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Your thoughts on placing a vlaue

Started by UTn_boy, 24 August 2016, 12:44 AM


Hey all.  I'd like some feedback from you fellas on what I should price one of my cars at.  I'm at a crossroads because it's a standard U.S. version 450sel, which aren't worth much of anything, but so much has been done to the car, and  I'm wondering you fellas would be willing to pay knowing what all has been done.  Below is an extensive list of what has been done, and it's not a compete list, either,  but it's close enough. 

What it still needs is both mufflers and new leather.

This is what's been done mechanically:
new evaporator and all vacuum actuators, all of the flaps in the HVAC box were repadded with new foam, new A/C compressor, new High pressure line from A/C condenser to compressor, new temperature wheel potentiometer, new push button assembly for climate control, and I used the correct refrigerant....good old R-12.  Blows ice cold. 
new water pump, Thermostat, hoses (all), heater hoses and grommets in firewall, belts, injectors,

new coil, ballast resistors, new wire harness between ignition module and coil, the plugs, wires, cap, and rotor are new, and the plugs are the correct non-resistor type W9DC. In addition, the plug wires are housed in the correct insulating sleeves for each bank of wires WITH the correct rubber numbers on each end of the plug wires.  I've also replaced the alternator, as well.
all front end and sub frame bushings are new, new steering linkages and idler arm bushings, new steering coupling, new Michelin tires, very nice set of Bundts with the correct Mercedes valve stem seals. 
The intake manifold was removed, cleaned, and new plenum seals were installed, the front of the engine was cleaned, as well.  I also renewed all of the vacuum lines with correct colors, as well as the thermo vacuum valves for EGR and secondary air injection,Has a new diverter valve and filter for afterburning system air pump, a new vacuum transducer for EGR system, new EGR valve, the air pump is fairly new, too. new cruise control cable, new slide valve for idling system,
All brake calipers, rubber hoses, pads, and rotors were renewed, as was the master cylinder.

This is what has been done cosmetically: 
Every piece of rubber has been renewed, even the rear quarter glass seals and glass panes in the rear doors are new.
Has a new windshield,

a new old stock dash, new carpeting, and all of the door panels and any interior panels were removed and hand scrubbed clean.
The parcel shelf is also new, but the stowage area for the first aid kit was deleted because no one currently possesses the ability to replicate the correct vinyl edging for the lid.

The headliner was also renewed.  While it was out, the whole sunroof frame and assembly was removed from the car, cleaned, lubricated, rebushed, and resealed.  Drains were checked and all are clear.
The leather was not renewed because there is currently not a correct leather offered for the W116 in orange bamboo.  However, there will be by the first of the year.  I've been working with Hydes and Hans-Reinke, and the correct surface dyed orange bamboo will once again be available in both early style full grain and later style "pebble" look.  The leather currently in the car is presentable, less the top of the back seat backrest.
All of the outer rubber weatherstrips for the door glasses were renewed,
all window regulators were removed, cleaned, and lubricated
The car still wears its original 516 red paint, which was polished and then waxed.  It shines extremely well.

The worst rust on the car is under the battery tray. Even then it's just surface rust. 

Mileage on the car is 211,000 and counting, as I drive it regularly. 
I'm sure I've missed something, but I think you or anyone who read this will see that no expense was spared, and not shortcuts were taken.  I've simply got too many cars right now, and my interests have turned to my 6.3 and my 6.9.

I'd say 90% of the parts bought were Mercedes parts, the rest were aftermarket because they simply weren't available from Mercedes.
Oh yeah...Almost forgot...the car was a California car it's whole life, so no rust, and it does have California emissions...and they all work!  :)

