With its all-dominating S-class cars selling so well the range was losing the cache of exclusivity, and Mercedes-Benz needed something extra for the image conscious plutocrat. A 6.9-litre V8 engine did the trick, along with self-levelling Hydropneumatic suspension. Reassuringly expensive, the same money would buy you two XJ-S V12s and a Lancia Beta HPE, but the 450SEL 6.9 still sold in surprising numbers. Now prices are a little closer to earth, but you still need a comfortable income to meet the running costs.
Price at launch: