Stand out at any price: Mercedes 450 SL Koenig Specials
This Mercedes SL is not for the quiet introvert! A Mercedes 450 SL converted by cult German tuner Koenig Specials recently went on sale in the US, which just – sorry for the choice of words – looks pornographic. The price may seem steep at first, but it’s fair!
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There was a time when Koenig Specials’ wide body smiled at its maximum. Such flashy Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar or Ferrari are mostly driven by shady people who are mainly active in the red light industry. But this general perception has changed, as in recent years, genuine Koenig Special conversions have become sought-after collector’s items, sometimes paid for at exorbitant prices.
Koenig Specials was founded in 1977
But who is really behind Koenig Specials? The company was founded in 1977 by Willy König. But already in 1974 König started with tuning. The reason is simple: His new Ferrari 365 GT4 BB (first example shipped to Germany) has too little power. Without further ado, König installed a sport exhaust system, but when that didn’t bring the desired performance boost either, he decided to rely on classic engine tuning. Forged pistons, revised cylinder head and new carburetor deliver up to 450 hp and while König was there, he also developed fender flares, rear spoiler and more.
The foundation for Koenig Specials has been laid. The Munich company soon expanded its portfolio to include wilde Twin The now legendary XXL turbo conversion and wide body kit. This not only made Koenig Specials known worldwide, but also one of the most famous tuners of the 80s and 90s.
Original only with three-piece BBS rims
Just like the ’80s swank was recently auctioned on auction platform Bringatrailer.com. 1980 Mercedes 450 SL in a Koenig Specials livery. In addition to a wide body kit consisting of a new apron, fender flares and fender-mounted spoiler lip, the R 107 has three BBS rims with 225/45 (front) and 275/45 (rear) tires and a hardtop in body color.
Bright red Recaro seat in the interior
The interior is even wilder, which is without a doubt the bright red Recaro C Classic seats with electric tuning and Blaupunkt speakers (unconnected) in the headrests. The seats are said to be from Porsche. The dashboard and door panels are new and black, as are the rear seats. The Recaro’s three-spoke steering wheel and zebrano wood trim are also unoriginal.
Boss looks but only a little 160 hp
However, a range of about 105,000 kilometers (65,000 miles) is said to be genuine. No changes were made to the 4.5-liter V8 (M 117), but this is the California version, which at 160 hp is significantly weaker than the EU version (217 to 225 hp).
The seller has owned the custom SL since 2012 and has driven the unobtrusive wide-body Benz for nearly 10,000 kilometers since then. He’s obviously always kept the SL crash-free, as the 42-year-old Mercedes makes such a good impression in the pictures. It has also been regularly serviced, most recently in 2021.
Special Koenig Conversion sold for over 65,000 euros
The Koenig Specials SL has now changed hands for the equivalent of around 65,700 euros (72,000 US dollars). Benz is definitely not cheap stuff, but the price of the original Koenig Special has increased significantly in recent years. In addition, the supply is very low because not many cars survive. In Germany there is currently no R 107 from Koenig Specials, but two SECs are offered, which cost 60,000 and 70,000 euros, respectively. But that’s nothing compared to Willy König’s wild convertible Ferrari. With power up to 1000 hp (Competition Evolution), certainly not for the faint of heart!