News:

The ORG
Truly Independent and Unbiased!

Main Menu

Clinging to the past

Started by wbrian63, 26 May 2011, 06:31 AM

wbrian63

I think as a rule, people tend to cling more tightly to tradition as they grow older.

Being within eyeshot of the mid-century mark (not earshot - my hearing is fading fast...), I claim membership in the club of traditionalists.

As an example, I grit my teeth when I see the new crop of MB AMG models for 2012 that bear the much honored 6.3 emblem.

Not a single one of these cars (I'm not sure about the SLS AMG) has an engine that even approaches 6.3 litres of displacement. Unless I'm mistaken, all of them are powered by the latest 5.5 litre bi-turbo mill.

To be honest, the previous 6.3 cars didn't have 6.3 litres either - actually 6.2, which irked me at the time. However, the 6.9 isn't 6.9 litres, it's 6.83 litres, so I cut them a little slack.

With the noted exception of the 600 Grosser, my memory tells me that most all of the post-WW2 offerings from MB had model #'s that declared what engine size was under the hood/bonnet. When they departed from that pattern, they still neatly told you - 300SEL 3.5, 280SE 4.5, 450SEL 6.9, 300SEL 6.3, etc.

Why do they do this to me???
W. Brian Fogarty

'12 S550 (W221)
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted out

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter V

Hemersam

Speaking of tradition, I have a question concerning design appearance. Do these latest-model MBs look more like a Chrysler than a MB? Looking at the front of them, they do to me. How about you?
Hemersam

TJ 450

I'm sure a lot of Mercedes, and probably even more-so, M-100 enthusiasts think along the lines of the traditionalist.

The thing is that they are perhaps trying too hard in the marketing department to cling to the past, whereas in the engineering department they are all thinking about the future! I sense a fundamental disconnect.

I guess that's why there will be a market for the older cars for a long time to come.

Tim
1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500

MB_Mike

Quote from: Hemersam on 26 May 2011, 07:11 AM
Speaking of tradition, I have a question concerning design appearance. Do these latest-model MBs look more like a Chrysler than a MB? Looking at the front of them, they do to me. How about you?
Hemersam

I agree with you Hemersam, but I also think all cars of the same vintage look similar. I shudder when I mistake a K-car for a Mercedes from a distance or this old ad:

Ford Granada...

Mercedes...

Ford Granada...

Mercedes...
1987 Home market 560 SEL

jbrasile

I agree, MB's have lost a lot of their identity lately, the current E-Class for example mixes a Lexus front end with a Honda Accord side profile and again a Lexus rear. The fenders ala Ponton don't help much either, especially in the cabriolet, the design is quite heavy and lacks balance and harmony in my opinion.

We have to accept however that MB doesn't build cars for types like us....  they have to design and sell vehicles to a public that craves for the new both in looks and technology so if you consider that, they are probably on the right track save for quality issues that I still think are unacceptable in a prestigious brand such as Mercedes.

Probably their best effort in the last 10 years is the SLS, a retro look that is able to be traditional and modern at the same time, I personally love it!

Just my 02 cents

Tks,

Joe

Casey

I don't know - I'm still pretty young and still definitely agree that a lot of things are going downhill with time - automotive technology being one of them.  I don't like a lot of modern trends, and am definitely more of a traditionalist in many, many respects.  I'm 30 - my 1980 is a few months older than me...

QuoteWith the noted exception of the 600 Grosser, my memory tells me that most all of the post-WW2 offerings from MB had model #'s that declared what engine size was under the hood/bonnet. When they departed from that pattern, they still neatly told you - 300SEL 3.5, 280SE 4.5, 450SEL 6.9, 300SEL 6.3, etc.

My first Mercedes was a 1976 240D 3.0L.  However there was really no indication anywhere on the car that it was a 3.0L except for the 5-cylinder OM617 versus the 4-cylinder.  I'm not sure I've really seen any indication of a difference on the body itself except for the 6.9.  I'm really not sure what the difference between a '76 240D 3.0L and a '76 300D are - perhaps it just signified that it was a cheaper overall model - manual windows, no sunroof, etc.  Still an automatic transmission though...

In general I really like traditional Mercedes model naming - a letter (or formerly lack thereof for an E-class) to indicate the chassis, a number to indicate the engine size, and some extras like a L for long wheelbase or D for diesel.  The lack of

When I bought that car I was probably about 21.  At that age, I had my heart set on something newer, not yet having any exposure to various Mercedes models except for a couple rides in a late 90's S-class when it was purchased new.  But I figured an old Mercedes was better than a newer anything-else.  Haven't bought anything but since, with my newest being a 1986 W124 that I really didn't like as much as the others.

I honestly, even at that age, never wanted anything newer than something late 90's.  I was really sad about Mercedes merging with Chrysler in 1998, and I feel that it was a bad influence on the model lineup that persists through today.

I went without a car when I lived in California, and then when re-evaluating what car I really wanted most a year or so ago, I did a lot of looking and research and determined that I felt a W116 was the most ideal to me, though you hear an awful lot about the W124/W126 being vastly superior and the best cars Mercedes ever made.  I ended up buying the W124 300D because it was only $1500, my funds were severely limited, and it's hard to find any Mercedes diesel at that price.  Was it a good car?  Sure...  But it just didn't have the same class as a W115/W116. :)

1980sdga

I'm always mistaking some Kias and Hyundais for MB  ::)  I think that MB's chief designer used to work for Hyundai  :P (I'm serious!)

I'm not really a MB fan other than the 116's and older. The 126's are nice looking and really the last "true" MB models in my eyes. I think that marketing and beancounters staged a coup over the engineers some time in the late 80's.  They had to in order to compete against the Japanese. Now the Koreans are coming  :o

The only modern car I would consider would be a gasser and probably some GM Holden variant or a Cadillac.  Cadillac needs to get out front with a good diesel CTS or maybe the coming ATS  8)  Sadly, GM totally flopped with their late 70's diesels and did A LOT of damage to passenger car diesel perceptions with consumers.

I saw an old Rolls Royce the other day and thought it was a 116 until it was close enough to identify  ;D

KenM

To my mind the thing with Lexus/Hyundai/Kia/Honda/insert brand of choice here looking like a Benz is that they have been copying the MB designs over the years, not the other way around. I saw some Lexus thing the other

day from the rear and thought 'that's an odd looking W140' and sure enough it wasn't. I'm just glad that MB haven't gone down the generic look path as much as makes like Audi or BMW for example. The new SLS is a very

nice looking car indeed, striking and different but not in a Chris Bangle sort of way, stand by and watch the copies emerge over the next few years.

adamb

I am firmly a fan of classic Benzes but I also inhabit the modern world and realise that MB management tries its best to make new cars desirable to the public at large. MB is a high volume manufacturer and to most people the company has a good reputation in luxury. The C-class is claimed to be better than BMW 3-series by some. E-class especially in estate form is still the choice for upper-middle classes and the S-class does alright for itself. The SLS are not significant for MB sales, it is a dream car of which people think when they choose the AMG styling package on the 180 Kompressor. I am not in the market for a new MB or any new car for that matter. We may bash MB but will we be happier if MB took steps to reduce its market share? Personally, I am indifferent as long as 116 spares are available.