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1975 450se.....should I?!

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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 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" can't make money on a W116 anyway. 

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  ;)

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.

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.  :)

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!!


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