Friday, November 18, 2011

1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9

Arguably, when it comes to sedans, this was Mercedes-Benz finest moment. The 450SEL 6.9 was a technological tour de force.

The 450SEL 6.9 is a huge sedan that in many ways doesn't realize it's a huge sedan. The 6.9 liter V8 moves it to 60 MPH in just over 7 seconds. It has a top speed approaching 150 MPH.

The 450SEL 6.9 rides and handles like few, if any, other sedans of this size do. The suspension is a Citroen-like hydropneumatic self-leveling suspension system. Back in 1977, Car & Driver wrote; "The 6.9 feels more nimble, more agile than any other Mercedes we can remember. The new suspension makes it possible to toss the big sedan around like a bug-eye Sprite."

All this technology, along with MB's legendary build quality, didn't come cheaply. This car sold for well over $40,000.00 back in its day. Sold in the US for 4 years (1977 - 1980), a little over 1800 of them found homes here.

This one belongs to JaCG reader, Spencer. He is the third owner. It is not a perfect car, but a very, very nice driver. (It wouldn't take much to make it perfect, but why bother? This is a car that needs to be driven, not stored away and brought out for the occasional show.)

The exterior is very nice with just "one spot of rust bubbling under the drivers front fender". The interior looks to be close to immaculate.

When buying an old Mercedes-Benz, getting maintenance records is extremely important. A well maintained MB will run forever, a poorly maintained one will bankrupt you in no time flat. This car comes with "an entire file folder full of history, services, part costs, and maintenance records".

This cars's few flaws are minor. There is a crack in the right headlight. The sunroof and A/C are not working. (One or both will need to be repaired, or summer driving could become unpleasant.) That's it. For all intents and purposes, this is a buy and drive car.

This asking price is about a 10th of what the car cost in 1979. Even though it's 30 years old, you're still getting a lot of car for very little money.

Located in St. Louis Park, MN, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

2 comments:

Dan DiBiase said...

Cloth interior? Was that common back in the day? Thought they all had 'MB-Tex' (otherwise known as vinyl)...

Anonymous said...

The 6.9 was special and the cloth interior was a feature of that. I had a "regular" 450SEL with the 4.5 liter V8 and it was an amazing car. The absolute only downside was the gas mileage. I only twice got above 17mpg and it was usually in the 14mpg range. (The 6.9 has to be worse there.) Otherwise the car had essentially everything you could reasonably want in a sedan, speed, luxury, power, handling (yes independent suspension all around) safety, comfort, grace and gravitas. (to steal a favorite phrase from Bruce McCall: "It had the poise of a princess and the heart of a pursuit plane".) Rear legroom was fantastic. The 6.9 was a favorite of world leaders, political, business and crime, because the roomy interior let you travel with a security detail and the powerful engine allowed the body to be (as an aftermarket option) armored with bullet-proof glass. Imagine driving a jet-powered bank vault. Before Yukons & Denalis, the worlds' movers & shakers got around in Mercedes-Benz 450 6.9 sedans.
Alden