9:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 on eBay

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1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 with 44,000 Miles

While the M5 may have the notoriety of being the first serious super performance sedan, it’s easy to forget that Mercedes-Benz really started the trend. As early as the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz was building some of the fastest large cars in the marketplace. They were expensive, complicated, and beautiful works of engineering. It took a while post-war for both the marketplace and the company to come back to full strength, but two cars created in the midst of an international oil crisis I really think point towards the character of their respective companies. First was BMW’s hard-edged, barely disguised racer for the road, the 3.0CSL. It was expensive, relatively lightweight, stunning to look at and pretty quick to boot – a sporting nature that would carry through to the current generation of BMWs, still considered the benchmark in sporting sedans. On the other side of the fence was the 450SEL 6.9; who else but Mercedes-Benz would put the largest production V8 into a sedan when there was a gas crisis? If the 3.0 shouted about it’s racing prowess, the Mercedes was subtle and understated. Indeed, option number 261 even removed the displacement badge on the rear, and outside of that you’d only see hints of the car’s performance by the bulging tires and slightly more showy exhaust. But stomp on the loud pedal and the best part of 290 horsepower was on tap for you – and this was 1975. Remember 1975? It was when the base Corvette had 165 horsepower and if you wanted to just break 200, the L-82 was your only option at 205 horspower. A full 40% more powerful, the Benz was the match for sports cars of the day in a straight line but offered extreme luxury at the same time:

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

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10K Friday Sonder Edition: 280s v. 300SEL v. 560SEC v. S420 v. S600 Coupe v. S430 v. CL500

It’s pretty amazing when generations of cars come together in value; right now, there are 4 generations of Mercedes-Benz S-class models that all seem to hit market for around the same amount. From the beginnings of the “Sonder” Class Mercedes with the W116 through the W220 cars that are only just over a generation old, there’s a tremendous amount of luxury available in these super sedans and coupes. So what would be your choice? We’ll go by age this time, starting with the W116:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Mercedes-Benz 280S on eBay

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1977 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Euro-Spec 4-Speed Manual

I’ve said before that the W116 is a love/hate car for me; most times, I see them and they just look like any tired old Benz; a bit out of proportion and over-bumpered. But then I see a great example, like some of the Euro-spec 6.9 models I’ve written up in the last few weeks, and I get a bit giddy. Though not really my dream car by any means, I can imagine cruising up to a Cars and Coffee event, or a German Car Day somewhere in my massive Benz. That vision is helped when I see one in full European trim; the slim bumper lines and cleaned up light clusters make it so much better. But while most of my adoration is levied upon those 6.9 models, this car might just change that. Compared the largest engine fitted in the W116 6.9, this car seems downright puny with only a 2.8 liter inline-6. What helps that, though, is the manual transmission and some of the missing luxuries that help lighten the load. Top it off with some AMG bits, and my does this car look tasty!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Mercedes-Benz 280SE on eBay

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1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 Euro-Spec

I’ll get this right out of the way, and I’m sure that it won’t be the most popular statement: I’m not a big fan of the Ronal Turbo wheels. It’s strange, because I like many, many wheels, but something about the recent editions of the Ronal Turbo just leave me flat. Perhaps its the racing look put onto cars that aren’t racing cars, or the wrong offset, or the wrong finish – I’m not sure. But whenever I see a set pop up on a newer Audi, Volkswagen or BMW I’m just not impressed. However, throw an original set of 3-piece Ronal Turbos on an iconic car from the late 1970s and suddenly they work. Oh, how they work!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 on eBay

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1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 Euro-spec

Ah, the wonders of the “grey market”. I long for the days when it was apparently fairly easy to import and legalize European versions of the cars that were turned down for the U.S. market. They were more powerful, better looking and lighter; but best of all, for most of these designs they were much closer to the original design language than what we were sent in the U.S.. The perfect example of this is the W116 Mercedes-Benz, though it’s not alone. The W116 came to the U.S. with Texas-sized bumpers and somewhat unattractive DOT-approved headlights. When those items are returned to their natural state, the transformation is nothing short of miraculous:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 on eBay

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