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I went to see a 6.9 today.

Started by hokman, 18 August 2005, 11:41 PM


Hello there, I need you to help me decide if this is worth the money.

It's a 1975 6.9, and it hasn't been running for 2 years.
The front suspension is dropped down, I think because the huge V8 is putting its weight on the front suspension.  Is it normal for that to occur if it hasn't been moved in 2 years?  The rear bounces a lot, note that the car isn't started for some time.
The body doesn't appear to have damage or rust.
The steering is very loose, no resistance at all for 2 cm.  Is this a expensive repair?
The car doesn't have a battery, but he said the engine started easily last week.
The boot floor on the right side is corroded into a hole.
The car has european lights and bumpers and the speedometer is in miles, the mileage is 110,XXX.  How can I tell if this has got 250 bhp or 286?

The man is selling it for $2500, his dead brother left it to him.  What's the lowest price can I get it to?  I'm not really good at haggling, because everytime I go look at a car, it's like I'm begging them to show me.  I feel nervous and timid.  Can someone show me a way and manner to lower the price?

I greatly appreciate your help, I long for joining the 6.9 club! :D


Hey Hokman- My two cents worth, I reckon this car has gotta be a better start than the pseudo 450 aka 350 you were looking at.  Others will be able to give better advice on some of the points about the car you raise but I'd say the suspension sag and the bounce is to do with the spheres being cactus.  Read this post re: sphere replacement  There's a few comments regarding undertaking the work yourself or by a mech, plus costings, all Oz dollars I think.

The rust is either from perished tailight rubbers or fuel nozzle grommet perished.  Water trickles down and settles in the area you mention, lift the carpet on the other side and check it as well.  The big deal is to see whether there's any other rust you may have missed on first inspection.

The steering freeplay I have thoughts about but I'll leave that to someone else with more expertise.

Other than that, a test drive would be the next move.  Good Luck and keep us posted.  

BTW what colour?
1973 350SE, my first & fave


Thanks for the reply MB350!  Australian dollar costs about the same as canada money.  Albeit on opposite sides of the world, we're both colonies!

The car I think is Astral Silver, it's 1975, so it doesn't have auto climate control.  The trouble is, my dad doesn't like it at all because of the broken suspension and other minor problems.  He doesn't really care that this is my DREAM CAR!  So I depend on you friends to give me some professional advice to convince my dad.

About the suspension, other than the spheres, are there other parts that could go wrong that could cause the car to behave like this after sitting for 2 years?  Will a 6.9 in perfect condition ever drop down if left standing for a period?  If the engine is started will the car raise back up?  Is the rear bouncing caused by the spheres too?  I hope replacing 4 spheres won't be too much if it's necessary.
I read the post you linked about the spheres, and noticed many people have replaced them and there's lots of information.

I think this 6.9 is a rare find, and better condition ones goes for lots of money.  And I can't wait for another one to come, until then, this might become highly collectable and go for money like 108/109 coupes.  I'm a new driver and 18 yrs old, so I can only handle the safe handling like the W116 with its sophisicated suspension.  I know the older merc's with swing axles will kill be pretty fast.  I would also avoid front wheel drive because I drove the new Mazda 5 and it understeered so much.

Other than the 6.9, I actually like the 350 very much, because of it's high revving V8 (compared to others).  And it sounds really cool.  It's also the biggest engined 116 with manual box for those who like to shift themselves.  MB350, is your car manual or auto?

Last week, I saw a quite new chinese movie that had the 350SLC as the main character car.  The movie is about a ghost car.  Some young kids go out to buy a car after getting the license and got attracted by that $15000(HKD) (approx $3000) 350SLC.  The kids in this movie is almost in the situation I'm in.  It's unbelivable such a new movie, after 2000 would feature a 70's merc, which explains the appeal of these mercs.  I mean they could have chosen a car out of the millions, but yet they chose a 70's merc.  The car in the movie is dark blue manual transmission with wheels off post 1979 merc S-class/SL.  The car is in really good shape and smoked its tyres easily.  The 350 V8 also sounds throaty and marvelous.


My 350se is auto but I have a forty page Letter size (roughly) sales brochure that's pure 350se and dated 1973.  The car and detailed pics show a LHD manual metalic gold with velour trim and sunroof and no A/C.  Bit of a mix of features.  Auto's are listed as optional.

