Mercedes-Benz 450SEL

It’s a LHD Mercedes-Benz lux­ury limou­sine, but you’ll soon for­get how big it is once you’re in the chauf­feur’s seat

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - Nick Larkin


The smooth surge of power seems end­less from the 4.5-litre V8 thump­ing away in front of you, al­though the three-speed auto takes some of the sting out of the rate of climb – it’s slightly pon­dorous. Be­ing a US-spec­i­fi­ca­tion SEL, it’s left-hand drive and in some­thing this size that for­mat takes a lit­tle get­ting used to. But you’re quickly re­as­sured by the as­sis­tance of­fered by the whine-free power steer­ing sys­tem. The ride is su­perb – even by mod­ern stan­dards – and the car is well damped. It han­dles con­fi­dently with­out any wor­ry­ing rat­tles or jud­ders. The brakes are up to scratch too, and re­spond strongly with­out squeal­ing or pulling to ei­ther side. A fresh MoT will be sup­plied on sale.


The paint­work was a lit­tle dull but would cer­tainly re­spond well to the pol­isher, be­ing in good con­di­tion. There’s no sig­nif­i­cant rust on the bodywork and all looks fine un­der­neath. All the bright­work strips and de­tail­ing are in sound or­der too, apart from a few mi­nor stone chips which should be easy to rem­edy. The chrome­work is good, par­tic­u­larly around the stacked headlights so it shouldn’t need any ex­pen­di­ture here.


The seats and floor cov­er­ings are vir­tu­ally as new. All the mas­sive switches ac­ti­vate what they are sup­posed to ac­ti­vate, in­clud­ing the elec­tric win­dows. All the gauges work well too. The chromed heat/ven­ti­la­tion con­trols are also in lovely con­di­tion. A non-orig­i­nal Blaupunkt ra­dio/ cas­sette in-car en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem is fit­ted, but it works well and doesn’t look out of place.


The vast en­gine and all its an­cil­lar­ies, in­clud­ing the fuel injection sys­tem, look to be in clean or­der. Even though it had been stand­ing for a while, the car eased into ac­tion af­ter a cou­ple of turns on the starter and all seems to be well, sug­gest­ing a low mileage. The en­gine soon warmed up thor­oughly and there was no sign of knocks or wear. There’s a bit of tape around a bat­tery lead to take care of, but oth­er­wise the hoses are good and we could find no sus­pi­cious leaks – and we had a thor­ough look.


This car has ob­vi­ously been loved, though there’s not a lot of doc­u­men­ta­tion to sup­port what must have been a rig­or­ous ser­vice rou­tine. Ev­ery­thing does look to be in good or­der and this could eas­ily be given a lit­tle TLC to be turned into a show star. It’s not some­thing to buy on a whim, but we’re sure many a Mercedes-Benz en­thu­si­ast will go mad for this car.

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