Author Topic: 1975 450se.....should I?!  (Read 915 times)

UTn_boy

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1975 450se.....should I?!
« on: 02 June 2020, 08:53 PM »
So, about 4 years ago I received a phone call from a young fella that lives in the same town as I.  He got my number from the dealership.  He was looking to sell his Grandfather's 450se that he bought new.  His Grandfather, while still alive and kicking, no longer has the ability to drive or much of his mental capacities left.  The grandson that called me originally wanted to sell the car.  I told him I'd come look at it, but when the time came he decided that he wanted to keep it, and wanted me to help him get it back on the road.  Of course, I told him no worries, and that I'd help him when he was ready.  That day never came, but I periodically kept in touch with him to maintain my interest. 

The reason I wanted this car was because it is Moss Green Metallic with Olive green leather inside.  And a short wheel base with a D-Jetronic 4.5 V-8. 

So fast forward 4 years (today) he says he's ready to sell, that he realizes that what it needs is far more than he can do or wants to pay.  So he gives me the address to his Grandfathers house, and I met him around 6 o'clock tonight.  The car was amazingly preserved...it exceeded my expectations by far.  Even thought it has been repainted at some point in the past it still look really nice.  It's dirty, but it's been sitting in the garage for 15 years.  So I don't mind the dirt.  It'll wash off. 

I couldn't find any rust at all on the car.  Outside, underneath, at the firewall....anywhere!  Naturally, all of the rubber seals (front/rear glass, trunk) are due for replacement, but the rest of the car is amazingly straight and unmolested.  The pictures below should be a really good visual representation of what I was looking at tonight. 

The engine seems to be seized.....but now I can't tell if it's a timing chain issue or a piston rusted to the cylinder wall.  Regardless, I'm ok with that because I have spare engines here at home. 

The car only has 82,000 miles on it, too!

Here's my dilemma......Should I buy it?  I don't really need another car, but I love the green on green...probably too much.  Sure, it may need an engine, but that is ok.  It'll need some rubber seals and excelsior pads for the rear seat, but I have those in stock, so no worries there.  Even the A/C system is still holding it's R-12!  He's only asking $500 for it.  I just can't imagine I could go wrong buying it, but we all know how these can send us down an endless and costly rabbit hole.  For example....we all know it's going to need all new brakes, radiator re-cored, new or cleaned gas tank, fuel pump, Injectors and fuel lines cleaned/replaced, and on and on.  I'm all too familiar with the process, but for the first time in my life I'm at odds with what I should do.  Hence, my reaching out to you fellas for some constructive criticism on my decision making, and al based on what I've said about the car and the pictures.  I value your thoughts.  I'll have to admit that the thought of someone else buying this really upsets me....which may give me my answer on what I should do, but at the same time I'm still undecided. haha  So what are your thoughts?  Yes, I'd really enjoy driving and using it, and I have no interest in "flipping" it.....you can't make money on a W116 anyway. 

1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1971 280sel Black/black leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1976 280s astral silver/blue MB Tex

daantjie

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Re: 1975 450se.....should I?!
« Reply #1 on: 02 June 2020, 10:24 PM »
Aaron I'm a sucker for green over green too so maybe I'm biased but @ 500 bucks it's a no brainier of note ;D
You might luck out with the engine too, I'd say it's more than worth a slight gamble  ;)
Daniel
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revilla

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Re: 1975 450se.....should I?!
« Reply #2 on: 02 June 2020, 10:25 PM »
Life’s too short to say no to this opportunity that came straight to you and keeps screaming at your door “buy me” “save me” “give me a second life”
I understood this isn’t a financial business case decision. Not on our W116 hobby/passion/pleasure.  Again, it’s a beautiful opportunity that practically chased you. Without hesitation I’ll pick it up tomorrow. Additionally, imagine the family of the grandfather knowing the car will be going to good hands and be drivable again. It’ll be joy for them too. Follow your instinct, buy it.
Robert
W116 1977 280SEL & 1979 280SE

UTn_boy

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Re: 1975 450se.....should I?!
« Reply #3 on: 02 June 2020, 11:06 PM »
Daantjie, you'd be surprised how hard it is to sell a W116 in the U.S.  Remember it took me 2 years to sell that last one.  Regardless, I take your view in the same light! 

