It’s not uncommon for a car to derive its name from its impressive engine engine displacement. That’s just what today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mercedes 6.9 represents. Let’s see if this restored executive sedan’s price is a number that also impresses.
Ah yes, the vague description. It can either tease greatness or it can simply mask great disappointment. The ad copy for yesterday’s 1980 Volvo 264 GLE included the offhand remark “it has been sitting in storage for a couple of years and will need a few things to make it run and drive again” which I think we can all agree is pretty vague.
That likely doesn’t mean finding a new home for the family of leprechauns living in the boot, who then reward you with your weight in gold. No, it more likely means it won’t pass smog without a new cat, or some other egregious malady. Of course, at only $1,995, full 74-percent of you were willing to take the chance, vagaries or not.
Hey, are you an executive? You know, one of those people whose position in work and life means they get to eat good shit like escargot in truffle oil for lunch and not ever have to talk to the rest of us peons save for an occasional “what are you doing here?” when we accidentally get off the elevator on the executive floor? Yeah, one of those guys.
If you are, then have a look at this old school executive sedan, a 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 that’s claimed to have been restored and looks pretty damn sweet decked out in its Euro trim.
The 6.9 was Mercedes range-topper back in the day, the W116-based car superseding the 300SEL 6.3 in 1975. Produced in very limited numbers, only about 1,800 reaching the U.S. over the course of its seven model year run.
What makes the 6.9 special? Well, two things. First there’s the source of its 6.9 designation, the M100 V8. That 6,834-cc, SOHC smooth mover was good from the factory for 250-bhp and 360 lb-ft of torque. No, those are not impressive numbers for today, but back then they were the shit. The other neat feature here is the Citroën-derived hydropneumatic self-leveling suspension. The ad claims the complicated system is in working order today, and you can test it out with the dash lever that raises and lowers the car at will.
Everything in fact is said to be in working order here, even with cold A/C. That automatic climate control by the way is a Chrysler bit of kit. The windows and sunroof operate as the should, and the pneumatic locks do their job as well, according to the ad.
The body was originally “Milan Brown” but the seller claims an obsession with a champaign hue from Porsche. He’s apparently painted three of his cars the same color.
The change doesn’t extend to the door jams or under the hood, so no, the cuffs don’t match the collar. Regardless, the paint and the switch to European model bumpers and lights does impress overall. So too does the apparent quality of the chrome, and with a W116 you get a lot of it on the real Mercedes grille up front.
Wheels here are a bit less successful, however the originals are apparently available and the seller will knock four-grand off the asking if you choose that more aesthetically pleasing option.
Another number of note is the mileage, which clocks in at a meager 58K. The interior shows modest wear and still-lovely burl wood for those miles. The title is clean, although it does come from Illinois dspite the blue California plates presently on the car.
Okay, so this is an executive sedan, that means it must come with a corner-office price tag too, right? You’re darn tootin’ it does. The asking price is $38,000 ($34,000 with the factory alloys in place of the Loriners), which seems like a lot when considering it’s a W116. Fire up that motor however, drop it into drive and dip a toe into its capabilities and you might just change your mind. These cars are like locomotives in both the application of power and their sense of unflappable build quality. The question is, would this car’s asking price be too high a ticket for that train?
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