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Pre-purchase advice: 450 SE from Spain

Started by Alx241, 09 January 2024, 04:23 AM


Hello everyone,

I'm reaching out for some guidance on a potential purchase of a Mercedes W116 450SE currently located in Spain. I'm quite captivated by this car, but as I don't consider myself an expert, I would greatly appreciate your insights and advice.

Here are some details about the car:

    Year: 1974
    Mileage: 165000 km
    Price: EUR ~19.000,--

I've attached some photos and videos of the car to give you a better idea. Your opinions and advice would be invaluable to me before making a decision. What are your thoughts on this Mercedes W116 450SE in general? Are there specific issues I should be aware of, especially considering the pictures and video( I know rust can be a common concern, but according to the photos and the vendor, the car is rust free.

The motor was recently renewed: all the gaskets and valvetrain (guides, seats) was revised. However, I am unsure, if the timing chain tensioners were exchanged  for new ones.

Some things I've noticed: car was repainted with the Windows still on (seller says it was repainted because of parking dents). Jumpy/laggy tach needle. Otherwise car looks good to me.

Car is in Spain, I am located in Austria - planning to fly there and looking at the car and taking a short vacation.

Thank you in advance for your help!


Looks pretty nice to me but in the flesh is the best way to tell of course.  A long test drive on the highway is recommended for sure.  Then you can have a "seat of the pants" feel of overall driving experience.

Not sure what the market is like in EU but here in North America you can pick up a nice 450SEL for about 15-20K USD.
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber


If you treat the trip to Spain as a holiday with no pressure to buy the car then it can be fun. A pre-1976 450SE is not a special model in any sense, personally I'd prefer the SEL in this case for the 10 cm of extra space for friends and family. Then again, people spend a lot more on old cars that they like the look of. I should know - I've spent a lot more money than that on an old car once. Good luck and let us know how it goes.


1 Bar oil press hot at 750rpm min

run temp 175 to 185

Hot idle temp < 185/190 Deg with a/con on

Check for play/wander in steering: expect some at this mileage.............mine was terrible at 160 Kms and box had to be replaced with a new one.

Check vacuum central locking works in all modes.

That's a start.