Robert, I agree.  Life is short.  $500 is a lot to me right now.....but I can definitely swing it.  I'll just have to work extra hard the next few weeks or sell a radio or something.  Yes, it's been in my life for the last four years, albeit indirectly.  The Grandson did make a comment last night that resonated with me. He said, "Well, regardless I'm certain I'm selling it to the right person.  After all, only a deserving, noteworthy potential future custodian of this car would drive a W109 to look at a W116!"  haha  He's pretty knowledgeable on Mercedes as far as chassis numbers go, but that really made me feel good that he it was a relief that he knew it would be going to a good home. 

One thing is for sure....if I buy it.....when it's up and running again I'll definitely be driving it to show the family.  I'm certain they'd love it.  Thank you both for your encouragement.  :)
1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1971 280sel Black/black leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1976 280s astral silver/blue MB Tex

Nabstud

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Re: 1975 450se.....should I?!
« Reply #4 on: 02 June 2020, 11:51 PM »
Go for it if you have the room. I’ve already missed a couple complete running parts cars for similar money, wish I had the room.

It sounds like a great automobile, way too good to pass up!!
« Last Edit: 03 June 2020, 12:17 AM by Nabstud »
1975 280S - Australian delivered

floyd111

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Re: 1975 450se.....should I?!
« Reply #5 on: 03 June 2020, 02:13 AM »
Tough one.
I am biased as well, at this stage of what is MY W116 life. 500 bucks isn't even part of the discussion, but as far as i got to know you, you are a maniac for detail, dare I say someone with full blown automotive OCD. What are the chances you are not gonna go down the utterly obvious financial rabbit hole? Especially since you don't really need this car, you might pause and have a re-think. In my view, there's no such thing as fate. There is desire, through.
If you have the funds to satisfy your need for perfection, go for it. Indeed, life is short, but spending buckets does cost you other things in life. A few more repairs and you got yourself the equivalent of a round trip to South America, to see our civilisations' origins, with your own eyes. or the means to grab one of those OTHER 28 cars you always wanted since you were a kid, that just popped up on BAT for a breeze.
Not sure the south america trip is your thing, but I would have a think on what you are likely gonna spend on this car until the end of 2021. Keep that money in mind and have yourself a 2 hour browsing trip on BAT, and check out both past and present offers there. Since you live in the States, -different from Taiwan-, you actually have the possibility of buying a car there. If, after 2 hours of browsing you still want that green W116 as badly as before, go for it. ;D


revilla

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Re: 1975 450se.....should I?!
« Reply #6 on: 03 June 2020, 02:24 AM »
Aaron, this discussion made me think of that W115 opportunity that crossed my path spontaneously and it’s still waiting for me.  Covid prevented me from going there and test it.  I’m still interested in your advice. I’ll send you the email again if you have time.
Thanks in advance
Robert
W116 1977 280SEL & 1979 280SE

UTn_boy

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Re: 1975 450se.....should I?!
« Reply #7 on: 03 June 2020, 03:54 AM »
Stan, I love your input.  I will say this......with my OCD it can and does get me into a lot of trouble.  I had this conversation with myself, too.  I ended the conversation with something along the lines of "if you buy it, leave well enough alone and fix ONLY what's broken.  You can worry about the details later."  Now, that seems like sound advice....but will it be easy for me to follow?  I'll have to make a conscious effort to do so, and it won't be easy.  To satisfy my OCD I'll just have to spend extra time doing things that don't cost anything....like cleaning or polishing.  At the least I'll have to buy head gasket kits, timing chain and rails, oil pump chain and rail, guides, and seals.  At most I'll have to put another engine in.  So I know what it may potentially need, and about what it'll cost.  Then there are times when I get impatient because I can't save up the money fast enough to buy the part I need in a decent amount of time.  I get over that easily, but it's annoying.

