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Discreet luxury was his secret to success. The Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9 surpassed in power and strength not only the state-supporting Mercedes 600, he took it on, even with the fastest supercars. For best car in the world, the press declared the exorbitantly expensive chrome cruiser, the his buyers nevertheless made the global bestseller.

Was born of this Mercedes-superlative at a time were worn as other supercars straight to the grave. The Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9 succeeded 40 years ago, which was denied most of its V8 and V12 competitors: The hitherto fastest Stuttgart luxury sedan scored with potent engine and technical delicacies, was prestige strong but swank freely, reaching so amazingly high sales , Made a decisive contribution has sent a knitted optical Tarnkleid for the consuming tests in about 23 liters of Super, 210 kW / 286 hp V8. Important to avoid public provocations so soon after the first oil crisis. Therefore, the brand with the star hid their motor crown jewels under the large-scale garment of conventional and less than half as expensive S-Class long-wheelbase version.

Who the type lettering 450 SEL 6.9 abwählte as quite a few buyers on the trunk lid, could virtually travel incognito. Also, a guarantee of success in Europe in the 1970s. Were there but a socio-political and social change, which is hardly possible made in many countries to show luxury goods publicly. A trend of fast luxury sedans like Iso Fidia, Maserati Quattroporte II, Monica 560, or Monteverdi High Speed ​​375/4 ultimately proved fatal. Only Aston Martin Lagonda and De Tomaso Deauville could exist, but arrived just dwarfish eight percent of the production figures of the Stuttgart star cruiser, but 6.9 proud 7,380 units were sold in four years from the Mercedes 450 SEL. What looked tiny compared to 473,000 units amounting total circulation of the S-Class W 116 series, the 6.9 made in its competitive environment to superstardom.

A star, which exceeded even the ambitious targets of Stuttgart. To meet demand, Mercedes had to shortly after its market launch, the first planned annual production of 1,000 vehicles doubled. At the end of his career exceeded the 450 SEL 6.9 even its predecessor, the 6500 to 1972 good times sold 300 SEL 6.3. In fact, Mercedes had its new 6.9-liter S-Class flagship - the representation sedan 600 remained in the parallel program - announced in September 1972. But as Daimler-Benz CEO Hans Scherenberg explained to the market launch of the 6.9 three years later, Kraftstoffknauserer were then as new diesel and petrol 230.4 Once more important. Following a swift train had, the political debate about fast and powerful cars but calmed down a bit, at least in Germany to 1975 again. And the passing lanes German motorways there were in everyday traffic actually not four-door, which could compete with the 450 SEL 6.9.

Not even the hitherto fastest sedan, the Jaguar XJ12 L could go by the according to press up to 235 km / h Mercedes fleets. In the sales figures alone, the English twelve-cylinder was in the lead, however, was played by a much lower prestige and price league. The advertised Mercedes acceleration time of 7.4 seconds for the sprint from zero to 100 of more than five meters long and was superior to 2.4 ton colossus even the Porsche 911 Targa. Only the Monteverdi 375/4 promised at least in the prospectus again slightly better four-door performance. Looked like a race car for the already 450 SEL 6.9, the dry sump lubrication of the V8, which was delivered in the United States until 1977. Again waited Mercedes off, brightened the mood to hating despite strict 55-mile limit first Smileys. The right decision, because the Americans loved the German Autobahnjet so much that they even took delivery times into account.

Actually, however, it was Mercedes is not about the best possible performance, they were more of a byproduct of the search for maximum comfort. Thanks to a strong back then impressive maximum torque of 549 Nm at just 3000 revs / min not only dramatically much pulling power was present, but also a very direct rear axle ratio of 2.65: 1 is possible. This allowed low speeds and thus a barely perceptible engine noise in relaxed cruising - to which the three-speed automatic transmission and the vibration current V8 animated anyway. Comfort at its best, moreover, brought about the standard hydropneumatic suspension with self-leveling at the front and rear axle.

A significant step forward compared to the predecessor in the 300 SEL 6.3 used air suspension and the result of research that began loudly Daimler-Benz CEO Scherenberg already in the 1950s. A decade ago, but this principle has already been used as standard in the types 15 Six H and DS in the Citroen. After all, the ground clearance of the Mercedes 6.9 could now be adjusted with pull on the instrument panel by four centimeters. Good for steep descents and edgy underground parking in Monte Carlo and New York and for the bumpy for Manor.

