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280SE in film "GODS MUST BE CRAZY"

Started by s class, 05 April 2006, 04:25 AM

s class

The film "Gods Must be Crazy" was shot in Botswana neigbouring South Africa and released in 1981 I think.  Point is it features a crew of baddies racing around in South African built 280SE cars. 

There is a thread on this over at Benzworld.  :

CHeck it - there are some pics there.  There was some debate about what cars they are etc etc. 

here is a cut-and-paste of my comments :

THose look like standard South African 280SE's. Here the only W116 we were blessed with was 280S, 280SE and 350SE. Anything else was a special import and very very expensive. All locally built W116 had leather seats. Also, note in those screen dumps the interior of the doors. They have what we call the "poverty spec" doorpads. Below is a pic of what I mean - from my car. The pads do not have the recesses I see in pics from your guys cars in other parts of the world. And yes, in the 80's Botswana was almost like a "province" of South Africa so those cars would have come from our East London plant. And boy, I see they have the black interior like mine which is super extra special rare here. 98% of W116's (or so it seems) had either tan or parchment.

The only W116's we see here that DO NOT have leather are full imports at the end of the production run. They have a cloth tartan upholstery and all were registered as 1981 models.

I see mention that W126 was built up until 1993 in South Africa - CORRECT! I can vouch for that. It poses a problem for me because I have a 1992 W140 import, and insurance companies refuse to believe that it is a W140 because of the date. SO my W140 is currently insured for the value of a W126 500SE. I have given up trying to rectify this.

W116 was buit in South Africa until late 1980. Mine is a 1980.

Cheers, Ryan in South Africa.

[color=blue]'76 6.9 Euro[/color], [color=red]'78 6.9 AMG[/color], '80 280SE, [color=brown]'74 350SE[/color], [color=black]'82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro [/color], '81 500SL


Speaking of w116s on the big screen...

I saw the movie "Munich" over the weekend.  I didn't watch it until now because I was expecting to be offended over the moral equivalency between the actions of the terrorists cf. the Israelies (i.e. that there was no moral difference between what the terrorists were doing and what the Jews were doing).  I was pleasantly suprised to find that this did not exist.  It was actually a very good movie (although not NEARLY as funny as "The Gods Must Be Crazy"!) - made all the more so by the abundance of several beautiful old Benzes.  I saw what appeared to be a 108 - and what I was almost certain was a 116.  All these old cars alone makes the movie worth seeing.

And yet one thing troubled me greatly.  These beautiful Benzes were always black, and they were always driven by the terrorists (and the KGB).  It very much seeme that the film was portraying black 108s and 116s as "bad guy" cars (if you have been officially designated as a villian, here's what you drive!).  As a driver of a black 116 I took great offense.  I will have you all know for the record that even though I drive a black 116, I am not a terrorist or a bad guy. 

Really!  The nerve of those people! ;)

John Hubertz

Screen shots?  Come on people.....  pictures!  pictures!

(here's the twin-turbo 6.9 from lost highway...)

and for some REAL this link to a Ronin 6.9 chase-scene clip, (beware if on dialup, might want to save-as and let it store on your computer or it will take forever to load).
John Hubertz
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
(Hunter S. Thompson) 

1977 450SEL (Max Headroom)
[img width=68 height=73][url=""][/url][/img]

s class

Bad guys in films just d drive black S-class mercs.  Look at all the James Bond films, especially up till the 90's.  Always baddies in Mercs.  Remember the scene where BOnd takes the bad-guys W108 and after the tyres are shot off he drives it on a train line - goes great until it meets an oncoming train.  Really sad - the impact is tremendous - BUT the safety cell survives!!!

Other references - in one of the Roger moore films, I think The Spy Who Loved Me, Bad guy has a silver W116 450SEL.  It gets pushed off a cliff.  If you watch that scene carefully frame by fram though, when it goes over the cliff, you see the underside and it has solid beam front and rear axles - ie it is a mockup not an actual car!