I'll never ever be on an air plane, so any trips that involve flying are totally out unless my private anesthetist comes with me. haha  BUT....I do want to travel the U.S. and see friends and loved ones......but I can't do that until I have a car to do it in.....or, rather, a car that I WANT to do it in.  This one fits that bill..as does my W108 and W109, but they're needy at the moment.  So I think that with time I can safely spend what I need to spend on the car to have it the way I want it.  So I'm going to take your advice, along with the others, and weigh it carefully, and use it all in the most pragmatic way that I can.  Though, I still want the car.  My only concern is that the same thing might happen with it as what happened with that red 450sel I bought and subsequently spent north of $15k on.  When I was done I was like..."well, I'm done now....what do I do with it?!"  I knew I wouldn't be able to get more than maybe $1,500 out of it, so I just gave it to Dad for his Birthday 3 years ago.  He's still enjoying the hell out of it even though he only drives it once or twice a month.  In retrospect, my Dad spent a LOT more than $15k on me growing up.  So it was worth it to me.

Nabstud, I'm of that mindset, too.  But room is definitely a problem, but only short term.  So I think I can over look that issue for now. 
1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1971 280sel Black/black leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1976 280s astral silver/blue MB Tex

ptashek

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Re: 1975 450se.....should I?!
« Reply #8 on: 03 June 2020, 04:26 AM »
If you buy it to keep it, that 500 is irrelevant if you can afford it. If you buy it to sell it, it becomes part of the ROI question. But at any rate, it's not a lot of cash for what seems like a great base to make a good car out of.

If shipping to Europe wasn't this stupidly expensive, I'd buy it myself for 500, and fix what needs fixing. This much buys you a bucket of rust down here.
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floyd111

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Re: 1975 450se.....should I?!
« Reply #9 on: 03 June 2020, 04:46 AM »
Actually. shipping that car to ireland would not be that expensive. I can hook you  up with some of the best expeditors out there, see what they charge.
Wouldn't that be as good as gifting a W116 to your dad, Aaron? ;)

Jed

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Re: 1975 450se.....should I?!
« Reply #10 on: 03 June 2020, 07:28 AM »
Aaron,

While reading your initial post, I began with wow..an original owner w116, great colors, very cool find.  Then you mentioned the repaint...not great but not a deal breaker, then you mentioned the seized engine, definitely not great but for a guy with your skill set and background, also not a deal breaker (btw I have a 1976 w116 450sel parts car with an engine I have no use for). So at this point I am left thinking, whats the big attraction, BUT then you mention he wants $500....

Overall I don't think you can go wrong here. If your lucky, you'll get the engine freed up and running without an engine swap.  Enjoy the car for what it is and make a nice driver out of it. If you have to swap the engine, well probablyy not a big deal for you.

Worst case, you never get to fixing up the car and you use it for parts over the years and maybe, maybe not, get your money back that way.

Who else is going to take on this project? (other than many of the fanatics on this board?) 
Sounds like a no brainer. you said it yourself, you would be upset if someone else gets it.
this car found you...pull the trigger and don't look back. 

Just my 2 cents which is certainly not worth even that
« Last Edit: 03 June 2020, 08:06 PM by Jed »
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1979 Mercedes 6.9 #6424 - ongoing restoration
1976 Mercedes 6.9 #484 - restoration?

rumb

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Re: 1975 450se.....should I?!
« Reply #11 on: 03 June 2020, 10:32 AM »
For $500 I would take the chance. Put a big sticky note on the car that says "Only fix what's broke".

You might luck out on engine anyway. That and a good cleaning may yield a pleasant driver.

I love the unusual color. That green looks nice.

 
'68 250S, '77 6.9 euro, '91 300SE, '98 SL500 '14 CLS550

Jed

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Re: 1975 450se.....should I?!
« Reply #12 on: 03 June 2020, 04:20 PM »
Yes!! Definitely the sticky note!! I love it.  That should keep your OCD in check.  ;D
1979 Mercedes 6.9 #5206 - restored
1979 Mercedes 6.9 #6424 - ongoing restoration
1976 Mercedes 6.9 #484 - restoration?

floyd111

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Re: 1975 450se.....should I?!
« Reply #13 on: 03 June 2020, 06:51 PM »
Asking anyone here at the asylum what to do with this car is like walking through the desert, screaming: "who wants ice cream??"

Jed

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Re: 1975 450se.....should I?!
« Reply #14 on: 03 June 2020, 08:01 PM »
Isn't that the truth!!!!
1979 Mercedes 6.9 #5206 - restored
1979 Mercedes 6.9 #6424 - ongoing restoration
1976 Mercedes 6.9 #484 - restoration?