Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe 450SE has been dubbed by its builder the 'Frankenbenz' owing to all its 6.9-sourced parts. That's a big motor, and you'll need to decide if this custom Benz also has a big price.
It's remarkable how close in specs the '90s Mercury Capri is to the same era Mazda Miata, while still being so different a ride. While the MX5 is generally considered to be the creation of angels and virgins, not being a Miata certainly didn't hurt yesterday's 1991 Capri XR2, as it was at least spec'd right. At nineteen hundred bucks, fully 83% of you felt it was priced right too.
Have you ever considered buying a locomotive? That's the closest analog to driving the mid-'70s Mercedes Benz 450SEL 6.9 I can think of. Imposing, solid, and offering seemingly limitless outputs of torque to move the two-ton plus car, the range-topping Benz defined the executive express in the '70s.
Today's 1976 W116 is not a factory 6.9. Well, it has a ton (probably literally) of factory 6.9 parts installed, but its wheelbase and suspension are both from a lessor V8 car. That's because this 'Frankenbenz' is the result of melding a fire-damaged '79 6.9 with this short-wheelbase '76 450 SE body. That makes for a super unique car, and one that's potentially a few pounds lighter, while still enjoying the 6.9's monumental 405 lb-ft of twist.
One factory 6.9 element that didn't make the transition to the shorter car was the range-topper's finicky Citroën-sourced hydropneumatic suspension. That system replaced steel springs and shocks with high-pressure nitrogen-filled accumulators and liquid-filled struts. Needless to say, over time there was plenty to go wrong, and as the French hate the Germans, they made sure that eventually it would.
This one thankfully has instead steel springs and good-old tube socks - er, shocks. It also has the 6.9 comfortably nestled under its huge hood, and much of the big car's interior, at least the parts that didn't become overly toasted in the carflagration.
The conversion is said in the ad to have been completed in 2008, and the car has apparently seen continued work ever since, including most recently new brakes, including calipers and rotors. It also comes with what is described as a 'CRAZY custom stereo.'
The body and interior seem to be in moderate shape - good from far, but far from good - and the insides especially seem to be in need of some lovin'. The Pentas in the pics give the car a tough Glendale California look, and the car comes with a set of Bundts with decent tires too, if that's your style. Euro lights and 6.9 bumpers add to the mix.
Usually we are faced with Craigslist ads bereft of description. That's not the case here as the seller of this car offers a wealth of info in the ad, as well a ton of pics on another site, and a link to the car's very own web page. That's dedication!
Despite all that, there's really little to go on as to how well the car runs or whether there are any major mechanical issues that might be looming. Of course, I doubt the seller would be anything less than forthcoming if you were to ask.
You don't have to ask about the price as that's stated to be $7,500. For that amount you're getting almost a car and a half - plus a butt-load of extra parts to keep the conversion going. What's your take on $7,500 for this SWB 6.9? Is that a price that might make this Frankenbenz a new friend? Or, for that much should this 6.9 get 86'd?
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