View Full Version : Why did you buy a W116?

17th April 2008, 07:58 PM
Irrespective of the model, why did you buy, acquire a W116?
What is that appealed to you? Engineering? Styling? Comfort? Image? Cost?
Why is that we own these cars? Let's hear about your experiences and why you chose this S Class auto.

17th April 2008, 08:08 PM
I bought it because Des was selling it...

But I've only owned W116s - they are the only appealing car in the MB range.

I like the front indicators...

... and the door trims.


17th April 2008, 09:12 PM
Being a child of the 70's raised in the 80's, this was one of the quintessential cars that left an impression on me. Family friends had one, neighbours had one. They have a nicely balanced chassis that does well on the highway as well as the twisty tarmac.

17th April 2008, 09:53 PM
Like father, like son.

My father bought a '75 280SE new at the Sindelfingen factory and when the 6.9 came out I just had to have one...it took me 32 years.

I smile whenever I think that I've finally got one.

17th April 2008, 10:04 PM
I have always had a thing for Merc's. Even as a boy reading car magazines dreaming about his first car, I would always pour over the Merc's. I remember the first time I ever saw a W116 in the flesh (long before I could drive), I knew that someday I would own one. Image has nothing to do with it for me, but styling and engineering definitely do. The fact that most W116's are well priced is also a bonus.

The 2 W116's I have owned (280SEL and a 6.9) are older than any other car I have owned. I have found that since owning them, the appeal of newer cars has gone down. Dont get me wrong, I still love looking at and driving new cars, but my desire to own any of them is less.

I think it has a lot to do with how ahead of their time W116's were. They make most normal mass market modern cars seem quite ordinary when you think how so much of the stuff that is just normal equipment a car now was available on a W116 30 years ago.

I am about to go through the process of replacing my 2003 model daily driver with something else, but I have to say, not many new cars take my fancy enough to justify spending the bucks on, especially when you attitude shifts toward thinking of a modern car as just transport because you quickly realise that there is no love there (or much harder to come by at least).

I had a new Commodore SV6 hire car last week, it was a fantastic and I had a great time driving it but I couldn't see myself forking out for one. If I had not already owned a W116, I might just have ended with a VE Commodore as my next daily driver. If anyone knows any trick to finding a modern car that one thinks of as more than transport, let me know because I spend so long driving mine on a regular basis, I would like to have at least bit of 'love' there.

17th April 2008, 10:14 PM
Becasue sometimes an offer that is too good to refuse turns into love at first sight.

17th April 2008, 10:15 PM
I wanted to buy an old Benz, saw a couple of other models and then fell in love with the W116 style and shape. I knew next to nothing about Benzes at the time, especially ones with Solex carbs, so it really was love at first sight!:)

18th April 2008, 05:55 AM
It was back in about 1972 that I bought a 1959 - 190 which was a great little car, with horrible Nitto tyres that could not keep the car in a straight line except when going around corners. Fitting Olympic GT Radials (anyone remember them-great tyre) fixed all handling problems, believe it or not !

It was economical on a trip (27 miler per gallon), but the engine was spoilt by a noisy timing chain. I had this replaced by a well known Merc. specialist still in business today, but when I got it back, black fuel smoke and 19 mpg became the norm - obviously, the valve timing had to be out. It was not the same again, and sold it shortly afterwards.

I then had a brief flirtation with a 220SE Finny (more on that some other time), then a 1965 or '66 plain 250 (absolute rust bucket - sold it a Debiens Auctions for $1400.00) that handled brilliantly, and then I had a seven year affair with a 1966 - 300SEL. Brilliant family car, self levelling, huge boot needed when Dad and family used to go Motor Bike riding and racing, but that was about it Mercedes wise for a while until, at an auction several years later, I stumbled across a 6.3. More of that some other time (again).

In the meantime, I owned several Rovers - in fact, a Rover 90 was my first car at the age of 20 (dreadful car-my fault, not the car's) and I owned several 3 litre Coupes (still do !) and also some 3500S's. It was during ownership of those, that I first came across my 'Gleaming Beauty' - August 1995.

Now, bear in mind that I already had a 6.3 - not mobile, but I thought that they were THE ULTIMATE Mercedes and, at one stage looking through the Herald, I had seen a 6.9 advertised for $38k, - that was some two years earlier. That amount of money 'closed the books' for me and, besides, in my view it could not hold a candle to my 6.3, could it ? Nah, there was nothing that appealed to me - just a modern car, no charisma, my nose couldn't have been higher up when drawing comparisons between 6.3 and 6.9 until.....

I spotted this dark metallic blue in a side street - as part of Amos Classics at Burwood. Just looking at the car attracted the salesman who immediately offered to sell the car for $2k. less than the sticker price "if I bought the car today". Took it for a run, nothing special but it was okay (if you know what I mean) and it was purely by accident that I spotted the 6.9 badge on the boot lid. That rang the bells between my ears (I know, that's all you'll find there) - $15k. less $2k. equates to $38K. two years earlier - I WAS MORE THAN INTERESTED all of a sudden. There's lots more to tell, but in the end I bought the car, not because it was a 116 (I wouldn't have known that there was such a model or terminology), not because of its looks or style, but simply because I felt that it was dirt cheap at the price we settled (after an inspection) and it was, after all, a 6.9. I picked it up some four weeks later and by the time I reached West Ryde (from Burwood) the question I asked myself there and then - why would you bother owning any other car ! It just drove so beautifully.

