Author Topic: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?  (Read 6480 times)

michaeld

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Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
« on: 20 February 2006, 02:17 PM »
Maybe I'm silly, but since I got my 77 450 sel, I've been looking at other cars - and comparing them to the 116 body.  Is it just me, or does the Chrysler 300 remind you of another front end?
One of the things I love about the w116 cars is the graceful, classic body style.  I look at Lexus cars from the 90's on, and, again - is it just me? - I see similarities.
You don't have to tell me I'm crazy; I already know that.  But am I wrong in seeing the influence of the w116 body style in other auto manufacturers' designs?  What do you think?

OzBenzHead

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Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
« Reply #1 on: 20 February 2006, 05:25 PM »
... does the Chrysler 300 remind you of another front end?

Funny you should mention that. I recently spied one of those monstrosities - I thought it about as handsome (NOT!) as an Edsel. Yes, the grille is vaguely reminiscent of the W116's, but only after the latter had been through some godawful uglification disaster.

Quote
... am I wrong in seeing the influence of the w116 body style in other auto manufacturers' designs?  What do you think?

Whilst M-B have sometimes been style followers rather than leaders, once they've adopted (and, as usual, refined) a style, the lesser manufacturers do their level best (which is often pretty poor) to at least hint at it in their succeeding models - as though a mere body design element could make a non-Benz a better car.

There was an interesting complaint about three years ago here in Oz, where GM-H (our local GM operation, the "H" standing for "Holden") complained that the grille on the (then) current S-Class Benz mimicked that on the new Holden Statesman! Huh! As if M-B would try to mimic a Holden's design features in the hope of snaring a customer or three! What gross delusions of grandeur on the part of GM-H!

Whilst I admit that the Benz grille had, by that time, moved a tad too far from the traditional shape for my liking, it was still larger and more imposing than the supposedly similar Statesman grill. Guess which make changed the grille design on its next model? Not the Benz.

Briefly diverting to the topic of attractive design and American cars ...

There are very few post-WWII US cars I have found at all attractive; many of them were ugly enough to make a bag of onions cry. However, I did think the 1950s and early 1960s Studebakers from Raymond Loewy's pen were particularly attractive: sexy curves, long lines, nice balance.

oscar

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Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
« Reply #2 on: 20 February 2006, 06:34 PM »
There's so many copies and borrowed trends that it's hard to pick who's the first.  Every 5-10 years all the new cars seem to look the same. 

The 50's chev belair with the 57 as a favourite, to me is an absolute gem.  Yet how many cars look like it?  MB Finnies are similar with similar front and rear windscreen, plus the tails.  Aussies would know the Holden FB/C type special with similar shape.  There's others for the era that I can't remember off hand.  To the general, those 3 cars may look almost the same but to the enthusiast worlds apart.

Head and tail lights seem to follow trends and in the late 90's saw everyone, including MB, go for the triangular teardrop shaped lights. YUK!  Whoever designed it first should've been hunted down for promoting fugliness.

But with the occasional mistaking a w123 for a w116 from a distance, I can usually spot a 116 from a far.  I can't think of a car that mixes elements of 60's and 70's styling re: the chrome, curves and wrap around front and rear windscreens, yet manages to look modern somehow.  Would you agree that there's a paradox which makes the car look curvy yet square? I'll have to check the car you mention michaeld, otherwise I haven't identified the 116 with any another brand.  If I'm wrong , seems MB were a trendsetter with the 116.
1973 350SE, my first & fave

OzBenzHead

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Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
« Reply #3 on: 20 February 2006, 06:48 PM »
Would you agree that there's a paradox which makes the car look curvy yet square?

