Author Topic: Handling: Would you recognise it if you found it in bed with you?  (Read 5801 times)

OzBenzHead

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This post is prompted by a scary experience, when I drove a friend's non-Benz car today; it was a 6-month old commode. Its owner wanted to convince me that GM had finally built a car that handled.

Evan Green, old-time Aussie competition driver and motoring writer, once wrote that the average motorist wouldn't know handling if he found it in bed with him.

How true!

In another thread, Styria wrote:

Handling is subjective-if you dispose of 70km/h corners at 90 (FAIRLY comfortably), then the handling can't be all bad.

And that's being conservative. Okay - so my 280SE has plain old steel springs rather than hydropneumatics, and has a lightweight all-alloy six holding the front down, along with bottletop alloys - all undoubtedly plusses for handling - but my approach to "advisory speed signs" on bends is to consider the advised number of km to be the same number of miles, then apply the large, white, outside figures on my bisexual speedo. The W116 still corners way within well-mannered limits.

Just occasionally I get into a modern "car" (I use the term loosely!) - something like a commode or falcon - and, no matter how conservatively I drive it, I shit myself on every bend, every roundabout, when the tail decides it's a fish! When I need to stop I end up standing with two feet on the pedal, wondering when I'm going to get some reaction; when I do, it's total lock-up! Schei?emobiles!

Give me the predictability, stability, and responsiveness of (any of) my old Benz(es) any day over any modern heap of (non-Benz) camel droppings!
« Last Edit: 10 January 2006, 04:12 PM by OzBenzHead »

Mforcer

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Re: Handling: Would you recognise it if you found it in bed with you?
« Reply #1 on: 10 January 2006, 02:21 PM »
I love the predictable handling nature of these cars and that is the key. It always impresses me when encountering slight understeer while going through a corner can be so easily changed to slight oversteer by applying gentle press of the accelerator. The car always feels planted on the road.
Michael
1977 450SE [Brilliant Red]
2006 B200

Peter Anderson

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Re: Handling: Would you recognise it if you found it in bed with you?
« Reply #2 on: 11 January 2006, 12:15 AM »
bisexual speedo.

Thank you - that made me chuckle  :D

GSK11740

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Re: Handling: Would you recognise it if you found it in bed with you?
« Reply #3 on: 11 January 2006, 08:23 AM »
I haven't had the chance to really drive my car yet. Just a short slow trip around the neighborhood (brakes need a lot of work). I'll be curious to see how it handles with that big old diesel under the hood.

I have owned a few American made cars that handled well, but it took a lot of modifications to get them there. In original form from the factory, they were horrible.

"Bisexual speedo"? I gotta remember that one! :D
'79 300SD

green450

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Re: Handling: Would you recognise it if you found it in bed with you?
« Reply #4 on: 18 January 2006, 05:45 PM »
Hey guys i know this reply is a bit late but reading about the handling of our big cars i just had to add how much i enjoy climbing a twisty mountain road and catching a little boy racer in his jap import then watching him trying to get away from the big benz taking up his rear veiw mirror and even more so when you catch a commode. ;D ;D

Mforcer

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Re: Handling: Would you recognise it if you found it in bed with you?
« Reply #5 on: 19 January 2006, 12:05 AM »
Never too late to post a reply! You are very right about driving on the twisty mountain roads but I  think you'll agree with me about the enjoyment catching and overtaking the boy racers regardless of the steepness of the road ;D
Michael
1977 450SE [Brilliant Red]
2006 B200

hokman

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Re: Handling: Would you recognise it if you found it in bed with you?
« Reply #6 on: 23 January 2006, 02:10 AM »
All you lucky benz owners should think about those poor people who dream day and night about them but couldn't get one!  And yes I'm one of them.  I look at a 116, I drool, staring at it for long time until I start singing a song.  I think i'm obsessed.

let me tell you a little story with my (non-benz) car.
It happened yesterday. Me and my best friend was going to the next town in my Volvo 240 turbo. This is my first time driving out of town. I was going on the left lane, I saw an off-roader (ford explorer) in front, so I overtake him to the right. I was going at about 60km/h, then suddenly a long medium turn appears. I turn in with out moving my foot, then the turn tightens, I turn in more and suddenly the back end steps out. I felt the car's limit through the body roll and steering. I quickly countersteer accordingly. I was only an inch from touch that off-roader when I was drifting! And to my surprise, I did this so cleanly that when I straighten back the car I didn't swing side by side like I used to when I was play at the carpark. I was beautiful, all on a single lane.

