Continuing in the tradition of the famed 300 SEL 6.3, Mercedes-Benz sought to raise the bar with a low-production 6.9-liter version of its W116 450 SEL luxury flagship. Each hand-assembled dry sump engine would propel these elite cars to 60 mph in seven seconds, and on to a 140 mph top speed. Built on a separate assembly line, they were identifiable only by their special burl wood dashboards and simple 6.9 badging on the trunk. Sold in very small numbers, the luxurious 6.9 was called “a $50,000 exercise in going fast” by automotive journalist David E. Davis Jr., and quickly became an object of desire for the world’s wealthy and famous.
This exceptional example was sold new in early 1978 to a gentleman near Chicago who maintained a large personal automotive stable. Dressed in Astral Silver Metallic over a Blue leather interior, the 6.9 would remain in his care until 2016 with less than 19,000 total miles recorded. Maintenance records indicate that the sedan was sequestered early in its life and has been driven less than 1,000 miles in the past 32 years. It has recently been treated to a thorough detailing and mechanical refurbishment.
Accompanied by its manuals, warning triangle, factory fire extinguisher, tool roll, and what may be one of the last NOS sets of factory blue floor mats, this 6.9 is among the finest surviving examples and can assume a place of honor at any gathering of Mercedes-Benz cars.