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    Thread: JDs archives: 1977 Mercedes Benz 450SEL 6.9

    1. Member Dobes's Avatar
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      05-26-2012 04:38 PM #1













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      05-26-2012 04:43 PM #2
      Thank you for posting it. Great cars

      I passed on buying one for $3000.00 few years ago

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      05-26-2012 05:35 PM #3
      Perfect timing on my part. I got my first job as a service advisor in 1979, at the peak of the W116/W123/W107 era at Mercedes Benz. My dealership was in Chicago Heights, IL, on the south side of Chicago, and we delivered and serviced dozens of 6.9s. The members of the rock band Styx had them. Pops and Mavis Staples of the Staples Singers had them. Every self-respecting attorney in the southern suburbs had one, or at least had an "ordinary" 450SEL. Yes, the 6.9 is a "hard" car, but Davis' hyperbole aside, I remember these as perhaps one of the most completely SUPERB automobiles I ever had the privilege to be around. Davis goes on about the sameness of the 6.9 with the lesser 450s. Well, I could be blindfolded and placed in the cars and tell the difference immediately. The SOUND of the 6.9 working was the giveaway. The 4.5 engined cars sounded wonderful, but the 6.9 has the sound of a Wagner symphony converted into mechanical tones. The seats of a 6.9 may LOOK the "same" as the lesser cars, but they're not. Davis wasn't looking closely enough, that's all. They're stitched differently, and the pleating is deeper and lusher. The carpets are even thicker and more luxuriously "Germanic" than the 450s. The wood panels on the dashboard are not ordinary walnut like in a 280 or a 450; they're selected from a finely burled stock that looks like it was grown to God's order.

      Driving a 6.9? Only one of the best sedans I've ever had the wheel of, and I've driven some pretty damned fine ones. These are cars of superlatives. Davis, God bless his soul, was viewing the car from the jaundiced journalist's point of view, I'm afraid. I remember reading this test back then, and thinking to myself; "Davis, I love you, but this time you're full of SH*T."
      Last edited by vwlarry; 05-26-2012 at 05:40 PM.
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      05-26-2012 06:49 PM #4
      lol @ 250bhp / 2100kg combo.
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      05-26-2012 06:49 PM #5
      Wasn't this suspension also available on the W126 (but very rarely ordered)? I would love to find such a car.

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      05-26-2012 07:59 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by worth_fixing View Post
      lol @ 250bhp / 2100kg combo.
      Is historical perspective something totally alien to you? In 1977 this car was the Thor of sedans. Of course it's unimpressive if judged by today's yardstick. That's not the POINT. Sheesh.
      Do you enjoy old cars and long-winded stories about them? If your answer is "yes", then you might enjoy my blogpage. Try it here: http://vwlarry.blogspot.com . Leave a comment, too; I love feedback! Thanx for reading.

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      05-26-2012 09:19 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by worth_fixing View Post
      lol @ 250bhp / 2100kg combo.
      Put it in perspective of the age of horrible automotive strangling by emissions requirements and primitive technology. Yes, a 1977 Corvette was 3500#'s and 180HP, a 911 had 150HP, and a rabbit had what? Maybe 75HP? This car was in 1977 what an S65 is to us today in 2012.
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      05-26-2012 09:37 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by mikes96GTI View Post
      Put it in perspective of the age of horrible automotive strangling by emissions requirements and primitive technology. Yes, a 1977 Corvette was 3500#'s and 180HP, a 911 had 150HP, and a rabbit had what? Maybe 75HP? This car was in 1977 what an S65 is to us today in 2012.
      True, anybody who lived through the 70's, myself included, would realize that 7.1 seconds to 60 for a huge 4 door sedan was almost unheard of then. I took one for a spin back then, and was impressed with its feel and how incredibly solid it was. After that, I could really understand why American luxury cars were beginning to lose ground to the Germans back then. They just didn't have anything that compares to this then.

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      05-26-2012 10:51 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by vwlarry View Post
      Is historical perspective something totally alien to you? In 1977 this car was the Thor of sedans. Of course it's unimpressive if judged by today's yardstick. That's not the POINT. Sheesh.
      This happens in EVERY one of these threads. Judging by the numbers, this car's performance was most excellent then, and more than adequate in keeping with modern traffic now. It seems that this website has a large number of robotic individuals who can only compute numbers. I believe that what makes a car enthusiast is the ability to appreciate things on a sensual level(in pertinence to the 5 senses- okay, maybe not taste), and not an objective one. Any douche can compare numbers and claim something 'better' or 'subpar'. But to be cruising a back road at a fitting clip with a fine automobile on a nice day or night is something that no number can calculate.
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      05-26-2012 10:53 PM #10
      My lust for this car continues to this day. In my youth someone gave me a Mercedes brochure that had a big black one on the back cover. I was amazed that all it had on the trunk was: 6.9 For now a lottery car for me but someday once the kids have finished college...
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      Mercedes typically makes awful manual transmissions and fantastic auto transmissions. Choosing the stick would be like saying, "Y'know, that Natalie Portman is pretty hot, but if she grew some hair on her legs and had a dong, she'd be just right."
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      Was it parked on the curb on garbage day?

