Introduced in 1972 the Mercedes Benz W116 was considered the companies flagship sedan from 1972-1980. Available in many different engine sizes and wheel bases you could order your W116 in the mild 280S/SE/SEL M110 with a dual overhead cam 6 cylinder engine.
The frugal and sturdy 300SD Turbo Diesel (from 1978-1980) or the Big Mamma 450SE/SEL featuring the 4.5 liter fuel injected V8. The 450SEL was all about performance and comfort.
Built around the famous Mercedes Benz structure and engineering the 450SEL would become the sedan of choice for the rich and famous for almost a decade. Not wanting to rest on its 3 Pointed Star Mercedes unleashed the ultimate 450SEL in 1976. Called simply the 450SEL 6.9 it featured the whopping 6.9 liter fuel injected M100 V8.
In European trim the 6.9 was rated at a Porsche killing 300 horsepower and 405 lbs of torque. Car and Driver Magazine in 1978 joked in a road test ” The CB antenna blows off at 130mph” Automotive writer Brock Yates tested a 450SEL in US trim at Road Atlanta. He recorded a top speed of 152 mph and 0-60 sprints in just 6.8 seconds. Huge performance numbers for a smog-i-fied choked car in the late 1970′s.
With a groundbreaking hydraunumatic suspension the 450SEL could also handle like a sports car. Car and Driver editor David E Davis quipped in 1979 “Despite weighing in at 4200lbs the 450SEL 6.9 handles like a Mini”
The 450SEL 6.9 was built between 1976-1980. It its era the Benz 450SEL 6.9 was considered the ultimate sedan in performance, luxury and quality. The problem with being the ultimate or best is that crown comes at a huge cost. Feeding and keeping a 450SEL 6.9 on the road is pocket draining process. The problem is the as much as the 6.9 liter V8 is a massive brute it shares no other parts with any other Benz powerplant.
Even the road hugging hydro suspension is costly to maintain and fix. Other problem areas were the horse hair pads for the seats would shrink making your rear seat look like a leatherized prune and the wood trim is prone to peeling.
If your going to buy a 450SEL buy the best one you can get and look for service history. Try to buy the USA version for ease of parts replacement and watch for bad rust repair. Our feature 1979 Mercedes Benz 450SEL 6.9 is a USA version with only 32,200 miles. All original with complete service records from 1979. Just be careful “the CB antenna will blow off at 130mph
Oddly these Uber Teutonic Road Rockets are yet to command "Uber" prices. If you are looking for something different with speed and class and can handle the care and feeding of this Germanic Beast the a 6.9 450SEL is the way to go. As always the question is >>>> WHAT'S IT WORTH? <<<< Click Here