I realize that there is value in overpaying a little for a car if so much has been done to it, but that cut off point is very very low on any W116 chassis.  My convention here is that if someone had all this work done by a shop or someone else, the amount in the car would be significantly higher.  I've got a little over $10,000 just in parts in the car, and that doesn't include purchase price or my labor.  I have all receipts to support those figures, too. It's a relatively turn key 450sel that needs very little.  Having said all of that, what would you fellas offer if you did not know what I had in it money wise? And yes, it's for sale.  Pictures galore upon request. 
1966 250se coupe`,black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3,papyrus white/dark red leather
1975 450se, pine green metallic/green leather
1973 300sel 4.5,silver blue metallic/blue leather
1979 450sel 516 red/bamboo


Funny. Isn't that the world upside down, you asking the forum for such things? ;)

I am pretty sure you know the answer here already.
If you want to sell fast, then sell cheap, under the price, and simply  follow the market of other 450's that may or may not make it to the next gas station (in the eyes of the buyer)
You want a decent price for this car, sit on it, aim high, help the rest of this market upwards and wait for a buyer with a decent clue as to what your investment actually means.
You have all bills, you have a reputation in the field, so you should be at an advantage selling this car properly.

If I were you, I'd tackle that bit of visible rust you speak of and change that interior.
That way you leave no room for nagging and negotiation at the end of this ride.
If you don't lock that door, you may as well save yourself the possible long wait and sell (too) cheap now.

But really, if you are not in need for cash, why not find a long-term parking spot somewhere, indoors, and give it a few years?
Go see the car 3-4 times a year, turn the engine, drive around the block and put it right back where you left it before.
W116's are dropping like flies all over and hard, decent models will be a rarity soon, if not already.
That's my 2 cents.

About the 6.3.. my mate here may be interested. He just bought 20 classic cars in the USA and he likes the 6.3.
Please PM me for details, prices and photos. Who knows?


You have to compare it to a well sorted 6.9 IMHO as the benchmark. With nice 6.9's failing to crack 20K you would be very lucky to squeeze out $10K and I would say closer to 5 than to 10 grand. It is what it is as they say...
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber


Can you post some photos so we can help estimate the price. I'm thinking its a mid teens value as you have that beautiful red paint and so much work completed, presentation may take it higher.


    Well, given the market lately regarding W116 chassis, there's not anything concrete to go by, so I was curious as to a W116 enthusiast would be willing to pay for this particular car considering all that has been done to it.  So yes, I agree with what you say about sell it cheap to move it quickly, or hold out to get maximum value out of it.  I very well may do as you suggest and tackle the little rust under the hood area and renew the leather, but the leather alone will be another +/- $2,000.  The problem here is that no one is going to pay an extra $2,000 just because the leather has been renewed.  Depreciation on items like leather, and even the new dash, is instant.  They're desirable things to have taken care of, but not to the extent of the full cost.
    What I'm finding out is that since the W116 is the last affordable classic, one can buy standard models for little money.  The majority of the people that are drawn to the W116 because of that aren't willing to pay top dollar for a well sorted and/or restored W116, much less spend the money on them that is needed.  They're appalled at the thought of spending more than +/- $2,000 on an interior restoration.  Heaven forbid they have to pay more than that same amount for a paint job.  The funny thing is that after they buy a W116 for peanuts, the car instantly becomes priceless in their eyes.  It's all of a sudden worth tens of thousands. 
    In light of all the aforementioned, I think that unless I do as you suggest by waiting for a buyer to come along with a decent clue as to what my investment actually means, I'm probably wasting my time trying to sell anything I have in the W116 aspect of Mercedes.  I just find it hard to believe that a true W116 enthusiast can't see the value in paying more for a well sorted example.  The number I have in mind for this 450sel is less than what I have in it.  If I were looking for a 450sel, I'd pay close to what I have in it all day long, especially if I knew all that had been done, and saw receipts to back all of those jobs up!  Why?  Because If I had to start from scratch and do all of what's been done to this 450sel from the beginning, I simply couldn't do it for under $10,000.  If they buyer is paying someone to do the work, then the value is even greater.  Makes sense, right?  I guess that "get something for nothing" mentality is running rampant as of late.  The bottom line is that is you want a W116 that has had a lot of the work already done to it, one can't offer peanuts for it.  If the potential buyer knows that the seller is asking less then what they have in it, then why in the hell would the potential buyer offer less?  It's disrespectful, and it makes the potential buyer look like a bottom feeder. 