Yes, I agree with you there. I think the same comment applies to to 108/109 series - depending on the angle/s from which it is admired.

michaeld

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Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
« Reply #4 on: 20 February 2006, 11:15 PM »
Well, I've been told that I DO have quite an imagination!  Maybe a little too good sometimes?
Here's a link to the Chrysler 300: http://www.autoweb.com/content/research/vir/index.cfm/action/Media/photo_type_int/3/series_id_int/39454
I suppose the reason I see the similarity is that the grill of the 116 cars is so prominent - more prominent than any other car I can recall.  Now it seems to me that I'm seeing cars - such as the Chrysler 300 - coming out that make the grille assembly big and prominent, just as Mercedes did.  It also seems to me that there is a particular 'sweep' from the roof to the rear, and a particular angle of the pillar, of many passenger cars that again remind me of the 116.
The US has brought back so many things: the 'retro' look is in.  And 'European' still means 'fashionable' to Americans.  It wouldn't suprise me at all if American manufacturers copied classic Euro designs.  And of course the Japanese have ALWAYS copied US and European designs.
But again, I do have an active imagination...

Denis

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Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
« Reply #5 on: 21 February 2006, 01:14 AM »
Non,non,non  >:(

That thing... there... that Crazyler 300 is exactly what is WRONG with today's cars: ridiculously big wheels that glitter, lack of visibility due to absence of measurable windows, "fattened flabby" look all around, gaping silly grille and ninja rice kitchy headlights. Take them all quickly to crusher please  >:(

I dont think that the W116 has anything to do with it : the W116 is much, much better.

My opinion


Denis

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oscar

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Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
« Reply #6 on: 21 February 2006, 02:41 AM »
michaeld Ah, I do know the car you mean.  Chrysler has made a reappearance in Australia for a few years now, especially recently with their people mover (name escapes me), the PT Cruiser and now this 300 I've seen being driven around where I live.

The first time I saw it was late last year and noticed the grill and the chrysler logo.  As we passed each other, honestly my first thought was- "what the hell are you trying to achieve".  I've seen another one around town and don't know what to make of it. 

The high sides and small windows remind of the new MB CLS.  The hood from front on, has a similar rise to the 116.  Put your hand over picture 7 of the 300 link to reveal its top half only and suddenly, well before I say what MB it looked like, I'll let any of you have a go and decide. 

I fear I could be pulling at straws and do think designers tried to be original, but Daimler/Chrysler/Mercedes etc who is this conglomerate now?  Just speculation but even though MB's mission has been - to create Mercedes Benzes that whilst improved on a previous Mercedes Benz, every future model would always look like a Mercedes Benz,  one would assume that a merc trained designer moving to a better paid job in the US for Chrysler, may indeed have brought some of his ideas that may have been destined for a future S class.




1973 350SE, my first & fave

michaeld

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Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
« Reply #7 on: 21 February 2006, 02:55 AM »
Well, I might be nuttier than I thought.
Actually, I kinda like the bodystyle of the Chrysler 300.  It looks muscular.  And from what I've heard, it's actually a pretty good car (though, on the down side, it lacks headroom and isn't particulary comfy interior-wise).
Maybe I'm wrong, and the 116 cars didn't influence any of the other car-makers.  It's kind of a shame if that's true, it seems to me.  Does anybody but me see features of the 116 in contemporary cars?  I don't mean "looks exactly like in every detail," and I don't mean "they both have 4 wheels."  I just mean design elements.  Anyone?
If I'm the only one who's seeing similarities, please don't tell the mental health department.  The last thing I need is one more reason to have me committed!
Mike

OzBenzHead

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Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
« Reply #8 on: 21 February 2006, 03:54 AM »
... from what I've heard, it's actually a pretty good car ...

Some of the last few years' Chryslers have had to have been better cars than previously: they were re-skinned superseded Benzes.  Take the Crossfire, for example: underneath the skin it was a superseded C-Class platform. No matter how hard Detroit might try, it can't possibly succeed at making a totally bad car from such a sound basis. (Mind you, many of the assembly quality issues attending US (Alamaba?) assembled C-Class (the sports coupe, from memory) and ML-Class have let the side down a bit.)

