1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SE


  • A legendary Mercedes model
  • Only three owners and relatively modest mileage
  • Thorough and extensive history file

The Appeal

As the flagship of the Mercedes range, the W116 of the mid to late Seventies was often called upon as  the chosen ride of heads of state, plutocrats, the odd dictator, and persons of wealth and note in general. It offered supreme build quality, an unburstable engine and plenty of comfort and legroom; all qualities it retains today.

The 450SE remains a striking motor, individual, discreet, and something different from the AI-designed luxo-barges of today. As a tourer, or even a slightly extravagant family car, it is still well up to the task.

The History and Paperwork

  • Service book stamped from new
  • Mileage corroborated by full set of MOT certificates
  • Comprehensive set of invoices
  • Seller confirms that the vehicle will be fully serviced and MOT'd prior to delivery

As well as its comprehensively stamped service book, this Mercedes brings with it a comprehensive set of invoices from both Charles Sidney (who supplied the car) and, more latterly, from Merc-Care (now German Auto Care) in Leeds.

Needing no major rebuilds or restoration, the bills show successive owners always undertaking whatever was needed to keep the car running on top form.

It’s also reassuring to see how the mileage (fairly modest for one of these) is fully corroborated by the comprehensive collection of MOT certificates.

The Exterior 

  • Paintwork retains a good gloss
  • All panels straight 
  • Good chrome

This late-Seventies Mercedes S-Class presents well in metallic blue. Overall, the gloss across the paintwork remains deep and creates a good overall impression. The bodywork is in largely good shape – a couple of small rust patches on two lower door corners – and panel fit remaining very good all around the car. Shut lines are narrow and creases in the contours run smoothly from one panel to the next. The big doors do not sag when opened. There are a couple of minor dents in the rear of the boot lid.

Chrome trim was still a big feature on the W116 series, and most of this remains bright. The double bumpers run straight with their rubber trim intact. Window surrounds are bright and rain gutters clean. There are a couple of small untidy joins in the brightwork and a little pitting behind the door handles, but, like the paintwork, the overall impression is good. The trademark grill is tidy and the big headlight lenses bright. Rear badges are smart and cleanly mounted.

The big Merc shows her age a little but remains tidy and presentable.

The Interior

  • Original velour trim
  • Roomy and comfortable

Mercedes trimmed their luxury velour interiors to a very high standard. All the original textures and patterns remain with subtle colour contrasts in blue and grey. There is some wear to the material, but overall, the cabin retains its air of understated sophistication and luxury. There are a couple of small marks on the driver’s seat cushion, and small tears in the front seat material. Those in the rear show very little wear. All the seats have well-defined edges with piping that is very much intact.

The fabric panels in the door trim echo the seat textures. They remain clean and are largely straight. The hefty door handles are firmly mounted, and the heavy-duty leather/plastics of the doors/dashboard retain all of their colour and shape. Both steering wheel and gear selector are still very presentable, and the centre console is clean. Switches and sliders work smoothly and are firmly mounted – as is the gear selector – and edges and recesses within the trim are clean and tidy.

Carpets are clean and the edges of mats straight. The headlining does not sag but does have a few small marks.

The Mechanics 

  • Solid underneath 
  • Smooth-running V8
  • Retains period wheel trims

The big Merc’s engine bay looks quite weathered, but everything appears to be very much intact and in its proper place. Some ancillaries/brackets show oxidation or light surface corrosion, but there appears nothing to concern. Wiring looks good, and hoses and H/T leads look healthy. None have perished or split, and their seals and clips look to be in good condition too. The radiator and its top hose look very healthy.

The metal around the bay looks robust, there are a few corroded edges, but the metal in general appears strong, with suspension towers sturdy and clean seams along the inner/outer wing joins. Similarly, the metal around the boot sides and floor is good. The car retains its original tool kit.
The underside of the Mercedes appears weathered but generally robust.


Several points single this example out from the ‘big old Merc’ herd. Firstly, the mileage isn’t huge – this engine and frame can do at least triple that without breaking a sweat. Also, the car has only had three owners, who were obviously involved in its upkeep. Lastly, it has always been well-maintained, actually by people who have known the car all its life.

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.

A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.

All bidding, buying and offers are subject to our Terms and Conditions.

Please see our FAQs here and our Terms & Conditions here

Vehicle specification
  • Year 1977
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model S Class (116)
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 66,073 Miles
  • Engine size 4520
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Leeds
  • Location Yorkshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
7 bids from 4 bidders
  • VT•••• £6,500 08/06/23
  • bm•••• £6,400 08/06/23
  • VT•••• £6,300 08/06/23
  • bm•••• £6,200 07/06/23
  • al•••• £6,100 07/06/23
  • al•••• £6,000 03/06/23
  • wa•••• £1,000 26/05/23

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