Appreciation of the 116 range, and its other allied features, only gradually built up over the years of ownership and I am still a happy and satisfied chappie today. That's part of my story. Regards Styria

18th April 2008, 09:10 AM
Becasue sometimes an offer that is too good to refuse turns into love at first sight.

I thought that was the case too... Then after the first hour, she asked for more money!! :eek: :D :eek: :D

On 116's though, same case here. $300 was too good to pass up, now I love em!

Cam2. :)

18th April 2008, 01:16 PM
For me, Engineering, Styling, Comfort and Cost all apply in this case, but first and foremost it has to do with the fact that since I was very young my Dad has had at least a W116 or two.

Then a couple of years ago my Dad bought his blue 450SEL and I got to have a drive of it, and I was like, "Whoa...I gotta get me one of these!"

I had driven some other cars as I was learning, usually younger vehicles by 10 or 20 years or so, but I was amazed at this big effortless luxury "barge" (as I referred to it at the time, seeming so big) and my Dad had always said how good a car they are.

So I bought my 280SEL not long after and went from there really. I did at first want a V8 W116, as you can probably imagine, but the 280 impressed me and that revvy twin cam sound drew me in and basically I just loved the whole car...including the white colour and the gold pin stripes :D

Then recently I got my 350SE for $800 (though, it's gonna cost me a lot more than that over time!), so I do have a V8 W116 now anyway. Like all of them, it has it's own personality and I love it even though it's rough in a lot of ways.

John S
20th April 2008, 10:58 AM
Deciding it was no fun just going to work and coming home, I bought a boat and had great fun for 5 or 6 years until no one was interested in using it on a regular basis, so I ended up just taking it out once a month for an hour or two by myself to keep it in good condition (end of fun) so I decided to sell the boat and buy an older car instead.

I bought a 116 because I could not find a good Jaguar 420G (first love) nor a Armstrong Sidley Star Sapphire (next choice), nor one of the larger Austin / Woolsley 110 models. I eventuallyrealised air conditioning was a must, as was performance, so what "classic" car had airconditioning and performance? A larger model Mercedes perhaps! (A friend had a new 230 a few years before which he said was a slug in traffic) Looking in the Herald the range of models confused me, so I went to "Wheels" bookshop located at Lennox Bridge in Parramatta and ended up buying the Brooklands Road Test books on Mercedes S class, 1965-72 and 1972-79. The enthusiastic road test reports on the 116's sold me on buying a 450SEL, so I joined the Mercedes Benz Club (NSW) and bought my 116 a few weeks later. Had fun for the next 11 years.

21st April 2008, 05:28 AM
Hi JohnS, so where did you end up buying your car from ? A dealer ? Out of the Sydney Morning Herald or Trading Post ?

What were your impressions initially after you acquired it, and did you manage to get any log books, service records etc. ? I well remember meeting up with you at North Sydney Leagues Club when I was the librarian of the Club and as green as a Greenhorn. I always used to think that you would have liked the library job. Regards, Styria

9th May 2008, 03:30 PM
My dad was offloading his 280SEL and we agreed on a price and it became my personal limo for the next 4 years. In that time i really enjoyed the cars size, performance and feel. I would hunt around the Internet for info on these cars and found the forums on this model called the W116 and enjoyed reading about everyones experience with these cars. Not only was the 116 a car to drive there was also a daily info session on the net which brought to light all the amazing history and how to fixes of these cars :D

Once out of Uni i decided that should a really good example come along i would buy it and the day came when MB spares had the low Klm 450 SEL on the market back in March 2007. I flew over there and took her for a test drive to Wollongong. Not long after driving off there was a line of cops pulling everyone over for Breath tests and Licence checks :( I wound the window down and the young cop says ' You have certainly looked after this car!" and was genuinly in appraisal of it :) The car had a few issues but nothing i and the forums couldn't sort out so purchased that day.

She still instills admiration from people and is to me a proud moment everytime i look and work on her :)

Thats why i purchased the 450SEL and i thank the 280SEL for the introduction to this model. My dad who sold me the 280SEL had always liked this type of Mercedes and said you could not drive a safer car, he is now passed on but on a curious note when i picked up the 450SEL from Toll-Ipec at Kewdale WA it was on my dads birthday, the 10th of April, so this car is just that little extra special ;)

9th May 2008, 08:16 PM
My first Benz was a W123 230E, nice car to drive, rode very well, had the self leveling rear suspension, then bought a 230 from a friend who was selling it cheap and going overseas, still got that, although it is slowly dieing.
Must have been in 2005 I sold my Statesman, and wanted a V8, loved Mercedes, loved V8's so it seemed natural to buy both, looked at a 450SEL, then thought I'd regret buying it, should go for the top model the 6.9
bought that, didn't really drive it that much, for awhile enjoyed the odd "floor it" at the traffic lights, Soon wears off though, Had a 280S after that, sold that, had a W123 250, sold that, humm what else have I had?, Owned a 280SE for about 1 week, I think that is all the Benzes, just bought a 280CE

The reason(s) I like Mercedes:

Engineering, which combines safety, durability, reliability, well the drive line in these cars is bulletproof, just all the other rubbish that hangs off the motor.
Germans always have been the leaders in technology, science, craftsmanship, intellect, be it watches, cars, tanks, firearms, optics, binoculars etc.. etc..