The Chrysler 300C is built on the Chrysler LX platform, which features components derived from the discontinued W210 Mercedes-Benz E-Class - including the suspension design, front seat frames, wiring harnesses, steering column, the 5-speed automatic's design, and a derivative of the 4-Matic all wheel drive system.

But it's still as ugly as sin (and I'm sure that sin must be a helluva lot more fun!). Looking back at the original (early '50s) Chrysler 300 series, it's obvious where that ugly grille came from. And the high sides look, to me, more like hunched shoulders than muscular.

Beauty (and ugliness) is, by its very nature, purely subjective.

alabbasi

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With best regards

Al
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John Hubertz

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Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
« Reply #10 on: 21 February 2006, 12:31 PM »
I agree it is the Ford Granada, but the USA version.  They actually would take a photograph of the Mercedes and superimpose the photo of the granada over it in their ads:



Mercedes even filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Ford for the identical hubcaps and the taillights-they were even ribbed like the 'Benz and advertised as self-cleaning.

If I recall, the ad verbage was "Granada, the American Mercedes"






Now here's some REAL heresy - one of the actual ADs!  I'm still searching for the one that features the SEL... 

« Last Edit: 21 February 2006, 02:25 PM by John Hubertz »
John Hubertz
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John Hubertz

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The Final, Ultimate Heresy....
« Reply #11 on: 21 February 2006, 02:52 PM »
(smiles)  Here it is folks - the Holy Grail of insults against our cars....

And the beauty is, I actually sold new Fords in 1977 - my first job in the business.

John Hubertz
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michaeld

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Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
« Reply #12 on: 21 February 2006, 09:07 PM »
Thanks, John - you of the "too cool for school" dog - documented proof that somebody DID imitate the 116 MB after all!
My lip is still quivering from the savaging of my comparison of the 116 to the Chrysler 300.  At least the involuntary crying sessions are coming further apart now.
I NEVER would have compared a Granada to a Benz car unless I'd known that Ford had done it themselves (By the way, I've said more than once that I look just like George Cloony).  Maybe I was off base - and I deeply and profoundly apologize - for comparing the 116 w/ the 300.  But somehow there is something familiar to me as I regard other cars on the road.
Rolls Royce and Bentley are ostentatiously "look-at-me" extravagent cars.  The MBz 116's classically graceful body is subtle and understated in comparison - a beauty of function - that seems much better suited for subtle and not-so-subtle copycatting.

It used to be the only way to tell one MBz from another was to look at the model number on the trunk.  Mercedes developed a "look" that remained fundamentally similar for over 20 years.  I just expect such a classic look from such a classic car maker to influence the car industry - particularly in our era of retro, sequels, and throwbacks.
Mike

alabbasi

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Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
« Reply #13 on: 21 February 2006, 09:08 PM »
I actually like the look of the Euro MKII Granada, (the American model looks like an old boot). It has a pretty stylish look about it and was popular many were tastefully styled out when I was a teenager. A couple of guys that I looked up to when I was a kid had them and hence it became one of my dream cars.

The later MIII and MIV (the name changed to Scorpio) were also excellent cars having a 2.9 liter 24v V6 that was turned by Cosworth. Those were flying machines that were commonly used as highway cars by the police in the UK.
With best regards

Al
Dallas, TX USA.

Denis

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Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
« Reply #14 on: 21 February 2006, 11:32 PM »
Oh michaeld, I'm sorry for being so rude about that Crazyler 300  ;)
But I stand by my opinion.

I agree that the Granada qualifies as a W116 imitation but what really impresses me is that one manufacturer came out with a "variant" of teh W116 and called it NEW some 20, yes, twenty years later : the 1995 Lincoln :

http://www.nctd.com/review-intro.cfm?ReviewID=161

Now that is real influence from the days when mercedes-Benz set the standard.

Cheers

Denis

Paris, France