1978 Mercedes Benz 450SEL 6.9
The 450SEL 6.9 is perhaps the most iconic saloon of recent times. A real wolf in sheep’s clothing, the 6.9 was double the money of the standard 450SEL when new and at £24,500 was similar money to the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. Production was limited and the roll call of first owners features the great and the good of the period, including a number of well-known racing drivers, James Hunt and Nikki Lauda amongst them.
The 6.9 was purchased in order to cover many miles in comfort at high speed and consequently many are now rather tired, abused and down at hill, in short it is very hard to find a good original 6.9 anywhere. This example is that car, a lightly used 6.9 finished to a great original specification with great history and in exceptional and largely original order.
Ordered new as a European specification left hand drive model, this 6.9 was supplied by Garage Selvosa, the Mercedes Benz dealer for Cannes, France. It was ordered to a great specification with Silver Green Metallic coachwork and Olive Green full leather interior, options fitted include air conditioning, Becker Monza stereo with Hirschmann aerial, cruise control, full air suspension and rear head rests.
The car remained with the original owner until 1994 and stayed in the south of France until 2007. It was well-maintained as indicated by the original stamped service book, invoicing and correspondence on file.
In 2007, the 6.9 returned to Germany following purchase by a devoted Mercedes enthusiast. He obviously recognised how great and original this 6.9 was as he spent much time and money preserving and gently improving the car as indicated by many invoices on file and service book stamps.
The 6.9 was purchased by a UK dealer who is well-known for this model, a couple of years ago. It was offered for sale and soon after was purchased by a very discerning English collector who had been looking for a great 6.9 for some years. Since joining his private collection of exceptional cars, the Mercedes has been used lightly, fully detailed and correctly maintained with any faults being immediately rectified. Last summer the car was chosen to feature as a definitive example of its type in the prestigious Hampton Court Concours Event.
Today the 6.9 remains in exceptionally good and largely original order throughout having covered 140,000km from new. It retains that distinctive Mercedes smell of the era inside and features superb detail. On the road the car delivers on the legendary image with still exceptional effortless and immediate performance with a hewn from solid feel that only a well sorted, low mileage example exhibits.
Despite being 45 years old, this car remains eminently usable on an everyday basis, this 6.9 truly delivers on its legendary status.