This Cannonball-Veteran Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 Is Our BaT Pick


  • This Mercedes 450SEL 6.9 is claimed to have completed second in
    the 1979 Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Sprint.
  • The automobile exhibits 45,000 miles and advantages from a very good little bit of latest service.
  • The public sale ends on Sunday, July 2.

Automobile and Driver

For a time, the Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 was the quickest sedan on the planet. It should not come as a shock, then, that one would have ended up operating the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Sprint. And now, your hard-earned scratch may put an (alleged) little slice of automotive-counterculture historical past in your storage.

1978 mercedes 450sel

Carry a Trailer

Up for public sale on Carry a Trailer—which, like Automobile and Driver, is part of the Hearst Autos group—is a 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 with an attention-grabbing pedigree. Based on the vendor, this automobile allegedly completed second within the last operating of the Cannonball in 1979. There is no paper path to hyperlink it to such an achievement, however based on an account of the ultimate race, a 6.9 did end in second place, some eight minutes behind the profitable Jaguar XJ-S.

Whatever the veracity of those claims, this is not the primary time this particular 6.9 has crossed BaT’s digital public sale block. The automobile was posted in 2017, however the last bid of $26,000 failed to achieve the reserve. Given how classic-car costs have reached the ionosphere over the previous couple of years, we would not be stunned if the present go-around instructions an excellent greater flooring.

Regardless of the 6.9 badge on the again, this 450SEL will get its driving force from a 6.8-liter V-8 that, when new, was good for 250 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque—numbers that had been enough to push the massive Benz to 140 mph in its day. Since this car was acquired by its present proprietor in 2020, the eight-cylinder has picked up new gaskets and cooling-system elements, along with a brand new battery and an air con compressor. A 3-speed automated transmission handles the shifting, and it too has been serviced. The 6.9 additionally got here geared up with a hydropneumatic suspension, and once more it is just lately been attended to.

1978 mercedes benz 450sel

Carry a Trailer

The 6.9’s black leather-based inside seems nicely maintained, though its manufacturing unit Becker stereo is now hooked as much as aftermarket audio system. Some work has been executed in right here since 2020 as nicely, together with service on the vacuum-operated door locks and a freshening-up of the wooden trim. The publish notes that the cruise management would not work, so hopefully your proper foot nonetheless does.

Headshot of Andrew Krok

Senior Editor

Vehicles are Andrew Krok’s jam, together with boysenberry. After graduating with a level in English from the College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009, Andrew reduce his enamel writing freelance journal options, and now he has a decade of full-time assessment expertise underneath his belt. A Chicagoan by beginning, he has been a Detroit resident since 2015. Perhaps someday he’ll do one thing about that half-finished engineering diploma.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here