|Type||450 SEL 6.9|
|Body||Berline 5 places|
|Production||7 380 exemplaires|
|Interior color||Cuir gris|
|Motor||8 Cylindres injection en V|
|Powerful||286 ch DIN|
|Gearboxe||Automatique à 3 rapports|
|Dimensions||L 5,06 m l :1,87 m|
|Options||Toit ouvrant électrique, sièges chauffants.|
|Features||Deuxième main, Etat d’origine|
|Mileage||101 000 km|
|Price||100 000 €|
MERCEDES 450 SEL 6.9
Until 1972, the S-Class was represented by the W108 and W109 series of cars. The 300 SEL 6.3 was the top model in the range. Its powerful V8 engine producing 250bhp was mated to a four-speed automatic transmission, giving it exceptional performance for its time. Its pneumatic suspension and luxurious finish ensured a comfortable ride for its passengers in softly cushioned surroundings. In 1972, the new S-Class, the W116, was presented. Its appearance marked a break from its predecessor with more angular styling. Its new running gear made for improved handling on the road. The new saloon was almost perfect. There was a wait until the replacement for the 6.3 went on sale, due to the oil crisis in 1973. First presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1974, it was only available to buy in 1975. The car maker chose to wait until the situation had settled down. The car was aimed at a clientele who had been affected by the crisis and needed a little time to rebuild their finances, as Mercedes’ flagship model, the 450 SEL 6.9, commanded a high price. The cost seemed justified, as in 1975 it was chosen by the press as the best car in the world. Its appearance was impressive and its chrome trim accentuated the car’s good looks without making it ostentatious. Outwardly sensible and middle-class, its engine turned it into a ferocious beast. At the time, the press described it as “a saloon with the performance of a Porsche”. The engine bay was filled by an imposing 6.9-litre engine, which was none other than a slightly bigger version of its predecessor’s 6.3. With mechanical fuel-injection, it developed 286bhp and a massive 594Nm of torque, enough for any hills to be forgotten. Its power and flexibility provided first-rate performance. It could reach 100kph (62mph) in 7.4 seconds and its official top speed was in excess of 225kph (140mph). Journalists actually measured it at 235ph (146mph)! Overtaking was a mere formality. Thanks to its hydropneumatic suspension, it kept a constant ride height at all times. The front of the car didn’t rear up when accelerating or dive when braking. This equipment maintained an optimum level of comfort and provided the car with impressive roadholding, despite its near two-ton weight. The standard of finish was exemplary. Everything had been thought through to make it a successful combination of luxury and performance. And this was certainly the case. All the controls were evenly matched. The comfort, silence and overall performance of the car matched the prestige promised by the manufacturer. The equipment fitted was restrained but comprehensive. The automatic transmission with its legendary smoothness, the cruise control, air conditioning, all-round electric windows and central locking were all standard. The customer could choose high-quality leather or soft velour for the seats. The car was probably one of the best-looking and most capable saloons in the world. It was much favoured by businessmen in a hurry, racing drivers and show-business stars. The French singer Claude François had one of the first cars. He told the story of the assassination attempt of which he was a victim on 25 June 1977, and how the 6.9, which he was driving himself, saved his life by allowing to escape the trap set for him, thanks to its performance and handling. In August 1976, the film-maker Claude Lelouch drove a 6.9 across Paris, from the bottom of the avenue Foch up to Montmartre, touching 200kph (124mph), with a camera fixed to the front bumper. It was the only car capable of shooting the film with this level of performance while keeping the camera stable thanks to its hydraulic suspension. When the film was edited, the roaring sound of a Ferrari engine was added to the soundtrack to add a bit of spice to the scene. All to keep a date with a lady … Times have changed … Altogether, 7380 examples of the 6.9, a paragon of reliability and solid construction, were built. Many cars, driven into the ground by their unscrupulous owners, are no longer of this world. Rust has also taken its toll on the chassis of some examples, while others have covered mileages too high to mention. Today, there are few opportunities to find a good original example with a low mileage.
The model presented here
This model was delivered in Germany on 11 June 1976. It was ordered with gloss black paint and a light beige leather interior. A rare and tasteful combination of colours, its sober appearance contrasts with the raging engine hidden under the huge bonnet. It is fitted with an electric sunroof and heated front and rear seats as options. The car has had only two owners and has covered just 101,000km (62,800 miles). It has been perfectly maintained, as can be seen from its service book. It is in exceptional condition. The car is original and in impeccable order throughout. The underbody is like new and the paintwork looks as it were two years old! The engine is perfect and lets you drive the 6.9 as you could have done 40 years ago. Inside the car, you travel very fast and have the impression of stepping back in time. It is one of the finest 6.9s available on the market. This is the car for you if you are seeking perfection and don’t want to squander your savings on a ‘cheap’ car which will hold some expensive surprises in store and remind you of the saying: “I can’t afford to buy a cheap car”. It will be sold with a 12–month guarantee.