Visually the six-nines was to differentiate itself from its more mundane S-Class siblings only by the wide tires measuring 215/70 VR 14, because at that time still unusual headlight cleaning system, there was an option for all other types. Ever extras were a chapter in itself and the six-nines. According to the Mercedes-communication standard equipment left nothing to be desired, already air conditioning, central locking and electric windows were still covered by the basic price. This was initially almost 70,000 Mark and four years later over 81,000 Mark. As much as two V8 of the type 350 SE, more than two Opel Diplomat V8 and almost as much as an Aston Martin V8. Significantly more expensive were only Bentley and Rolls-Royce, which Mercedes yes still met with the representation model 600.

In the UK, however, the English prestige sedans at eye level of the six-Neuner were priced. This one was particularly popular as in the US and in Arabia. When ordering any special equipment, the starting price of the 450 SEL 6.9 was slightly increase by half - and how they are still without customizations common in the ultra-luxury class. Among the options already listed today for granted as right exterior mirrors and alloy wheels, as well as a time up to 20,000 marks expensive car telephone system.

Even the late 1970s revolutionary ABS braking system was available during the production period of the S-Class flagship model, in which the digital revolution had otherwise not yet played a role. Not the case with CAD-designed follow-up S-Class W 126, which was introduced in 1979 and in May 1980, the 450 SEL 6.9 sent into retirement. The exception among the automotive high performance saloons, the opinion of many of his driver and tester in the world had no equal.

1966: Start of development for the S-Class W 116 series
1972: In August, series production of the series W 116. The new S-Class flagship model of the 450 SEL 6.9 is announced
1973: IAA premiere of 450 SE and SEL in September. The 450 SE wins the title "Car of the Year 1973 '
1974: After the first oil crisis starts in September in the US, the import of the 280 S with only 120 hp. The launch of the tip type 450 SEL 6.9 is in favor of new Diesel the Stroke Eight series moved back into a politically "car friendly" time
1975: In May in Le Hohwald press presentation of the 450 SEL 6.9 as the new S-Class flagship model of the series. In September of 6.9 celebrating at the Frankfurt IAA its public premiere
1977: The company starts exporting to the 450 SEL 6.9 in the USA
1979: At the IAA, the S-class generation of series W 126 celebrates world premiere
1980: production run for the 450 SEL 6.9 in May to a total of 7,380 units

Important technical data Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9:
Dimensions: Length 5:06 m, width 1.87 m, height 1.41 meters, 2.96 meters wheelbase
6.83-liter V8 petrol engine, three-speed automatic, 210 kW / 286 hp, max. Torque 549 Nm at 3,000 r / min, 0-100 km / h: 7.4 s, Vmax 225 km / h (in tests to 235 km / h).

Prices Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9:
69 930 Mark (Jan 1976)
73 093 Mark (March 1977)
73 752 Mark (January 1978)
77 392 Mark (april 1978)
78 960 Mark (December 1978)
81 247 Mark (September 1979)
important options with prices (1979): Additional heater 1,655 Mark, driver and passenger heated seats each 248 Mark, rear seat heater 497 Mark, rear seat electrically adjustable 864 Mark, orthopedic driver and front passenger seat respectively 94 Mark, increased driver and passenger seats each 30 marks to 25 mm lower driver and passenger seats each 152 Mark, Mexico Cassette Radio 1,858 Mark, rear speaker 276 Mark, automatic climate control 587 Mark, electric sunroof 1,169 Mark, leather upholstery 395 Mark, Metallic Paint 1,243 Mark, alloy wheels 1,169 Mark, coir matting 163 Mark, reading lights in the rear 98 Mark , alarm 644 Mark, Fanfare Zweiklang 204 Mark, Mark 62 Fire extinguisher, car phone Becker AT 40S 17,063 Mark, mounting hardware kit Becker AT40S 1,864 Mark, outside mirror right 101 Mark, ABS 2,293 Mark, automatic antenna 333 Mark, hitch 531 Mark etc.

Sorry for the bad English from Google the Pictures will make up for it.:wink:

Happy Birthday!: 40 Jahre Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9 - Fotostrecke - Mercedes-Fans - Das Magazin für Mercedes-Benz-Enthusiasten
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