Also, some of the Lethal Weapon films have bad guys in W126's.

Buy its fine by me.  I have 2 silver S-class.  Wish they were black!

As an aside, I think there is some credence in the stereotype.  Here in South Africa  when one sees a black S-class, usually it is some Chinese Tongs (W140 very popular with them) or portuguese "entrepeneur".

As an aside, many Southern African states use black S-class as their presidential fleet.  See my related post. 

So naah, don't take it as offence.  Rather enjoy the recognition that black S-class implies some status!

Ryan in South Africa

[color=blue]'76 6.9 Euro[/color], [color=red]'78 6.9 AMG[/color], '80 280SE, [color=brown]'74 350SE[/color], [color=black]'82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro [/color], '81 500SL


On the topic of black S-Class Benzes and their "bad-guy" / "mafia" image:

A favourite role- / image- / stereotype-reversal diversion of mine once or twice a year is to arrive at an Indigenous (i.e. Aussie Blacks) football match or similar event, driving my white W108 with dark-tinted windows, wearing my chauffer's cap, Indigenous Australian flag flapping from the flag-post on the bonnet (hood), and the car filled to the max with a gaggle of my Black friends.

The locals all gawk at this classy classic - the likes of which are just not associated with their culture - as it bypasses all marked stopping / parking points and drives right up to the best vantage point. They gawp even more when this whitey chauffer gets out - in cap and full driver's drag - and opens the passenger doors, out of which pour half a tribe of Indigenous Elders. The "Black Mafia" have arrived, chauffered by their white driver in the white limo with darkened windows - and the crowd goes (merrily!) ape!

It's a hoot.   ;D ;D

Must try it some time with the whole fleet.

(Mind you, I am lucky enough to live in one of the most liberal and accepting regions of all Oz; there are some towns - particularly inland of my area - where the consequences might be considerably less amusing. Their loss.)
[img width=340 height=138][url=""][/url][/img]

s class


That is very highly amusing!.  As you can imagine, South Africa has ample scope for such setups too. 

A couple of years ago, for the annual christmas party our church had an "african" theme.  Everyone had to dress up in traditional tribal gear.  So picture this.  I picked up my wife (this was before we were married) and her 3 best friends, all of them white women dressed in tribal gear.  (alas not topless).  You should have seen the looks we got as I drove them in my W116 280SE.  People's faces were just priceless.  You could see the guys thinking - hey that dude seriously has it made switching to tribal culture. 


[color=blue]'76 6.9 Euro[/color], [color=red]'78 6.9 AMG[/color], '80 280SE, [color=brown]'74 350SE[/color], [color=black]'82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro [/color], '81 500SL


Amen to all of the above.

As a religious person it is obvious that every member of the human race ("red, or yellow, black or white, all are precious in His sight") bears the image of God, and therefore nobody's level of melanin makes one any better than anyone else.  It is wrong to deny in other human beings all that is ours simply by virtue of being created a human being.

Now, as to the question whether ownership of a 116 can elevate one's ontological status....?

But, seriously, can't we just have one movie hero drive into action in a white s-class?

John Hubertz

Not a white car, but how about a blue 126 coupe starring with what is considered the hottest male actor at that time in the USA, Patrick Swayze, in the cult-classic punch-out film "Roadhouse"...  The good-guy role of all time!

John Hubertz
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
(Hunter S. Thompson) 

1977 450SEL (Max Headroom)
[img width=68 height=73][url=""][/url][/img]


I'll have to watch the movie to see if it qualifies (at least in my book).  I notice that he's crashing through a fence in the picture: if he's stolen it from the bad guys in order to total it whilst saving the day, then it would still be a "bad guy" car, wouldn't it?

Of course, it's also blue, and a 126, which kind of puts it in a more "morally neutral" category altogether.  What I want to see is a hero driving his w116.  Maybe I should become a movie producer just to see my dream on the big screen!