Here we have a Mercedes 450 SEL from the last year of model production and the last car worked on by Freidrich Gieger. It presents beautifully with Silver bodywork and a plush blue velour interior perfectly encapsulating the era it hails from.
'It was, and remains, one of the finest, safest and most impressive saloons, and it is surely a testament to the quality of Mercedes engineering that there are still so many in regular use today.' – Lawrence Meredith on the 450 SE, Mercedes-Benz Saloons, Crowood Press.
Mercedes-Benz replaced the S-Class in 1972, the successor W116 line up having been on the drawing board since the mid-1960s. Much of the development program had concentrated on secondary safety, to such an extent that its occupants were considered more likely to survive an accident in the 450SE saloon (or its peers) than possibly any other car in the world.
Base model of the new S-Class was the 280S equipped with a carburetor-fed 2.8-liter twin-cam six while for those with deeper wallets there was a choice of 350SE or 450SE V8s, both of which were available in long-wheelbase 'SEL' variants. A necessarily heavy automobile, the 450SE was little quicker off the mark than its smaller-engined siblings but as Motor Sport observed: "It is in these middle and upper ranges, rather than in sheer standing-start acceleration, that the 450SE excels, all powerfully, simply 'whooshing' through overtaking."
The V8 engine present in the 450 SEL pushed out 222 BHP allowing it to heave its not inconsiderable weight to 60 in a supercar baiting 8.5 seconds.
Not only being hugely powerful, of course Mercedes over time has become a byword for efficiency and safety with the W116 perhaps being the genesis of this image, with ABS being an option on the car from 1978. The series contained other huge steps forward in safety in the form of passenger safety cells, reinforced structure, and crumple zones in front and rear.
Our 450 SEL has 88,000 miles on the clock and has had 9 previous keepers. The car is a UK supplied model. The paint work is fantastic condition. The car has a fresh MOT and is valid until September 2019.
A perfect opportunity to own a Mercedes that shows the birth of the modern day S class.