Author Topic: Casey's 1979 450SEL  (Read 16060 times)

Casey

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Casey's 1979 450SEL
« on: 14 July 2012, 12:26 AM »
So I'm tired of dinking around with major projects, and have three such projects that aren't even driveable due to engine issues.  Not that major projects aren't fun in their own way, but I've missed having a *nice* W116 ever since the poor 300SD had it's accident.  One of these days, I'll get around to fixing it, but I set my heart on a long wheelbase after that and had a disastrous purchase with the rusty green one.  Plus I've had one remaining parking spot just waiting to be filled.  Got impatient saving/searching for the right 6.9, and figured I should get something a tad more efficient since I drive over a hundred miles a day.  Not wanting to deal with rust, I kept my eyes open for a good California car.  When the right one showed up less than an hour from an enthusiast friend of mine, I sent him over to check it out.  No surprises and all seemed quite in order.  Car has spent a good amount of time indoors, as the condition of the original leather interior shows.  Even has proper tires...  No rust whatsoever.  And in one of my favorite Mercedes colors!  Original paint, all three original keys, even all the original manuals...

So, I bought it!  And boy, do I think I got a good deal!  Have yet to go and get it, but here's pictures:
































gavin116

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Re: Casey's 1979 450SEL
« Reply #1 on: 14 July 2012, 12:44 AM »
Hi Casey

I am so glad that your 140 purchase fell through.  And congratulations on the purchase of the newest 116, they always look their best in red.  It looks fab, and now that you have a such a nice looking and reliable car, you'll be able to get the others up to scratch. 

I only have two square keys with my car, and I have an unused metal tang only part of a key, but I think it is a 'driver's' key and not a 'service key'.  I presume the round key is a service key, and lacks a few of the details of the driver's key, thus locking you out of the boot/trunk and the glovebox.  What is the wavy pice of aluminium?

Good luck, and good motoring

Gavin

The other key, in a sealed MB pocket
« Last Edit: 14 July 2012, 12:54 AM by gavin116 »

Casey

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Re: Casey's 1979 450SEL
« Reply #2 on: 14 July 2012, 12:53 AM »
I am so glad that your 140 purchase fell through.  And congratulations on the purchase of the newest 116, they always look their best in red.  It looks fab, and now that you have a such a nice looking and reliable car, you'll be able to get the others up to scratch.

Thanks Gavin - I was just about to PM you a link, as I was excited to share it with you.  Everything worked out wonderfully in the end!  That grey-on-grey 140 would have felt like driving a Toyota in comparison...  This one actually will need a fair bit of things tended to as it has been sitting about in a garage for the last decade or so, but it's all stuff I'm comfortable with doing and hopefully shouldn't impede the 43-hour drive back.

Quote
I presume the round key is a service key, and lacks a few of the details of the drives key, thus locking you out of the boot/trunk and the glovebox.

Yes exactly.

Quote
What is the wavy pice of aluminium?

I'm pretty sure it's steel actually... That has the name and address of the original buyer of the car imprinted on it, I think along with the options the car came with.  My other 450SEL also came with one.

I've never seen that sealed key, very nice!  Is that leather key wallet also a Mercedes-supplied part?

I see you have the thicker, narrower style of key with flat edges, which I much prefer to the more common flatter style similar to W123 keys, with thinner and wider with serrated edges.  The only car I've seen that on is my 300SD, and now this 450SEL as well. :)  Not sure if it's to do with year or what, as my other 1979 has the other style.  I believe that straight line you see along the bottom edge of your keys is what allows them to open the trunk/boot and glovebox/chocolateoven.
« Last Edit: 14 July 2012, 02:02 AM by Raptelan »

chance

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Re: Casey's 1979 450SEL
« Reply #3 on: 14 July 2012, 04:32 AM »
Casey, congrats on the SEL - I haven't seen such an unmolested car in a long time!  I'm new to this forum, but not to the 116 as Ive been driving a 1980 450sel from arizona for the last 7 years and know intimately many things that arelikely to need attention on this car.  Thats the best looking interior Ive seen in awhile!

