Seven reasons (at least!) why w116s are a fantastic buy

Started by michaeld, 10 April 2006, 06:46 PM


So you're thinking about buying a car, huh?  Here are at least seven reasons why you ought to consider a w116...

1.  Depreciation: At one time these were among the most expensive cars in the world.  Now they can be had for around the same price as many other old cars that are not even in the same league.  I don't know if there is another "bang for your buck buy" that compares to w116s.

2.  '70s Car Blues: Fairly or unfairly, no decade for automobiles has ever been as maligned as 1970's cars due to the US Federal emissions requirements that made life difficult for automotive engineers.  Most (at least American) car collectors shun 70's cars because of the smog laws and because of the 5 mph bumpers.  In any event, this pervading opinion has created a buyer's market for these great old cars.

3.  Sedans: Interestingly, while 4 door sedans were generally the most expensive cars to buy new, they are usually the cheapest cars to buy used.  The 2 doors, coupes, and convertibles are generally the most expensive used cars to buy today.  4 door sedans offer practicality, passenger comfort, storage capacity, and safety - and $$$ substantial savings.

4. Unparalleled Engineering: Mercedes-Benz rightfully had (and still clings to) a reputation as the best-built car on earth.  Benzes were simply built to last.  No other automaker can lay claim to the reputation for reliability and durability that Mercedes-Benz has maintained.

5.  Unparalleled Owner Maintenance: According to owner surveys, Mercedes-Benzes were the most faithfully maintained car in the world.  This is because: a) they were among the most expensive cars in the world, and owners maintained their cars to protect their enormous investments; b) owners were most often professionals who understood the need for preventative maintenance and had the resources to have it performed; and c) these same owners' #1 reason for buying was engineering and performance, and only a well-maintained car will continue to perform at a high level.  The fact that these cars were so well maintained by their original owners obviously will keep them running longer for their subsequent owners.

6.  Unparalleled "old world" quality: I could parce some of this into various other categories, but consider it part of "old world" quality: Mercedes-Benz (up to the 70's) were built with the finest components, with no expense spared.  And these cars were built with the finest craftsmanship: there was a dedication to magnificense that is simply nowhere to be found today.  The wood trim, the precise tolerances, the magnificent paint with its lacquered finish; other cars just don't have it, do they?

7. Unparalleled "old world" styling: I am an American, and believe that the USA is the greatest country in the history of the world (if that opinion annoys you, just remember that I am an American and take it with a grain of salt!).  But one thing America has always lacked when compared to the Europeans is style.  Now maybe Mercedes-Benz isn't "unparalleled" in its style, but it is certainly in a class with Rolls Royce and Jaguar - and so far beyond anything that the Americans or Japanese ever put out it is downright pathetic!  Europe is the "old world"; America is the "new world": and as a result Europe (deliciously!) was quite slow to get into the flow of "mass production" and "economies of scale" that so completely characterized America and a post-war Japan built after the American business model.  This can go along with number 6 above: there was something "royal, (regal, imperious)" about European cars that is completely lacking in American "Just the facts, ma'am" manufacturing.  When you drive a w116, you are not merely driving a car; you are driving the preferred vehicle of royalty and priviledge.  Dare I say it, you are a king in your own car!  And it can be yours for a song!

Maybe I left out some reasons why w116s are fantastic buys today.  Maybe you'd just like to comment or elaborate on the reasons I've provided.  Heck, maybe you even disagree with me (the latter, particularly, has been known to happen!).  Share your thoughts on the matter.

As a P.S., I might add that earlier Mercedes models have numbers 4-6 in abundance, but they do not have 1-3.  They are much rarer, and therefore much more collectible, than the w116s.  From what I have seen, as an example, 108s and 109s often sell for at least twice as much as 116s (for some of the reasons I included).  That is why I consider w116s to be "fantastic buys" in a way that earlier Mercedes are not.



QuoteWhen you drive a w116, you are not merely driving a car; you are driving the preferred vehicle of royalty and priviledge.  Dare I say it, you are a king in your own car!  And it can be yours for a song!

Ho-ho-ho, you are closer to reality than you think !

A black 450SEL of 1979 was recently on sale for about 6000â,¬. If you had bought it, you would have had two special features :

1 - It was armoured.
2 - It was privately owned by the (great) king of Spain, Juan carlos !


Paris, France