    We can't compare other W116 models to a 6.9.  Those are in a league all their own.  If we go by that convention, we'd see 280S models selling for unbelievable prices.  And a 6.9 failing to crack $20,000?  Did you mean $10,000?  6.9's just don't sell for $20,000 unless it's got ridiculously low miles on it or if it's had a nut and bolt restoration.  I agree with not being able to get $10,000 out of a 450sel, but it's even harder to squeeze $10,000 out of a 6.9 as of late. 

    I'l get some photos uploaded in the next few days.  Thank you for the kind words on the paint color, but I don't think color combinations merit that much of a price increase from standard.  I'm almost certain that we'll never see a 450sel sell in the mid teens in our lifetime.  The thought is nice though.  I had one fella in England contact me on facebook about this 450sel.  I explained to him everything about the car, sent a ton of pictures, what had been done, what was left to be done, etc.  I threw a price of 6,500 pounds at him, and he laughed.  He also said I was dreaming.......i thought the Europeans were ok with paying higher prices to procure good examples.  Even at 6,500 pounds I was still loosing money.  :/ 
1966 250se coupe`,black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3,papyrus white/dark red leather
1975 450se, pine green metallic/green leather
1973 300sel 4.5,silver blue metallic/blue leather
1979 450sel 516 red/bamboo


I stand by my take on this, and I can add that right now may just be the worst time to sell a deserving W116.
I have seen it happen to so many other car models that are now suddenly appreciated. Cars that were unwanted gaz-guzzlers, undesirable fix-a-lots for 20 yrs, until suddenly there were no more people dumping them and only see-through rust-buckets were left at the breakers. Remember the 6 series BMW's and the R107's? You couldn't sell 6 for 500usd a few years back. Those were not rare cars either and I find myself offering 15000usd for a reasonable one now, without success.

W116 has already seen rock bottom and here and there do we see signs of the inevitable rebound. If you have one that's deserving the right to preservation, I would really suggest to sit on it. 5 years from now we will be seeing a very different landscape for sure.
That is.. IF you have a model that does not leave room for nagging and negotiation.
In that aspect, I am pretty realistic. You can sell a Pagoda with only a new paintjob and some shiny leather for 35-50000. That will probably never happen in W116 land.
Your W116 will need to be a hell of a lot more solid than just a chassis, paint and leather to move up in the market, with the advantage over the Pagoda that W116 parts are still available for "reasonable" money.
Fix'm, park'm and abide your time. It was no different for the other classics.

And I guess that there must be other factors to consider as well. Personal ones, that have everything to do with the satisfaction of restoration, and the love for (Teutonic)design. ;)


The Mercedes-Benz Museum's All time stars site always has some 116s for sale that in some cases they have restored. They have three categories, Drivers, Collectors and Concours. They have recently sold a Collectors 280S for 26590 Euros. They have also sold a 350 that they have rebuilt but don't say for how much. A little while ago 50000 Euros was being asked for a 450.
450SE silver green/bamboo velour/green vinyl roof


For sure the market in Europe is a lot stronger for 116's.  Here in NA, they were imported by the tens of thousands, so you can litarelly go on Craigslist and find one within a mile of where you live normally, and sometimes even in really good shape, for walking around money.  Just a fact unfortunately.  That plus the fact that most of the baby boomers here now have money burning a hole in their pockets, and they love American muscle way more than Euro cars , and that will always count against the 116 and other Benz models, unless you are talking Gullwing and similar of course.  Just my 2c ;D
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber



Haha.  The world is full of dreamers.  It presents nicely, but it has 260,000 kilometers on it....and it's a standard 450sel in astral silver......Where in the hell do people come up with these prices?!
1966 250se coupe`,black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3,papyrus white/dark red leather
1975 450se, pine green metallic/green leather
1973 300sel 4.5,silver blue metallic/blue leather
1979 450sel 516 red/bamboo