And yes, the metal nameplate with the raised text was the original owner's ID card. When they'd take it in for service the dealer would run that thru something like a credit card machine to get all your info on their paperwork.  effortlessly.  The serrated edge is to align and hold in place.   Nothing went without serious thought and engineering in those days!

The keys look original, they match mine.  This type of ignition cylinder tends to go on models over 150k depending on the number of key turns.  If you notice it sticks, and you can't turn the key into say, start mode, even just once or twice, replace it immediately.  Just order it from MB.  Super easy to swap out.  But If you wait it may quickly lock you out altogether, and you cannot replace the cylinder unless it's in 1st position.   You can guess why I know all this...   Cheers on your new car!

pompy

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Re: Casey's 1979 450SEL
« Reply #4 on: 14 July 2012, 06:35 AM »
Congratulations on a fine Benz! I'm sure you're going to enjoy the epic drive home.
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Tony66_au

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Re: Casey's 1979 450SEL
« Reply #5 on: 14 July 2012, 05:40 PM »
SCORE!

She looks the goods Casey, Now go get her!

ROOOOOOOOOADTRIIIIIIIIIIIIP!

Casey

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Re: Casey's 1979 450SEL
« Reply #6 on: 14 July 2012, 05:52 PM »
She looks the goods Casey, Now go get her!

ROOOOOOOOOADTRIIIIIIIIIIIIP!

Got the time off approved already, I'll be flying out this coming Thursday evening, picking up the car Friday, and then have a full week to get the car home and visit some various people and places along the way.

Casey

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Re: Casey's 1979 450SEL
« Reply #7 on: 14 July 2012, 06:44 PM »
I'm new to this forum, but not to the 116 as Ive been driving a 1980 450sel from arizona for the last 7 years and know intimately many things that arelikely to need attention on this car.

Welcome! Hope to see many posts from you and your car. :D

Quote
Thats the best looking interior Ive seen in awhile!

It's not bad! I've got a nicer interior of the same color, but that's because the material is MB-tex, which holds up better. For original leather, this is press great!  The springs are shot in the driver seat, and it's got some wear and damage. I happen to have another original bamboo leather passenger front seat here though, which will make a complete set of outstanding condition bamboo leather seats available.  But those will be going into another car or possibly sold if there's adequate interest! I'm also buying a complete SEL red interior set that I'll be picking up shortly after the car, sans seat skins and carpets. I'll buy those new.  I need just a very few pieces to complete the red interior other than that, and ideally a driver door panel in better condition. In any case, this car will end up with a red interior, including brand new leather seats and hopefully red sheepskin covers to boot!

Quote
This type of ignition cylinder tends to go on models over 150k depending on the number of key turns.  If you notice it sticks, and you can't turn the key into say, start mode, even just once or twice, replace it immediately.  Just order it from MB.  Super easy to swap out.

Might just do that preemptively, because I'll be replacing the steering column in the near future for a few reasons - A. the steering is loose now, probably just the coupler needs replaced - I have a new one sitting here, B. I want an early model spline size so that I can use the chrome-trimmed steering wheel, and C. The column I have ready includes a column shifter, which I'll be converting the car to!  Funny story about the column - it was removed with no key present, I thought it was going to be an adventure getting the cylinder off without it. But after it arrived in the mail, I noticed a rattle inside of it, and managed to shake the matching key out from inside of the column. No idea how it got there but good luck!

I'll also be swapping out the climate control to the manual type at some point. Have a donor car with all the parts and nice zebrano trim for it purchased separately. I've never seen a zebrano trim for the center console for column shift cars though, so might have to get that custom made. I think if I bother with that I might as well just get all the trim custom made in Macassar ebony to match the ebony dash trim option that was available in 1973.  And of course, a Becker pinstripe radio is going back where it belongs.

Also planning on installing front and rear seat heaters (have the parts already) and likely the orthopedic option in both front seats. And there's surely more...

You might say I've been planning on having such a car as this for a good while.
« Last Edit: 14 July 2012, 06:51 PM by Raptelan »

ZCarFan

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Re: Casey's 1979 450SEL
« Reply #8 on: 15 July 2012, 09:50 AM »
That's an amazing specimen there.  If it were mine, I'd fix the one seat bottom, keep it clean and maintained and change nothing else.  Always remember, restorations are everywhere, but the cars are only original once, and nicely maintained original cars are ever so rare.

