We don’t often see a car with royal provenance come up for sale, but this 1973 Mercedes-Benz 280S auction provides a chance to own a vehicle formerly belonging to Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf. Bidding begins on September 21. The seller Bilweb Auctions estimates it to bring the equivalent of $10,750 to $13,442 (120,000 to 150,000 Swedish krona).
King Carl XVI Gustaf ascended to Sweden’s throne in 1973 – the same year the Royal Stables acquired this Mercedes. He’s the longest-serving monarch in the country’s history and the first to reign for 50 years, according to ABC News.
This Mercedes is relatively spartan from what you’d probably expect from a car for transporting royalty. The 280S is the base version of the S-Class at the time. It has a Solex-carburetor-equipped 2.8-liter inline-six making 158 horsepower (118 kilowatts) and a four-speed automatic. The interior has a mix of blue fabric and vinyl. There’s no air conditioning.
The Swedish Royal Stables kept this Mercedes from March 1973 to June 1979. The auction includes service records through 1983. The Mercedes needs some attention to make it worthy of royalty again. There’s some exterior damage, chipped paint, and missing trim. The driver’s seat fabric has some tears, and the floors need cleaning. The listing says the engine starts easily. The odometer shows 332,619 kilometers (206,680 miles).
Being the king of Sweden is a ceremonial role and doesn’t come with a leadership role in the nation’s government. The person acts as head of state to meet with foreign dignitaries and gets to present the Nobel Prizes to the winners, according to the Associated Press.
This generation of S-Class goes by the internal designation W116. Production ran from 1972, and the company built 473,035 examples of the sedan at the Sindelfingen plant through 1979.
The 450SEL 6.9 was the performance-focused variant of this iteration. It used a 6,834-cc V8 engine making 286 hp and 405 lb-ft for the European-market version. The sport sedan had hydropneumatic self-leveling suspension.