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How fast do yo drive your W116?

Started by s class, 20 June 2006, 09:22 AM

How would you best describe your driving habits when riding in style in your W116?

I nurse her gently - in fact I think I'm guilty of perpetuating the "Benzes are for old guys" fallacy
0 (0%)
I'm a sensible "stick to the speed limit guy"
1 (5.3%)
I stick to the speed limit plus a little tax on top, and I enjoy racing to get to that mark
5 (26.3%)
Mostly I drive in a dignified manner but when the mood takes me I mash the gas and show those kids in rice rockets what 25 year old benz iron can do
12 (63.2%)
I drive hard, service it well and lay rubber at every stop light
1 (5.3%)

Total Members Voted: 9

s class

Of course there is a sad ending (or maybe thats a happy beginning) to the story about 170km/h sprints in a euro 280SE.  About a year later I was doing about 140 when a new 535i literally flew past me - certainly he was doing more than 170.  I felt the need to uphold the benz name and attempted to chase him for about 10km - by which time my number 5 big end bearing had collapsed, throwing the debris up into the cylinder.  So here's the happy part - the engine was basically nackered with bent valves on number 5 because when the bearing collapsed it allowed the piston to travel further up than it should.  The block was duly machined out with a maximum overbore, given new pistons and rings, crank polished and refitted with new bearings, overhauled oil pump and cyl head, new timing chain.  Result - even wider smile on my clock ;D

[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

Brian Crump

Well. I have to tell you; I always stay within the speed limit + just a little extra for good luck - and I have a reputation with my partner of being a very smooth, very cautious and somewhat boring driver (usually have the dogs on board and there is nothing worse than a car sick dog....that's another story) but I do have a stretch of very quiet and deserted road that I sometimes get to play on. The 450 SE is just as quiet at 160 as it is at 100 kph and it will pull to just a smidgen under 200 but out of respect for an engine that is 27 years old I make that a rare event.
However, I did have fun just last week. The picture is a suburban road with 3 traffic humps to keep us slow. Beside me is a cabin boy in his generic Korean car with washing line spoiler, duh-duh-duh pumping from the boot and the hiss of the waste gate blowing off as he revs beside mouthing something like a challenge "f***** piece of **** car u got m8!!" OK - so I floored the 450 when the lights changed. All that low down torque got me away quickly and over the first speed hump - accelerate for the second - brake hard for the third and floor the accelerator just at the beginning of the speed hump and the Benz sails over it without a hitch. The generic Korean car sees me pull ahead and just floors the gas think hard suspension, a truck load of spoilers on the front and side skirts. There is an almighty THUMP as he floors it and in the rear view mirror I can was stuck hard on the speed hump.
I know this is a gentlemanly site and we don't do things like this....but I stick by the Antinomian principle - I would have been better but god did not make me that way. And anyway, I have faith in the Benz ability to deal with speed humps - and anyway, I had not moved out of low range. Moral? Enjoy your 116. They were built to drive. Do not follow my example and do not sue me if you do and have fun....
Brian. Sydney.

Brian Crump

OOOPs!! the GKCB (generic Korean cabin boy) was left stuck on the speed hump - I continued on to pick up the dry-cleaning.


Brian that's brilliant. LOL  :D

Quote from: Brian Crump on 25 June 2006, 03:16 AM
I know this is a gentlemanly site and we don't do things like this....

Don't feel bad, its been going on ever since they were new.  Have you read the article of a 6.9 v Pontiac GTO.

Here's a tip for your next encounter.  I think on MB spares' site or their forum, I read about shifting into second before flooring it.  The car stays in low for longer before changing to 2nd.  Similar effect to having a power button or sports mode.  There were of course the warnings that followed which of most interest was the calculation of the stress placed on the engine and drivetrain at high revs. 

I can't quote but I think at 4000 rpm a piston will travel up the cylinder from 0km/hr to 65/km/hr to 0km/hr then do the same back down the cylinder.  Each of the 8 pistons does this 4000 times a minute.  Imagine the G-forces on the gudgeon pins and bearings etc.  Sorry to put a downer on the subject but it's a wonder any engine holds it together.
1973 350SE, my first & fave

Brian Crump

Oscar - I agree totally. That's why I only do such things when honour is at stake!! The real point of interest is that the 450 retained its dignity and composure over the three speed humps and the suspension did the job it was intended to do. In the case of the GKCB the suspension let him down in quite a spectacular manner...just not enough suspension travel can be a BAD thing.
The response on the road to my 450SE (in damned fine nick) is either WOW!!! or something unrepeatable. It is interesting that so many other cars get out of the way (yep - the brakes are fine) when they see it come. My mechanic used it last week to get parts from Audi Sydney (claims he was raod-testing it) and says he was swamped by Audi people people wanting to have a look at it.
What does that say about the timeless elegance and style of the 116? Who else but Benz can do so much chrome so well!!


I managed an indicated 204 km/h out of my girlfriends fathers 1980 450 SEL way back in 1985 when you could do that sort of thing late at night and not worry.  The poor thing would not go any faster despite holding my foot to the floor for most of the length of the freeway.  It was on the Frankston Freeway just out of Melbourne and I was trying to keep up with a friend who was driving a 300 SEL 6.3 that was towing a small box trailer, I couldn't catch him unfortunately.  About a week later I tried the same thing in my dads 380 SEL, it did 213, the better aerodynamics helping I guess.  Of course I was young and foolish then, and I'd never do that sort of thing now...... ;)




Yikes! He set a World Speed record for a 6.3 towing something!!! ;D

What speed did he achieve in the 6.3?
sigh....sitting back contemplating the next purchase..!


Hi Chris,

My friends 6.3 used to pull the redline just about anywhere so I no doubt that the trailer would have made no difference at that speed.  Luckily I used to drive it around a bit and I recall it was doing about 2,400 rpm at 100 km/h which was ludicrously short for that car, should have been doing something like 2,000 rpm really.  Funny that a 6.9 has a longer gear in first than a 6.3 has in second.




Sorry guys, but I have to say that I boot my 6.9 around like it was a Mini in the Italian job.
With best regards

Dallas, TX USA.

s class


That's cool.  As long as you maintain it in a manner that is appropriate for your driving style, have fun!

I have maintained my own cars for long enough to appreaciate what rough treatment extracts out of them, so I tend to drive fast but not hard - there is a difference.  Just occasionally when my 280SE was my daily driver I would get an urge and really hammer it - accelerating, braking, cornering, etc very hard for about 30 mins to an hour.  I would always feel refreshed, and then the next day I was back to sensible driving. 

I think its the same with my other cars - I  like to get my 450SL to step out at the back occasionally  ;D

[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


when i first got my old 450 i accidently reached 160 catching up to a friend i say accidently because i realised he had gotten away while i was talking to my passenger just gently pressed accelerator still with one hand on the wheel and relaxed  8) realised how fast i was going when i caught him thinking he was standing still :o.
Fastest though would be 190(indicated) still pretty comfy at that speed but rush of blood subsided so came back to earth before i got in trouble ;D