MERCEDES BENZ 450 SEL 6.9 (1975), CHASSIS N.116036 12 000267, ENGINE: V8, DISPLACEMENT: 6834 CC, POWER: 286 CV, BODY STYLE: SALOON, THE WOLF-IN-SHEEP-CLOTHING FROM STUTTGART; In 1968 the beautiful S Klasse designed by Frenchman Paul Bracq which, in the long wheelbase version with injection became the SEL, was also proposed with an extreme 6.3 liter engine, derived from that of the 600. This vehicle combined the comfort, space and safety of the great saloon from Stuttgart with the performance of a true sports car: the Americans classed it as a real “Hot Rod”. With the release of the new Class S in 1972 (known by enthusiasts by its design number, W116), the 6.3 went out of production and was not replaced. But the Stuttgart engineers transplanted an even bigger engine - up from 6300 cm3 to 6900 - into the new body. This engine had electronic ignition, overhead single camshafts and a detail worthy of a racing car: a dry sump that made a lower mounting on the vehicle possible. It developed a good 286 horsepower at 4250 revs, and a torque of 56 mkg at just 3000 revs. It was the biggest engine on sale on the market. The chassis parts were also revised with a new hydraulic suspension that improved the already excellent standards of the normal S saloons. Weighing two tons, the 6.9 reached a speed of almost 230 km/h. Its refined technology and low production numbers, made it a gem for the very few: in fact the vehicle’s list price was 29,900,000 Italian Lire, compared to the 15 million Lire of the rather self-indulgent 450 SE, and the 9.6 million of the six cylinder 280. By way of an example, a Porsche Carrera cost 16,400,000 Lire, an Aston Martin DBS V8 cost 22 million, and a Ferrari BB cost just 24,235,000 Lire. The great driver and journalist Paul Frére, in the March 1976 issue of Quattroruote magazine, concluded his test drive simply saying: “Just one adjective can describe this extraordinary vehicle: it’s fabulous!” The vehicle proposed is in excellent original condition. It has 181,000 kilometers on the clock and mechanically it functions perfectly from every aspect, to the extent that it was brought by road from Ferrara to Florence with no problems. The vehicle is in excellent mechanical condition but, for safety reasons, we advise the purchaser to have it checked over and to replace the fluids, filters and perishable elements.