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Old 08-01-2003, 10:32 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 321

i think that someone asked this question some weeks ago.

i don't pretend to know where they all went, but i discovered a very cherry one today.

i had driven "old blue"[ my 560sel which i purchased new in 11/86 and now has 249,000 miles] to san antonio for a meeting at southwest research institute. when i travel, i try to drive on back roads. so, returning, i was refueling in la grange, texas[a funny town, great bbq but all out when i wheeled through. and a geezer who overhauls old brit sprots cars-mg's, healey's, principally].

departing the exxon station on tx159, i was prevented from exiting by a very cherry w116, with a grill festooned by badges. i pulled out behind it. the trunk carried only badge of 450SEL. i followed it for a while. it adhered to the speed limit. so, eventually i passed it. i thought it might try to keep up with my 80-90, but it remained locked into 55.

in fayetteville, i pulled over hoping that it might stop. it didn't. it went right on by. two women on board. so i pulled out and followed them all the way to industry, tx. where they turned off into a real estate agency. I pulled in beside them.

initially they appeared hesitant to exit the car, until i called out, "a 4.5 liter or a 6.9?"

then they came out to visit. it was a 1978 450sel. smoke silver. black leather. the driver, a woman[about 60], said she purchased it new in 1978. it has 36,000 miles. when i told her that i had a cherry 6.9, she said that she was jealous. said she had wanted one but that her mechanic had talked her out of it because of the suspension. she said that she thought now that he was wrong.

i wanted to talk longer and examine the car more thoroughly, but she was late for a real estate closing.

all i can say is that the car appeared original. no dings, no paint fade. original 14" bundts, original xwx tires. the interior appears to have never seen prolonged exposure to uv.

made my day. my kind of woman.
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Old 08-02-2003, 01:26 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Far too many of the 450s are sitting in junk yards, uneconomic to restore due to serious body rust -- there are two locally in the "u-pull-it" yards. Engines appear perfect (no blowby in fuel distributor), one is marked "runs and pulls good" on the windsheild, but you can see through the floor on both.

My German friend says they were rustbuckets in Germany, too. Otherwise, wonderfull cars, but big gas hogs and that rust.......

That said, I've seen some recently that looked fine, so I guess it's just what you trip on.

They aren't luxury cars in the American mode, though -- I don't know if any have electric seats, and power windows and the horrible Chyrsler servo climate control seem to be the limit for accessories.

1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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Old 08-02-2003, 08:24 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 321
i suppose the rust problem depended upon where the car lived and how it was cared for. mine lived in texas.

the 1976 450sel was my first sonderklasse benz. it was a great road car. the seats were only manually adjustable, but that was ok, i was its only driver. originally, it failed to provide enough legroom, but benz offered a kit that allowed another 1-1.5 inches of travel.

it did have power windows. and the climate control was ok, but eventually the uv and the heat in gulf coast texas destroyed all the vaccuum lines. but that was at the 230,000 mile marker.

car never experienced any major mechanical problems. absolutely bullet-proof. and it was driven hard all its life and routinely did 15mpg. in 1986, when the climate control system went south, i replaced it with the 560sel. which i consider the zenith of car design and construction. and as a lagniappe, added the 560sec to the stable some months later. a fabulous pair - masterpieces of the 20th century.
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Old 08-02-2003, 10:27 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: California
Posts: 2,068
There was a huge thread on this a while ago. Read it here:

What happened to all the W116 - '73-'80 450 SEL's?
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