Author Topic: "restoring" a1975 450sel  (Read 1190 times)


  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: Washington state USA
"restoring" a1975 450sel
« on: 04 November 2011, 03:04 PM »
New member living in the wine country of Washington state. Drove my '75 450 sel up and down the west coast in the nineties, kids in the back, sunroof wide open, heater blowing blistering hot ALL the time, 24 hour non stop trips to Lake Tahoe, brilliant! Then I decided to spruce it up a bit.Took it apart for paint and interior and she has sat like that since 2003.The usual pitfalls of life, as well as a house fire, two kids through college, dumb investments put her way down the to do list. Now, finally have a few spare bucks, kids grown, and the urge to do Highway one, so my question is, am I nuts? I have 40 years in the restoration biz (I am a coach trimmer by trade, and have been involved in at least one pebble beach concours project a year since 1984) I have an excellent network of friends in the trade, enough skills and knowledge to do a nice ground up resto, a comfortable workspace and the time. So, worse case scenario, what do your members consider reasons not to go ahead? I have number of other projects, but I know the missus would LOVE to see the old girl back to her glory days. I have no thoughts of "resale" value as it is more an emotional endeavour than anything else, but I am a little scared of getting buried. hope this makes some sense, look forward to your thoughts. 


  • Guest
Re: "restoring" a1975 450sel
« Reply #1 on: 04 November 2011, 03:16 PM »
you have the good ladies approval, i dont think you need any more convincing than that that its a good idea to proceed  ;D

With your skills and available talent on tap I'd be doing it without even thinking twice...


  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,217
Re: "restoring" a1975 450sel
« Reply #2 on: 04 November 2011, 03:20 PM »

Welcome to the Forum!

You have been in the business long enough to know that most of the time restorations don't make financial sense, they fill someone's need to see a car re-born for whatever reason and the challenge to accomplish that is sometimes enough  to undertake a project.

Having said that, save for very few exceptions, a 4 door sedan built in large numbers such as a 116 will never achieve the classic status of say a Gullwing or even a 190SL. They are however very satisfying cars to restore and not overly complicated. It will all depend on how far you want to go. I did my 78 450SEL last year and the goal was to have a super nice driver since it is my daily transport, you can look at what I did in the Interiors / Exteriors section under 78 450SEL Body Restoration. My philosophy is that if you take the engine out then you must go maybe 2-3 levels higher than I did and at least do a "clean-up" of the car's  undercarriage, perhaps plate and/or replace some hardware, remove both front and rear suspensions for a nice paint job, and a full recbuilt etc...

If your interior is original and undamaged, I would try try to preserve it and make use of perhaps some leather dying, etc...

I can supply any parts you need directly from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center at 10% off of list, a few members here in the Forum are regular customers.

Congratulations on your initiative and let us know what you decide,and remember "while you are at it"  is the most dangerous and expensive  expression in car restorations, hehehe.....




  • Vintage
  • ***
  • Posts: 813
  • Location: Ga. USA
Re: "restoring" a1975 450sel
« Reply #3 on: 04 November 2011, 04:11 PM »
Sounds like a great idea. Put a great old car back on the road again  8)  Drive it  ;D

How can you go wrong?

Little by little I have grown fond of the infamous Auto Temp II we have in our 116's


  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,735
  • Location: Maryland, USA
Re: "restoring" a1975 450sel
« Reply #4 on: 04 November 2011, 09:40 PM »
Without question.  These are the best cars ever made and you can fix any issue it might have had.


  • Newbie
  • Posts: 10
  • Live from 42,000'
  • Location: New Brunswick
Re: "restoring" a1975 450sel
« Reply #5 on: 09 November 2011, 04:09 AM »
I am mechanically inclined, but not a mechanic by any means and the 116 is a joy to work on! With your skills and network, this should be a non issue for you! Best of luck, the 116 is a BEAUTY!
BMWs : e30 e31 e92
Mercedes: W116 W124
Porsche: 955


  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 3,280
  • And on the eighth day he made the 116
  • Location: Perth - Western Australia
Re: "restoring" a1975 450sel
« Reply #6 on: 12 November 2011, 11:02 PM »
Either do what is required to keep it running or start from one end and work right through the car.

It is neither difficult nor ruinously expensive to restore a 116 so long as the rust isn't too bad.