In 1992, we started AutoWeek with Klokje Rond, the division where we take a closer look at a car with a respectable mileage. Exactly thirty years ago, the Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL was a guest car, with more than three tons on the table. He seemed indestructible back then, but was that really the case?
Mercedes of the ’70s and ’80s (some more than others) are known for being completely indestructible. The same applies to the S-Class W116 and its successor, W126. Exactly thirty years ago we had a W116 as a guest at Klokje Rond which contributed to this reputation. A 1979 450 SEL to be exact. One of the last generation, because in that year the W126 appeared. A fully developed car, plus a V8 in circulation since 1963 at the front. If this is not a recipe for longevity!
The luxury Mercedes was already having a good life in 1992. The 450 SEL was thirteen years old at the time and had covered 309.720 km. Omer and miles we don’t immediately pay attention to receiving you at Klokjee Ronde, but we are still respectful. The car was bought new in 1979 by the father of the guy who brought it to us for inspection in 1992. According to him, it was a really dear car. After the relatively busy first phase of his life, the aging SEL appeared only in fine weather. Once a week at most.
This is reflected in the car. Despite its age and miles, the Benz still looks almost like new, inside and out. On the road with the 450 SEL, we didn’t discover very impressive details. The judge got the impression that the V8 needed a slightly better tweak. An analysis of the engine in the garage confirmed this suspicion. The judge also brought in two worn brake pads on the front of the SEL. Just some maintenance, nothing serious.
The condition of the car reflects not only the quality of the design, but also how it is handled. This Mercedes-Benz has been kept on the road with great love and care. Thus the conclusion was that this example “should be able to become a classic without much effort”. Did that work? Yes, of course. Not a little. We’ve been talking about checking out Klokje Rond for at least thirty years, but that example is still with us to this day! It has a MOT until October of this year. Another nice find: the car remained in the possession of the first owner until 2017. Perhaps his son took over the 450 SEL after that? We’d love to hear how it goes.
“Coffee buff. Twitter fanatic. Tv practitioner. Social media advocate. Pop culture ninja.”