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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale June 10th – 12th, 2016 at Russo and Steele’s 4th Annual Newport Beach, California Auction. Please contact us for more information.
Launched in 1972, the W116 Mercedes-Benz series replaced the previous W108/109 model line and marked the beginning of the top-of-the-line “S Class” (Sonderklasse). Featuring muscular styling and an imposing presence, the new W116 rode on a new chassis with a 112-inch wheelbase and featured cutting-edge engineering features including four-wheel disc brakes and fully-independent suspension with a unique twin control arm arrangement up front. Power choices included two variations of the company’s proven 2.8-liter inline six-cylinder engine: one a 160-hp Solex-carbureted version for the 280S, and a 182-hp fuel-injected unit for the 280SE. Emissions-compliant versions for the United States developed 120- and 142-hp respectively. Both engines were matched to a choice of four-speed automatic or manual gearboxes. The 300SD arrived for thrifty North American buyers in 1977, with power by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline five-cylinder engine. A four-speed automatic transmission was the only choice. In typical Mercedes-Benz fashion, the 450 SEL denoted the Bosch fuel-injected SOHC 4.5-liter V-8 engine underhood, which was also available and delivered smooth, turbine-like performance to match the W116’s character.
Of all attributes, though, safety was the major claim to fame for the W116 series. In fact, these cars represent a milestone in Mercedes’ history in pioneering many innovations that are now commonplace. Among them were a protected fuel-tank placement, crumple zones, and careful engineered applied to the interior padding. All were part of the basic design from inception, helping rank the S-Class among the safest cars on the market.
Nearly 275,000 examples of the six-cylinder S-Class Mercedes-Benz models were built from 1972 to 1980, plus 28,600 diesel-powered 300SDs from 1977 to 1980. While lacking in performance, these diesels quickly enjoyed a cult-like following due to their lower production and diesel torque, reliability, and fuel economy. Whether gasoline- or diesel-powered, all W116-generation cars delivered outstanding roadholding and handling characteristics with a highly engaging and confidence-inspiring driving experience. Above all, the excellent materials and outstanding build quality applied to the S-Class heightened the cachet of these stately road cars.
Unrestored, highly original, and offered with full documentation, this 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL is a two-owner car from new. The first owner purchased it in 1979 and after his passing, his son stored the car in his garage for 15 years. The Consignor acquired it in December 2014. Incredibly original, it retains the First Aid kit, car manuals, and features leather seats and a sunroof. Remaining in excellent mechanical condition, this 450 SEL marks a highly desirable, top-quality find for committed Mercedes-Benz collectors and enthusiasts everywhere.