This car is a 1972 4.5 liter sedan, the last year of production of the venerable W108-109 series and has been driven 69,000 miles in 50 years.. It is painted in factory correct Tobacco Brown with MB-Tex seating. Under prior ownership, the car received several very expensive upgrades: all carpeting was replaced with high quality wool, the door panels were redone with wood inserts, the wood dashboard and wood window trim were removed and restored to new condition and the engine bay was treated to a very expensive detailing.
The body style of these cars originated in 1961 when MB hired the French designer Paul Bracq to come up with a new design for their coupes and cabriolets, which internally were given the code name W111. The cars were an immediate sensation and together with the 300SLs restored MB to its pre-war status as a world-class automobile company. In 1965, under Bracq’s design team, MB added a sedan and the famous “Pagoda” two-door roadster. These body styles collectively are viewed by classic car connoisseurs as the gold standard in post-war automobile design. With the passage of fifty years, they are even more coveted now than when they were originally sold.
While the body styles remained mostly unchanged from 1961 to 1972, the focus shifted to engine design. The original cars were powered by MB’s venerable in-line six cylinder, but by the mid-1960s, the American market, in particular, wanted more powerful engines, especially as US smog control equipment became mandatory and further reduced the horsepower of the six.
As a result, in 1969, Mercedes introduced the M116 3.5 V8 engine across the entire line (except for the lighter Pagoda roadsters) where it became the base V8 engine from 1969-1972. This engine would ultimately go on to serve as the power plant for all sedans for decades, with minor variations, initially producing 200bhps and came with a Bosch electronic fuel injection system and electronic ignition system that have proven to be bulletproof over almost 45 years of continuous use.
The sedan you see here is a 1972 with a 4.5 V8. That engine was an outgrowth of the 3.5 and made the 4.5 a unique and relatively rare car as it was only mated with the sedan for 16 months (from March 1971 to November 1972), at which point MB transitioned to a new body style (code named W116).