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      05-27-2012 12:23 AM #11
      One can only imagine how this thing would perform with a modern transmission. That's some tall gears there in the 3 speed! Hook that up to a modern 6 speed or 8 speed auto....all that torque...oh it would be an animal
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      05-27-2012 12:27 AM #12
      Those scoffing at the power/weight ratio, consider this. These cars will still run with all but the very top sedans today, and do it with what can only be described as strangled engines/transmissions.
      A guy I know has a 280SE, short wheel base, with a 6.9 that he uses for track days/hill climbs etc. Despite having normal, albeit heavily modified, suspension it surprises alot of people. Until it runs out of gears at 140mph!
      He's also got a W116 Crayford estate conversion which is about to receive a BRAND NEW, out of the crate 6.9 the local Mercedes guru found.

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      05-27-2012 12:33 AM #13
      ronin.

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      05-27-2012 12:40 AM #14
      250 hp from a 417 cubic inch engine only sounds really impressive if pushrod and carb'd, even for 1977.
      The GM pushrod 400 V8 was making 180 hp with carbs then, and was not even in the same price range.
      But this huge overhead cam fuel injected 6.9 engine is amazing because Mercedes?
      Just trying to figure this out.
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      05-27-2012 01:17 AM #15
      Thanks for the post.

      Would do love to have a European bumpered/motored 6.9.
      http://www.overcoiled.com/cars/MB%206.9/450sel69.htm

      Can't remember if it was this month or the previous month, Automobile covered an auction where one sold for $3800 bucks or so.
      There is a dark Grey one cruising the streets of my neighborhood, still looks legit and sounds great.
      Last edited by lip; 05-27-2012 at 01:23 AM.

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      05-27-2012 01:25 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by VwG60Kid View Post
      ronin.
      ...with horrible CGI tire smoke!

      The 6.9 is badass, though.
      :gift:

    17. Member rlfletch's Avatar
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      05-27-2012 02:08 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by lip View Post
      Thanks for the post.

      Would do love to have a European bumpered/motored 6.9.
      http://www.overcoiled.com/cars/MB%206.9/450sel69.htm

      Can't remember if it was this month or the previous month, Automobile covered an auction where one sold for $3800 bucks or so.
      There is a dark Grey one cruising the streets of my neighborhood, still looks legit and sounds great.
      I would HAVE to have it in black plus I like the monster american bumpers as they add a certain menace to the car.
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      Mercedes typically makes awful manual transmissions and fantastic auto transmissions. Choosing the stick would be like saying, "Y'know, that Natalie Portman is pretty hot, but if she grew some hair on her legs and had a dong, she'd be just right."
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      Was it parked on the curb on garbage day?

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      05-27-2012 02:23 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by vwlarry
      Is historical perspective something totally alien to you? In 1977 this car was the Thor of sedans. Of course it's unimpressive if judged by today's yardstick. That's not the POINT. Sheesh.
      Quote Originally Posted by bustedbucket View Post
      This happens in EVERY one of these threads. Judging by the numbers, this car's performance was most excellent then, and more than adequate in keeping with modern traffic now. It seems that this website has a large number of robotic individuals who can only compute numbers. I believe that what makes a car enthusiast is the ability to appreciate things on a sensual level(in pertinence to the 5 senses- okay, maybe not taste), and not an objective one. Any douche can compare numbers and claim something 'better' or 'subpar'. But to be cruising a back road at a fitting clip with a fine automobile on a nice day or night is something that no number can calculate.
      Yikes, relax. Just because it was respectable back then doesn't make it any less funny by today's standards. It's no different than being amused by looking back at computer magazines from the early 90s.

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      05-27-2012 02:56 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by bustedbucket View Post
      This happens in EVERY one of these threads. Judging by the numbers, this car's performance was most excellent then, and more than adequate in keeping with modern traffic now. It seems that this website has a large number of robotic individuals who can only compute numbers. I believe that what makes a car enthusiast is the ability to appreciate things on a sensual level(in pertinence to the 5 senses- okay, maybe not taste), and not an objective one. Any douche can compare numbers and claim something 'better' or 'subpar'. But to be cruising a back road at a fitting clip with a fine automobile on a nice day or night is something that no number can calculate.
      Well put. With today's engines and tires, it doesn't take much effort to put together a platform that has amazing stats for the magazines and forums. Unfortunately there is a vocal majority here for whom that is the ONLY thing that matters. For those who expect a vehicle to stir all of our senses, the former viewpoint is a mystery, as we know that it takes a bit of art to produce a vehicle that has that something special, and that the most pleasurable vehicles to drive often don't appear to stack up on paper. I find myself wondering more and more here if these people ever actually drive?
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    20. 05-27-2012 04:10 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      250 hp from a 417 cubic inch engine only sounds really impressive if pushrod and carb'd, even for 1977.
      The GM pushrod 400 V8 was making 180 hp with carbs then, and was not even in the same price range.
      But this huge overhead cam fuel injected 6.9 engine is amazing because Mercedes?
      Just trying to figure this out.
      Right, because every single car in 1977 was a 700hp monster that got 40mpg? The same year corvette did 0-60 in 6.8, this in 7.1, and this has 4 seats and is a luxo-barge.