I will leave it there for the moment. Although I love the 350 for it's less technical and basic layout (things are easier to fix or less things to break), I'd love to have a 6.9 one day as well, there the ultimate of the class.  I think there a classic that has probably passed it's lowest value point and will rise in the future, albeit slowly perhaps.
1973 350SE, my first & fave


It couldn't be the English model because it's left hand drive.  So you say that it's supposed to be sunk down if left undriven for a while, I believe styria's expertise.  But is only the front supposed to sink or the whole car?  Could the back be popped like aussie_dave's, because it bounces?
The seller said he didn't use the car for 2 years but he tried to start it last week and it started easily, I would need to see it to believe it.  My big worry is if there is a ghost left in the car and I would need to haggle the price down.  But all odds are against me, my dad still isn't satified with the rear bouncing and loose steering and the scruffy trim.  The seller is also wierd and didn't open the garage door to let us see the car in the sunlight.

My dad pressed on all 4 suspensions and noticed the dead stiff front and bouncy back.  My dad used to sell citroen/peugeot, and citroen's drop down as soon as the engine is off.


The back dropping so soon is deemed to have problems, because the back end is pretty light.  Maybe it's all right the back bounce because not driven for so long.

It would be hard to bring my dad back to see that car again, I think I need to bring my mechanic friend.


Thanks for your advice styria.  You said what's in my mind.  If someone is preventing you to get what you dream about, they don't get to share your dream.

But the big problem is, my dad is paying for it.  I don't have any money.
But after I get the car, I'll get a job to sustain the car's life.  And you'll be the first I reach when help is needed.


Today, my dad went to see a '85 300zx.  Although everything is very hi-tech and electric and stuff.  The quality and mechanical reliability can't match mecedes standards.  The 3 pointed star is what I trust most when buying a used car.


I reckon the car's stolen and there's loads of ill-gotten wads of cash packed in the rear seat.  

I'm still stuck on the "weird seller" comment.  Why the hell wouldn't he want to roll the car out in the sunlight?  And if he started up the car a couple of weeks ago why wont he throw a battery in and demonstrate how easy it starts?  How keen is this bloke to sell?  I think haggling is a must in this case.

Have to test drive and work out how much to get the car road worthy and registered.  The suspension is easily fixable but still costs money.  Bush's, seals  and other bits that wear out need not be done all at once.  Even the suspension could wait for a while if the motor or trans need attention.  And appearance matters less if the car is undriveable.

The motor is the heart of this icon, you need to make sure the ghost isn't lurking there.  Borrow a  battery if you have to and get this thing started, point out all the bad bits that need fixing then offer half price.  Despite the seller's attitude, it could be a real bargain. (especially when you rip open the back seat)
1973 350SE, my first & fave


The car I'm looking at is a 1975 model, which is the first year of the 6.9.  In 1975, the 6.9 isn't officially sold in north america, so it must be a imported car.

A left hand drive car with mph clock?  What country could it be?  Are all non-US models 286bhp?

I wondered this for a long time, why does cars sold in the USA must be converted to circular lights?  In the 116, it looks like the lamps are forcefully stuck on with no concern to styling.  I understand the part with the big bumpers installed because otherwise they couldn't survive in a place where cars are ships with wheels and even bigger bumpers.


Interesting car and history by the sound of it! The LHD / MPH seems odd and makes me think its def a USA car...maybe it was manufactured late 1975 and delivered 1976?  My 1978 manufactured car wasnt delivered until early 1979.   As someone who bought a 6.9 in May this year after looking since October last year let me give you my two cents worth - I looked at 7 cars and paid for mechanical inspections (M100 experts here and in Melbourne and Sydney) on 3 cars before buying mine.  I vowed to only buy an Australian delivered, full known history car etc etc and ended up breaking that rule by buying an originally UK delivered car that ended up in Hong Kong before being imported to Oz.  But it was perfect and I loved the colour combination and the fact it was owned by a Merc mechanic who was super fussy!!!  Point is, DONT think a better car wont come along - it will.  And it might be only a few bucks more but much better condition.  If in any doubt walk away.  Those on this Board older than me (Im 36) will agree that Patience is one thing that develops with age - and Im sure glad I wasnt 21 and looking for a 6.9 because I would have bought the first one I looked at which is still for sale today (down from an absurd asking price of $A40,000 last year to $A15000 today - and he's still dreaming).  So, I'd say be patient and wait for the RIGHT car to come along!!
sigh....sitting back contemplating the next purchase..!


