If the name Paul Heidenreich & Co. rings a bell, you’re either a German citizen or have a vast knowledge of German automotive history. Today the company deals in environmental clean-up, storage, and maintenance, but back in 1975 they sold cars. Top-of-the-line cars to be exact. It was at this dealership 45 years ago that this particular Mercedes Benz 450 SEL made its debut.
Now, we at Mortie’s don’t claim to be experts in 1970’s European luxury sedans, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know a cool car when we see one. Features such as a self-leveling hydropneumatic adjustable suspension, four-wheel disk brakes, limited slip differential, heated seats, headlight windshield wipers, power windows, power sunroof, 140 mph speedometer, and, of course, the 286 hp, 405 ft. lb. of torque, 6.9 liter engine, must have made this car as cool as the other side of pillow back in 1975.
While this luxury cruiser started off its journey in its homeland, it didn’t spend much time there. A woman by the name of Karin Mahr from Lützelbach Germany had originally purchased the car back in August of 1975 and after six years of tearing up the autobahn, was ready to sell. By November of 1981, the car had made its way across the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal, and finally reached the USA through the port of Los Angeles by order of Dr. Perry Bubis of Glendale California. Since the 6.9 wasn’t available in North America until 1977 and brought with it a price tag of around $53,000 in 1981 (that’s not adjusted for inflation) we can only surmise that it was cheaper for the good doctor to have this model shipped in from Germany. Either that or he wasn’t willing to part with the 17 hp loss that the North American cars received. Either way, the car swapped hands a couple of times in the early 1980’s before finally landing in Sioux Falls on June 1st, 1984 in the hands of Mortie’s father-in-law, Paul Mundt. Over the next 35 plus years the car has been owned in one way or another by a member of the Mundt family, with very minimal use. Since the car was first brought to South Dakota back in April of 1982 by Darrell Steven Pace it has only seen 9,382 mi of road time, giving it a current odometer reading of 42,357 mi. Since the car should be relatively maintenance free up until 50,000 mi., it’s technically still awaiting its first scheduled tune-up.
This car has been a part of the Mortie’s family since 1984, but now it’s time to give it a new home. It has had a long history so far and we would like to see that legacy continued. Being that the car is still in such good shape with minimal rust and a working motor and transmission we would prefer to pass the car along to someone who could restore it to former glory. We’d be lying to say the car didn’t have its share of faults though. The front driver’s seat is torn in multiple places, there are a series of scrapes, dings, and dents in the body, the center console and dash have a number of holes from various gadgets installed along the way, and the stock alloy wheels have been replaced with a chrome set off a mid-90’s E-Class. Other features such as the sunroof are still in working order and as a highly unique feature, it does come with a vintage Blaupunkt Autoradio that looks at home in a 007 movie. Overall, the car is a terrific candidate for a refresh. Unfortunately, we don’t have the expertise in these types of automobiles, so we’re passing the torch to the next worthy candidate. Hopefully with the prospect of seeing this vintage sport/luxury sedan live to see another day.