It was, and remains, one of the finest, safest and most impressive saloons, and it is surely a testament to the quality of Mercedes engineering that there are still so many in regular use today. Lawrence Meredith on the 450SE, Mercedes-Benz Saloons, Crowood Press. Mercedes-Benz replaced the existing S-Class in 1972, the new W116 line up having been on the drawing board since the mid-1960s. Much of the development programme had concentrated on secondary safety, to such an extent that its occupants were considered more likely to survive an accident in the 450SE saloon (or its peers) than possibly any other car in the world. Base model of the new S-Class was the 280S equipped with a carburettor-fed 2.8-litre twin-cam six, while for those with deeper wallets there was a choice of 350SE or 450SE V8s, both of which were available in long-wheelbase SEL variants. For plutocrats there was the 450SE 6.9. Finished in green with matching velour interior, this automatic-transmission 450SEL was purchased in 1991 and been used sparingly. The car has been maintained by Autocure on the Isle of Wight and comes with a good file of history. On the button (when jump-started) it drove well on a recent test and is presented in generally good condition. The vehicle is offered with recently expired MoT (May 2008) and Swansea V5. No reserve.