1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9
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This 6.9 will make a fantastic project. It’s a running and driving example of Mercedes’ legendary super saloon.
The 450SEL 6.9 replaced the formidable 300SEL 6.3. The dry-sumped, fuel-injected near 7-litre V8 produced 286bhp but more importantly 405 lb/ft of torque, which thrust the big saloon to 60mph in 7.2 seconds and on to 140mph while floating on fully hydropneumatic suspension.
The 6.9 was beloved by Formula One drivers of the day – James Hunt infamously had to stop driving his due to the number of speeding tickets he accrued. And it was the car behind Claude Lelouch’s high speed dash across Paris in his short film, C’etait un rendez-vous.
Despite appearances, this 6.9 is not an American market car. Manufactured in August 1977, it was a German market car delivered to Kiel in Schleswig-Holstein. Just four years later in 1981 the car came to the UK and was registered here where it has remained. The instrumentation remain in original KM/H. So when and why this car gained US-specification bumpers and headlamps remains a mystery.
The last owner purchased it in 1992 and kept it nearly 30 years. It has been garaged but not been on the road for nine years. Only 120k KM (74k miles) from new.
The engine starts first time and runs extremely well with excellent oil pressure, perfect temperature readings and no smoking. From our brief test drive the engine has all its horsepower and the gearbox changes very nicely.
The hydro suspension stays up well, however it requires replacement spheres so the ride is very hard. The body is largely solid but does require restoration work to bring back to its former glory. The interior is generally good. The dashboard is excellent with no cracks and the walnut veneer is in good order. The seats retain their original leather and could easily be reconnolised. It is complete inside apart from the driver’s floor carpet.
Overall, a fantastic project for the enthusiast. You could get it on the road fairly easily and enjoy it as is, or carry out a full restoration with the comfort of knowing that the car is mechanically sound.
We have Euro bumpers and headlamps available to purchase separately.