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Does this W116 belong to someone on this forum? (Seen in Portland, OR in 2011)

Started by Shervinator, 07 July 2023, 04:05 AM


In the summer of 2011, my family and I took a road trip up the west coast of North America. One of the cities we stopped in was Portland, Oregon. One day after lunch, we were walking down the street when we stumbled upon a corner lot full of '70s and '80s Mercedes-Benzes. It seemed so out of place on the otherwise normal-looking street full of modern cars, that at first we thought it was a film set. There were several W123s, a W126, and a W116 parked there. I happened to have bought some vintage clothes from a thrift store earlier that day, so I decided to stage an impromptu '70s photo shoot (how could you not?). The photos came out great, and we continued on our way up to Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria before heading back down to the Bay Area.

That was 12 years ago. It's hard to believe now, but despite these cool photos, I didn't even really become interested in Mercedes-Benzes until several years after these photos were taken, when I turned 25 and began hunting for my own W116 300SD (which I never found; I "settled" for a W126 300SD and later a Euro W126 500SEL).

But when I did start looking, I immediately thought back to that Maple Yellow W116 at the end of the lot. That car, wherever it is today, planted the seed for my interest in Mercedes-Benz. It's the car that made me fall in love with the W116.

I did some digging and found out that the parking lot we saw belonged to MBI Motors, an independent Mercedes-Benz and BMW specialist in Portland that is still in business today. I called and asked if they had any information on the car, but even after running the California license plate number (4GZA987) through the system, nothing turned up.

Somewhere, I have a feeling that this car still exists. If so, I'd love to know where it is and who owns it. Based on the bumpers, the fog lights, the color, and the lack of California smog history (meaning it's likely a smog exempt car; either a 1975 or older gas model, or a 1998 or older diesel model), I have narrowed it down to most likely be a 1973 450SE or a 1978–79 300SD (with US-spec 1973 bumpers).

I sure hope it has survived, because when I pulled the CarFax reports for all the other 1981-and-newer cars visible in the photos, I found that some of them no longer exist (the Smoke Silver Metallic 1985 380SE was totaled in 2016 and scrapped in 2017, the Light Ivory 1981 300D was scrapped in 2016, and the Light Ivory 1982 240D has no records of being on the road since 2018). The rest of the cars were either too old to show up on CarFax (like the Maple Yellow W116, the Deep Green W123, and one of the Light Ivory W123s) or didn't have a license plate visible in the photos.

If anyone recognizes this W116, please let me know. ;)
1984 300SD
Euro 1985 500SEL


Great shots Shervin, could it possibly be someones own collection?  As you say, very out of place, but awesome! 
1979 116 6.9 #6436
2018 213 e63
2011 212 e63
2011 463 g55
2007 211 e500 wagen
1995 124 e320 cabriolet
1983 460 300gd
1981 123 280te


The only possible explanation I can come up with is that the W116 belonged to an MBI Motors employee who just brought it to work but didn't actually work on it. But it shows up on Google Street View as far back as July 2011 (a month before I saw it, on August 14, 2011), so I'm not so sure how probable it is that it wasn't a customer's car. It's also possible it belonged to a customer but that the license plate wasn't entered into the system.

1984 300SD
Euro 1985 500SEL


I recall driving past this place a few times in the past decades. Probably went into the "antique" store across the street on the way to Voodoo Donuts.
'68 250S
'77 6.9 Euro
'91 300SE,
'98 SL500
'14 CLS550,


1984 300SD
Euro 1985 500SEL