Thanks for your advice, Chris.  My dad said he will go with me again to see the car's condition and start it up.

Chris, you are a new 6.9 owner?  That must be very exciting, is the car as good as you dreamt of?  Wow, I'm glad you bought a good car.  You must have, because you looked at seven!!  Is there really that much 6.9 in WA?  I doubt there's even seven in vancouver!  Even normal W116 is rare here, sometimes I won't see one in a week.  Sometimes I see 2 one day when I goto more urban areas.

You said your car was sent to HK?  Was it sold there to another owner?  I came from Hong Kong when I was 8. This small city has many rich people, and there are Rolls Royce parades with hundreds of them.  Hong Kong is a sharp contrast to this boring country Canada.  You rarely see these cars in canada.  You see, my whole summer is mostly spent sleeping and on the computer.  I know Austrailia has many nice cars too, because they use right hand drive like UK and HK and Japan.  Lots of imported cars, but importing cars privately is illegal in Canada.  But now cars older than 12 yrs are allowed, and suddenly herds of Skyline R32 roam around.  You can see how eager and bored these young asian kids are.  I know skylines are really popular in Oz too along with silvia and other japanese sports coupes.

Their thirst for hot cars contrast with how dry and stagnant the new car market is here.  For god's sake, it's missing 50% of the brands of the world.  I can see the absense of small city cars, but what about holdens and aussie fords?  The space and power of commodores and falcons are exactly what Americans love and proud of.  And they can't make them like that anymore because they are scarred stiff by the fuel crisis of '73 and now most American cars are front drive and weak.  Also, aussie cars will feel like benz when you compare them to American cars build quality.

4car featured the W116 as their used car guide here:
The 6.9 steals the show.


Interesting read, thanks hokman.

BTW what's the go with the import laws in Canada?  Who are they trying to protect?

Also re the number of 116's there, I'm amazed. I live in a town of only 26,000, six hours from Sydney, five from Melbourne and there's at least  5x280se's, 2x280sel's, 1 other 350se, and 1x6.9 in a shocking brown colour, that I think visits from a smaller town one hour away.  Amazingly there's no 450's other than the 6.9.  There's also a few w123's, w126's, w108/9's, a finnie 350slc plus a few newer 90's and recent models that I'm not familiar with.  I'm going to have be more observant.
Beats trainspotting!

Anyway, look forward to hear how the start up goes.
1973 350SE, my first & fave


Oh yeah! I'm going to go test the 6.9 tmr.

Oh, it's been a long story.  That guy's ad was gone and I thought the car was sold.  And I couldn't find him by phone.  So then I looked at other benzes that I didn't like at all.  A W115 240D and later a W126 280se.  The 240D is a one-owner frill-free car I won't mind having but of course I don't like it because of the slowness.  
The 280SE is pretty cheap for only $1900, but the only reason I'm considering it is that it's a S-class and looks like a W116; I also like the interior too.

Then suddenly I phoned that 6.9 guy again to try my luck, and he said he still have it.  And said I can go see it tmr, and I said 3:00.  I think I'm gonna buy it no matter what.  I just went into university and got perfect for everything, I should get the car I've always promised myself.  Considering the condition I think I'll just pay him 1000 at most.

Wait for my news and wish me luck.


I just came back from seeing the car.
The engine starts up fine, but it doesn't feel powerful.
The front suspension finally raised up after starting a few times.  The back wasn't that low and it just stayed like that, but it looks level.

I said under 1000, but he wanted 2500.  He said there're collectors looking at it.  I should've ask why didn't they buy it.  The condition everywhere is bad, the paint is faded, some rust appearing and dents.  I wanted to try the A/C, but I don't know how to work it.  Maybe it doesn't work anyways.  But the becker mexico works, I didn't try the cassete.  I love that radio.

The biggest problem is that he doesn't let us test drive, so there's almost no way I could buy it.  That guy knew I love 6.9 and always pretend not knowing why I would buy such a car.

I don't know what to do now, maybe I'll just buy a w115 240d and use for a while.


Is the switch second to the right on the centre console the horn switch?

I pressd it to the right, and the horn doesn't sound.