One of Mercedes’ legendary cars. The W116 450SEL 6.9 shocked the world when new with its outrageous 6.9-litre displacement giving this large, decidedly unsporting saloon car supercar rivalling performance, with just a subtle ‘6.9’ badge to signify its intent. Beloved by F1 drivers of the day and a regular star of the big screen, the 6.9 was the ultimate saloon car of the late 70s. It combined brawn with sophistication in its hydro pneumatic suspension, dry-sumped, fuel-injected engine, carrying on from what the 300SEL 6.3 started but in a more complete, civilised package.
This particular 1979 450SEL 6.9 is a unique and particularly interesting example. The gentleman who bought it new wanted the performance of the Mercedes 6.9 but preferred the interior opulence of the contemporary Rolls Royce. So he chose to have the best of both worlds. Having purchased the 6.9 from Cambridge Motors in Chelmsford in August ’79, he had the car sent straight away to Rolls Royce with instructions for their craftsmen to create a completely bespoke interior in the Rolls Royce style with a few additional features – a fridge in the boot, and a television and drinks cabinet for the rear passengers. The interior was completely remodelled with cream and blue Connolly hide and walnut trim. Picnic tables were integrated into the rear of the front seats, bespoke door cards created and sheepskin rugs were fitted to the foot wells.
Today the car has covered 100,234 miles from new and hardly covered any mileage in the hands of its current keeper of 20 years. It has all its original books/manuals including the service book that shows an MB main dealer service history up to 88k miles. The car is HPI clear with certificate.
The car is in running order and currently has a short MoT. The engine seems to be very healthy indeed and the suspension is working. Recently it has had a complete respray, wheel refurbishment and four new Michelin XWX tyres. The underside is largely very solid, the bumpers are good and the leather trim would respond very well to reconnollising rather than replacement. However, the car does require and warrant restoration work in order to bring it back to its former glory. What a fantastic project though! Very rewarding to do and a tremendous and unique car to own once its complete.