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Just secured a 450 SEL 6.9 after bit of a chase (years)

Started by andrewk, 18 October 2022, 07:38 AM

andrewk

Hello all,

Andrew here- i'm based in Sydney, Australia, and have just secured my first Mercedes - a green (unsure of the colour name - perhaps you can help me?), Australian delivered 1979 450 SEL 6.9.

I first saw this car in my friend's apartment building garage a few years ago and instantly felt like I had to own it. Every time I came back to the garage it was still there, unmoved, but with slightly more dust. It was last registered and on the road in 2016.

So, after a couple of years chasing the owner (a lovely gentleman who has owned the car for 11/12 years but let the registration lapse and lacked the time to get it sorted, owing to work and living interstate as well as family matters), I finally contacted and met up with the owner and was able to make a deal with him to acquire the car a few weeks ago.

The car will certainly need some mechanical love and some general TLC but has low kilometres (178,000 or ~ 110,000 miles), 5 owners from new and full books, service history and receipts for work done. The only thing not original is the wheels - but they're in great shape and are genuine. Even the suspension blocks are in the tool kit.

The car is not currently running and will need the usual (fuel system & ignition, oil, hydraulics, cooling) checks prior to starting and then extracting from the garage. From there it will go to a mechanic's workshop so we can fully assess what it needs and how best to proceed. The suspension system was overhauled completely in 2015/2016 but I expect it to need attention.

I thought long and hard before taking on this project, and always came back to the same answer. Yes. It will be a glorious, original example that I can keep for a long time. I'm glad it wasn't sold when I was going through a tough time financially from late 2020 to late 2021. Occasionally, good things come to those who wait. I'm not usually this patient, and i'm thankful for the owner selling it to me despite many other people chasing him over the years.

I can't wait to share with you the process of getting this car back to health, and utilising the wealth of experience and information in this wonderful forum and its members.

If only I could explain the rich smell of leather inside the car, carefully protected by shearling seat covers for several decades. It smells just like the first Mercedes I sat in as a kit. Identical.
The wood trim is immaculate and as far as I can tell, the car has been garaged by every owner since new and seems to be free of any significant accident damage.

To say I am excited is an understatement. More info to come soon :)
1979 450 SEL 6.9 (#5532) - silbergrün metallic

SteveDuNord

Congratulations!

Is it thistle green? The paint code should be on the stamped information plaque under the bonnet, there's a decoder somewhere on this site.

Here's the 1979 colours:
 https://cdn.w116.org/lib/Paintwork_79-Apr.pdf

Are the chrome wheelarch trims standard on the 6.9? I know that it's usually recommended to check under them thoroughly in case owners popped them on to cover corrosion. But I suppose many were added just to make them look more modern/swish.
'77 280se

Jan S

Fantastic - congratulations!

Look forward to following the car and your project.
1975-mod W116 450 SE with 6.9 engine

daantjie

Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

rumb

'68 250S
'77 6.9 Euro
'91 300SE,
'98 SL500
'14 CLS550,
'16 AMG GTS

andrewk

The colour code is 861H or 661H. I took a photo of the engine inside but didn't get a close-up of the build plate.

The car has very little corrosion, just a small area (30 mm) on the sill where the elastomer paint has degraded. Fortunately we have no salted roads here in Sydney, so cars tend to have lower levels of corrosion- unless you park it at the beach.
1979 450 SEL 6.9 (#5532) - silbergrün metallic

johnnyw116

Cool 6.9 and it looks like it was worth the chase , you have 861H silbergrun my 350 has the same color
JohnnyW116

Randys01

whacko!.what a beauty!  Not a "barn find"...a "concrete garage find" !
We look forward to some more photos and details in due course.
I would suggest you drain the tank before you even start it.

raueda1

Beautiful!  Persistence always pays off.  If suspension truly was rebuilt in '15/'16 it probably won't need anything but new spheres, and maybe not even that.  I think you'll have it sorted pretty quick.  Good luck and keep us well fed with plenty of pix!  Cheers,
-Dave
Now:  1976 6.9 Euro, 2015 GL550
Before that:  1966 230S, 1964 220SE coupe, 1977 Carrera 3.0

Mick74

Congratulations, Andrew. I'm delighted for you, as I fondly remember the moment that I got to finally get my car too. I wish you many happy years of miles and smiles. Let us know the last 4 digits of the VIN number, as I'm always curious to know where they come in the 7380 built, especially when it's a '79, like mine.
1979 6.9 #6475

andrewk

Quote from: Mick74 on 21 October 2022, 02:49 PMCongratulations, Andrew. I'm delighted for you, as I fondly remember the moment that I got to finally get my car too. I wish you many happy years of miles and smiles. Let us know the last 4 digits of the VIN number, as I'm always curious to know where they come in the 7380 built, especially when it's a '79, like mine.
Number 5532
1979 450 SEL 6.9 (#5532) - silbergrün metallic

andrewk

Quote from: johnnyw116 on 19 October 2022, 05:01 AMCool 6.9 and it looks like it was worth the chase , you have 861H silbergrun my 350 has the same color

Thanks for the tip. I couldn't find good quality colour swatches or examples online.

I can't wait to carefully remove all the dust and grime. But first, need to get it started and moved out of its current resting place.
1979 450 SEL 6.9 (#5532) - silbergrün metallic

nathan

Good to see you on the forum Andrew,

keep us posted and let us know how you get the car out of the garage. as noted, I reckon wheel jacks from super cheap under each wheel!

regards
Nathan
1979 116 6.9 #6436
2018 213 e63
2011 212 e63
2011 463 g55
2007 211 e500 wagen
1995 124 e320 cabriolet
1983 460 300gd
1981 123 280te

Eyeman

Very nice!  Looks in very nice shape to me, and I even like the wheels.  Be careful if you decide to remove the fender trim, might be difficult to do and not end up taking on more work.  I bet you get it started and the suspension rises right up.  You could order a bottle of two of fluid just in case if you haven't checked it yet.

andrewk

Quote from: Eyeman on 22 October 2022, 06:31 PMVery nice!  Looks in very nice shape to me, and I even like the wheels.  Be careful if you decide to remove the fender trim, might be difficult to do and not end up taking on more work.  I bet you get it started and the suspension rises right up.  You could order a bottle of two of fluid just in case if you haven't checked it yet.

No plans to do cosmetic work until the mechanicals are fully sorted - unless there is rust, of course :P

I checked under the vehicle with a UV lamp and mirror to see if any of the fluid is leaking, and it seems the only leaking is coolant. Coolant fluoresces bright green, the hydraulic oil that is in the car (potentially wrong type) fluoresces violet/purple but could also be green under UV if it were another type. Very handy for figuring out what is leaking, especially away from the engine bay. Unsure if brake fluid or ATF are UV reactive but i'll find out.
1979 450 SEL 6.9 (#5532) - silbergrün metallic