Naturally, it is your car and your choice, but it is my sincere opinion.

Casey

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Re: Casey's 1979 450SEL
« Reply #9 on: 15 July 2012, 10:28 AM »
That's an amazing specimen there.  If it were mine, I'd fix the one seat bottom, keep it clean and maintained and change nothing else.  Always remember, restorations are everywhere, but the cars are only original once, and nicely maintained original cars are ever so rare.

Naturally, it is your car and your choice, but it is my sincere opinion.
Yeah, a lot of people into keeping something original to the point of not fixing anything and not using it...not me. I believe in originality, and will be using only things that actually Mercedes actually put in 116's. The parts I have are all authentic 116 parts. I buy only OEM new stuff. But my whole point is to have the best car I possibly can for myself, which for me means building the ultimate 116. Vehicles like most other things require maintenance - if you truly want "original" you have to seek out one of the sub-15k miles examples.

jbrasile

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Re: Casey's 1979 450SEL
« Reply #10 on: 17 July 2012, 07:29 PM »
Now you're talking!!!

Congratulations Casey!!!

Just one thing, try to control your desire to modify the car, I second ZcarFan's opinion, fix what needs to be fixed, make sure everything is in top shape but keep it original. The interior is truly the soul of any car, it is what you touch every time you drive, and bamboo is such a great interior color! If you have original seats from another car in perfect condition in the right color I would  just swap them. My opinion anyway...

Have a great trip  and good luck with the new purchase!

Tks,

Joe


Casey

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Re: Casey's 1979 450SEL
« Reply #11 on: 20 July 2012, 07:42 AM »
Picked up the car last night. What a GREAT deal this was!

Seller spent about 10 minutes warning me about some brake fluid moisture his mechanic had found at one of the calipers when he took it in for new oil and service prior to me picking it up (a courtesy I wasn't expecting). You could clearly tell from his personality that he was a very cautious conservative gentleman who'd baby any car. He said that during his ownership of the car, his longest trip was about 200 miles, and that he'd never driven it over 65. I believe him. In his garage were two new Jaguars. His house was immaculate.  Very nice guy.

I closed the deal without a test drive, and proceeded to follow my friend back to his house an hour or so away in LA for the night. Wow, is it a smooth car. It felt more like a W140 than a W116, simply because of how quiet and vibration-free it is.  Astounding. When a window is rolled up, you can hear a perfect air seal forming with no drafts.  Suspension in perfect shape. Alignment feels a little off and both brakes and power steering are stiffer than they should be but enough to be a big problem for now. Couldn't see too much at night but could definitely tell it's everything I hoped for and more. :)

Squiggle Dog

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Re: Casey's 1979 450SEL
« Reply #12 on: 20 July 2012, 12:07 PM »
Sounds great! It seems like you'll be a lot happier with this one than the last 450SEL you purchased. I guess every now and then good deals can be found. My roommate was looking for cars and found a W116 300SD in great condition with Euro headlights and the owner even went to the trouble of fixing the AC and upgrading the condensor, compressor, etc. to R134a. I was impressed. Usually when you see a W116 for sale it is plagued with problems due to neglect.
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oversize

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Re: Casey's 1979 450SEL
« Reply #13 on: 20 July 2012, 03:34 PM »
Oh that's so nice; congratulations!  Modify the car to what you desire, because you'll enjoy it more and as a result you may never sell!!  A red interior would be just beautiful!!!  I like them more than any other colour except black.  Just keep all the original parts so it can be returned to original if a future owner desires....

The chrome Bundts weren't original and they look great now!!!  You can't be pretty much original.....  It's like being a little pregnant!!!!
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nathan

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Re: Casey's 1979 450SEL
« Reply #14 on: 20 July 2012, 07:54 PM »
i just caught this post somehow. cool car.  how far away from you is this car?  are you doing the road trip because that would be cool, and you should take a bucket load of pics along the way!
enjoy it
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