 I think a reason my car just oversteers like this at 60km/h is because I had cheap snow tyres at the back and yokohama avid at the front.  But no, the real reason could be that the rear suspension is as primitive as it gets: live axle.  You lucky guys with your independent trailing arms and stiff suspension.

OzBenzHead

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Re: Handling: Would you recognise it if you found it in bed with you?
« Reply #7 on: 23 January 2006, 03:13 PM »
Hokman:

Dream on, matey - you'll get there one day! At least you dream about a dreamworthy car, and not some heap of camel dung made made from tinfoil (woops, mixed my metaphors there!).

And congrats on saving the Volvo (and the Explorer); nothing like sound driving technique to overcome the failings of any car (and those of earlier suboptimal driving!).   ;)

Save your pennies and, when you have enough of them, choose wisely the car you spend them on. You should be well rewarded. I assure you.   :D

Denis

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Re: Handling: Would you recognise it if you found it in bed with you?
« Reply #8 on: 24 January 2006, 04:40 AM »
Hey hokman

A Volvo 240 turbo can produce real power when the engine passes 2700 rpm. Volvo has those alloys fitted with 195/70 x15 Michelin, Pirellis or equivalents for a GOOD reason : it keeps the car doing well at all times. Beware of lesser tires !

The Volvo 240 turbo has a great steering (better feel than a Mercedes) but that rigid axle is what got me back into a Mercedes !

It is not entirely bad as it can be made to do much better with a good set of autocross Bilsteins. Yes, I know, all this costs but that is the only way to get good performance out of the old swede.

OTOH, I once bought a 220D (W123) that was utterly scary to drive : poor braking, steering, roadholding !!! the cause : cheap tyres !

Denis

Paris, France

hokman

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Re: Handling: Would you recognise it if you found it in bed with you?
« Reply #9 on: 26 January 2006, 03:01 AM »
Hey hokman

A Volvo 240 turbo can produce real power when the engine passes 2700 rpm. Volvo has those alloys fitted with 195/70 x15 Michelin, Pirellis or equivalents for a GOOD reason : it keeps the car doing well at all times. Beware of lesser tires !

The Volvo 240 turbo has a great steering (better feel than a Mercedes) but that rigid axle is what got me back into a Mercedes !

It is not entirely bad as it can be made to do much better with a good set of autocross Bilsteins. Yes, I know, all this costs but that is the only way to get good performance out of the old swede.

OTOH, I once bought a 220D (W123) that was utterly scary to drive : poor braking, steering, roadholding !!! the cause : cheap tyres !

Denis

Paris, France


My car is installed with yokohama avid H4 195/55x15 and virgo alloys originally.  But winter comes, I figured I could use 2 snow tyres on steel wheels at the back.  But this winter is so weak, there was never thick snow.  And I even got stuck with those tyres on a driveway trying to back out.  I think that's the reason why my car doesn't have understeer and oversteer so easily.

I'm not saying my car handles bad, I really don't know because that's my first car.  Actually I found this escape from an accident actually quite fun and adrenaline rushing.  Maybe it'll even help me learn proper car control, unlike some people who only drive new cars with nanny aids and rely on them.  GIve them a real car and they'll be scared to death.

I also found that my rack and pinion steering has only a 2.5 turns lock to lock.  I drove my friend's BMW X3 3.0 the other day, and I checked that had over 3 turns lock to lock which makes the handling less sharp and responsive but good for cruising.  But my steering doesn't feel good to turn because it's very inconsistent in weight depending on how much you're turning, probably due to age.

The turbo lag causes my car to be so weak 1000-2000 rpm.  When I switched to drive a X3 3.0 the low end torque scared me.  But it's not as exciting as the boost coming on near 3000 rpm on my car.  Once I had the turbo needle reach the 1 o'clock postion.  I was doing 120kph on a city street with traffic.  And I never even floored it.

Yea, the first mod I'll do will be bilstein dampers.  But what Nm/cm will be the best?

Big RIchard, it's ok.  I don't mind  OzBenzHead, because he's not saying my car is camel dung just the daewoos and hyundais.  I hate those too and are deservingly to be insulted!
« Last Edit: 26 January 2006, 03:03 AM by hokman »