      It's awesome because it was one of the fastest cars on the road at the time and is was big and comfy.

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      05-27-2012 04:40 AM #21
      If one doesn't "get" a car like the 6.9 then there is little to be gained trying to explain it.
      Do you enjoy old cars and long-winded stories about them? If your answer is "yes", then you might enjoy my blogpage. Try it here: http://vwlarry.blogspot.com . Leave a comment, too; I love feedback! Thanx for reading.

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      05-27-2012 07:23 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by rlfletch View Post
      I would HAVE to have it in black plus I like the monster american bumpers as they add a certain menace to the car.
      Well if that's what you're wanting, then it's not Ronin that's been quoted here a few times that holds the movie car, it's Lost Highway.

      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
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      05-27-2012 01:59 PM #23
      The 6.3 was quicker and faster. I bet dropping a gear(6.3 had a 4spd auto) contributed to this.
      That first gear is a beast, plus it'll chirp into 3rd

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      05-27-2012 02:05 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by tasty danish View Post
      Right, because every single car in 1977 was a 700hp monster that got 40mpg? The same year corvette did 0-60 in 6.8, this in 7.1, and this has 4 seats and is a luxo-barge.

      It's awesome because it was one of the fastest cars on the road at the time and is was big and comfy.
      Sorry.. I should have explained.
      That was a reaction to how the same period US domestics get lambasted in threads like this here.
      (the recent one with a Mustang II and Pacer in a group comparison come to mind)
      I actually like this car.
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      05-27-2012 03:05 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by Nitzer View Post
      Well if that's what you're wanting, then it's not Ronin that's been quoted here a few times that holds the movie car, it's Lost Highway.

      Robert Loggia FTW!
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      Mercedes typically makes awful manual transmissions and fantastic auto transmissions. Choosing the stick would be like saying, "Y'know, that Natalie Portman is pretty hot, but if she grew some hair on her legs and had a dong, she'd be just right."
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      Was it parked on the curb on garbage day?

    26. 05-27-2012 03:15 PM #26


      These engines have a lot of potential if you let them breath properly.

      Thanks for posting
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      05-27-2012 04:10 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by rlfletch View Post
      Robert Loggia FTW!
      did someone say Robert Loggia?

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      05-27-2012 06:05 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by VwG60Kid View Post
      ronin.


      Quote Originally Posted by Porridgehead View Post
      There is no such thing as a purist Chevette enthusiast, any more than there is a diarrhetic pedophile metastasized tumor enthusiast.

    29. 05-27-2012 06:48 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      250 hp from a 417 cubic inch engine only sounds really impressive if pushrod and carb'd, even for 1977.
      The GM pushrod 400 V8 was making 180 hp with carbs then, and was not even in the same price range.
      But this huge overhead cam fuel injected 6.9 engine is amazing because Mercedes?
      Just trying to figure this out.

      You might consider looking at the particular C+D issue that this came from as it had a comparison between this MB and the fastest American 4dr available at the time, the Plymouth Gran Fury PI. The MB trounced the Plymouth without working up much of a sweat

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      06-19-2012 08:14 PM #30







    31. Get Off My Lawn!!! vwlarry's Avatar
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      06-19-2012 08:45 PM #31
      I drove these cars...lots of them, when they were fresh and new, and I can guaran-damn-tee you that they blasted to 60 in 8 of the QUICKEST seconds you'll ever experience. Road&Track was notorious for its slow acceleration test results, though, so that's not surprising to me.

      These cars were the stuff of legend, right out of the box. A 450SEL was awesome, but the 6.9 was AWESOME.
      Do you enjoy old cars and long-winded stories about them? If your answer is "yes", then you might enjoy my blogpage. Try it here: http://vwlarry.blogspot.com . Leave a comment, too; I love feedback! Thanx for reading.

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      06-19-2012 08:47 PM #32
      Man it must be like a kick in the ass from God when you boot it at 50 MPH.
      Jared
      Originally user 22691
      "I'm trying to live vicariously through jrod here and my vicarious
      life would be better if he had a twin turbo. Or a ****ing pirate
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    33. Get Off My Lawn!!! vwlarry's Avatar
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      06-19-2012 08:50 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by Jrod511 View Post
      Man it must be like a kick in the ass from God when you boot it at 50 MPH.
      Yes. The thrust from a full-throttle kickdown like that is even more impressive than the off-line launch. They used to use a word in auto-journalism..."stonking"...that describes it pretty well. Once I had permission to take one to over 100 in such a manner (from the owner), and it was simply eye-widening.
      Do you enjoy old cars and long-winded stories about them? If your answer is "yes", then you might enjoy my blogpage. Try it here: http://vwlarry.blogspot.com . Leave a comment, too; I love feedback! Thanx for reading.

      To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. - Aristotle

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