1976 Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9
30 years in the same family Collection.
Formerly owned by FCBarcelona player Steve Archibald
Mint condition. Powerful Euro Specs. Low mileage example
Recently featured in Gentlemen Drive Magazine
The Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 is the high-performance top-of-the-line version of the W116 model S-Class luxury saloon. It was built by Daimler-Benz in Stuttgart, Germany and based on the long-wheelbase version of the W116 chassis introduced in 1972. The model was generally referred to in the company's literature as the "6.9", to separate it from the regular 450SEL. It featured the largest engine of any non-American production car post WWII. The 6.9 was first shown to the motoring press at the Geneva Auto Show in 1974, and produced between 1975 and 1981 in extremely limited numbers. It was billed as the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz car line, and the successor to Mercedes-Benz's original high-performance sedan, the 300SEL 6.3.
The 6.9 was the first Mercedes-Benz to be fitted with the hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension system introduced by Citroën in 1954, unlike the 600 and 6.3 which employed air suspensions. Using a combination of fluid-filled struts and nitrogen-filled pressure vessels or "accumulators" in lieu of conventional shock absorbers and springs, the system was pressurized by a hydraulic pump driven by the engine's timing chain. Compared to the new Mercedes-Benz system, Citroën's was belt-driven, exactly like a conventional power steering pump; failure of the Citroën system thus might result in loss of suspension. Conversely, every unit of the 6.9 was shipped with hard rubber emergency dampers that served as temporary springs and allowed the car to be driven in the event of a hydraulic failure. The special hydraulic fluid required by the system was stored in a tank inside the engine compartment. Not only was the system totally self-adjusting, ride height could be altered by a dash-mounted push-pull knob under the speedometer that raised the car an additional two inches (50 mm) for increased ground clearance.US market 450SEL 6.9The suspension system gave the 4200 pound (1900 kg) car the benefits of both a smooth ride and handling that allowed it, in the words of automotive journalist David E. Davis, to be "tossed about like a Mini." The car also featured a model W3B 050 three-speed automatic transmission unique to the 6.9 and a standard ZF limited slip differential both for enhanced roadholding performance on dry pavement and enhanced traction in inclement weather.Four-wheel disc brakes and four-wheel independent suspension were standard across the W116 model range.
The engine was a cast iron V8 with single overhead camshafts operating sodium-filled valves against hardened valve seats on each aluminium alloy cylinder head. Each hand-built unit was bench-tested for 265 minutes, 40 of which were under full load. Bosch K-Jetronic electromechanical fuel injection was standard at a time when fuel-injected cars were uncommon. As in all Mercedes-Benz automobile engines, the crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons were forged instead of cast. The 6.9 l (6834 cc or 417 in³) power plant was factory-rated at 286 hp (213 kW) with 405 lb·ft (549 N·m) of torque helping to compensate for the 2.65 to 1 final drive ratio necessary for sustained high-speed cruising. The North American version, introduced in 1977, was rated with 36 fewer horsepower and 45 fewer lb·ft (250 and 360, respectively), due to the differing and higher emission standards at the time. A special version for Australia, based on the North American version, however without catalyst, was rated at 269 hp (198 kW) with 51 kpm (510 N·m) of torque. In the interest of both engine longevity as well as creating some extra space under the hood, a "dry sump" engine lubrication system was used. The system circulated twelve quarts of oil between the storage tank and the engine, as opposed to the usual four or five quarts found in V8s with a standard oil pan and oil pump. As a result, the engine itself had no dipstick for checking the oil level. Rather, the dipstick was attached to the inside of the tank's filler cap (accessible from the engine compartment) and the oil level was checked with the engine running and at operating temperature. The dry sump system also had the benefit of extending the oil change interval to 12,500 miles (20,000 km). This, along with hydraulic valve lifters which required no adjusting and special cylinder head gaskets which eliminated the need for periodic retorquing of the head bolts, made the 6.9 nearly maintenance-free for its first 50,000 miles (80,500 km). The 6.9 required little basic service other than coolant, minor tune-ups, oil changes, and replacement of the air, fuel, oil and power steering filters.
In 1976, French film director Claude Lelouch attached a camera to the front bumper of a 6.9 and drove it at high speed through the streets of Paris at daybreak. The resulting nine-minute one-take cinéma vérité film, C'était un rendez-vous, was greeted with moral outrage over the apparent risks taken by Lelouch as he sped past pedestrians and other vehicles. However, the sound of a five-speed Ferrari 275GTB was dubbed over the three-speed 6.9. Careful investigation of the film furthermore shows, that the actual driving speed was not that high.
The 1998 action film Ronin features a car chase where a Mercedes 6.9 is driven by the protagonists who perform high-speed driving through mountain roads and inside a French town, all with dramatic stunts.
In David Lynch's 1996 film, Lost Highway, a Mercedes 6.9 is used as a major plot device, ultimately connecting all three main male characters of the movie.
Claude Francois, French singer and composer of "Comme d'habitude" (the original version of "My Way") drove a 450 SEL 6.9 from November 1976 till March 1978. He was attacked in this car in 1977, and after escaping several bullet holes were later found in various areas of the car
Other famous owners of a 6.9 includes actor Telly Savalas, F1 driver James Hunt, John F.Keneddy Jr., Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren, Bernie Ecclestone and also some top football players like in this very case.
Asking Price: SOLD