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Garage => Test Drive => Topic started by: michaeld on 20 February 2006, 02:17 PM

Title: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: michaeld 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?
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: OzBenzHead 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.
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: oscar 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.
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: OzBenzHead 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.
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: michaeld 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...
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: Denis 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

Paris, France
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: oscar 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 (http://www.autoweb.com/content/research/vir/index.cfm/action/Media/photo_type_int/4/series_id_int/39454) 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.




Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: michaeld 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
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: OzBenzHead 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.
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: alabbasi on 21 February 2006, 05:41 AM
For you Brits, I think the closest imitator is the FORD MKII Granada.


http://www.ford-granadaguild.org.uk/mk2%20granada%20album/target13.html (http://www.ford-granadaguild.org.uk/mk2%20granada%20album/target13.html)

http://www.ford-granadaguild.org.uk/mk2%20granada%20album/target51.html (http://www.ford-granadaguild.org.uk/mk2%20granada%20album/target51.html)
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: John Hubertz 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:

(http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f248/fullhappyfish/135a.jpg)

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"

(http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f248/fullhappyfish/b3_1_b.jpg)


(http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f248/fullhappyfish/78_granada.jpg)

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

(http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f248/fullhappyfish/c70-82.jpg)
Title: The Final, Ultimate Heresy....
Post by: John Hubertz 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.

(http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f248/fullhappyfish/c70-98.jpg)
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: michaeld 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
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: alabbasi 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.
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: Denis 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
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: oscar on 22 February 2006, 05:36 AM
...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...


 :D Now, Now michaeld.  I wouldn't have called it a savaging, just a slight drubbing   :). 
I actually did see some similarities, and the last one I mentioned in my previous post was that I thought the top half of the car resembled a w126.  But as you rightly suggest, though not quoting you directly, we're looking for design aspects that have been copied, not replicas or noting that two different brands each have 4 wheels. I think you've raised an interesting topic.

Having said that, as far as John's post, HOLY COW!  It's one thing for us to see a resemblance in design but for Ford to virtually advertise they made a cheaper version of another brand astounds me.  And what about copyright of the slc photo.  Perhaps Ford took their coupe to the exact same spot in (presumably) Germany and waited for the right light conditions to take their photo. Maybe it was a coincidence that both companies chose the same colour from Dulux and the same locale to shoot some photos. ::)

Re: the Granada's, Aussies would recognise the UK Granda Mk2 (http://www.ford-granadaguild.org.uk/mk2%20granada%20album/target13.html) (posted by alabassi)
as an '82 Ford Falcon

(http://www.inthejob.com/QLD_TimQpol%201982.jpg)

And the US 4 door Granada posted by John looks very much like an Aussie 70's Ford LTD (http://ltd.4mg.com/p6photo.htm), except for a Rolls Royce inspired grill and a nice curve below the windows between the A and C pillars.
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: michaeld on 22 February 2006, 09:18 PM
Denis and MB350,
Well, I have to admit I was only kidding about crawling into the fetal position and sucking my thumb or whatever it was I said I did.  Actually, if I really HAD had my feelings hurt by anybody, I probably would have stayed away from the forum and pouted for a week or two.  I like this site because it has quite a few truly class-act people on it (btw, both of you are in that catefory as far as I'm concerned!), and no apparent jerks who attack other people.  There are all too many forums out there where people chew each other's heads off as a general rule.  Thank God, this is NOT one of those forums.  The fact that you guys thought I MIGHT have had my feathers ruffled and spoke kindly is proof of that.  Thank you. 
I'm thinking of giving my library card a little exercise and checking out some books on MBz and automotive design.  Imitatation IS the sincerest form of flattery, and these w116 cars are simply too classic NOT to have influenced other car designs.  Maybe I can find a design expert who has done the legwork to trace design influences.
A few years ago I had a Cadillac Fleetwood.  I'd never really been "into" Cadillacs until I got that car, but I began to really appreciate Cadillacs and bought a book on the history of the car.  I started looking for other Cadillacs on the road and admiring them.  That's the way I am now with Mercedes-Benz.  No Benz car goes by without my noticing it.  They are truly beautiful automobiles.  And as far as I'm concerned, the older cars are MUCH more beautiful than the newer ones.
As for your pics, yeah: both those cars have lines that really do remind me of a 116 car.  The Lincoln pic that Denis referenced even talks about the European cars.
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: alabbasi on 28 February 2006, 02:30 PM
Switching back to the Chrysler 300C , I think that the 300C is an awesome car! First of all, its about the only interesting looking modern car today. Like it or hate it, it's different. With the SRT-8 this car is going to be a huge classic. Make no mistake, this is a modern day muscle car and will be a classic for the fact that it kicked started the new muscle car era.

For any thinking that it looks like a Mercedes, this is because it is a Mercedes. The Chrysler 300C, Dodge Magnum and Charger are all built on the 96-02 E Class (W210) platform. They share platform, suspension and transmission with the Mercedes Benz cars (the 6 liter Hemi is pure American muscle though).

Love it  ;D
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: michaeld on 01 March 2006, 06:53 PM
Alabbasi,
You magnificent fellow!  You made my day with your post.  I just KNEW there was something familiar about those cars; now you've given me the proof.  Thanks a bundle!
I saw the Chrysler 300s and Dodge Magnum wagons well before I bought my Mbz (or even thought about buying one),  and I liked the look of the cars.  After I got my 450 SEL, I started to look at these things driving down the road and saw something familiar - but wondered if it was just because I was looking at the world through Mercedes-colored glasses.  Now I know.  I've known that Mbz owns Chrysler, but really had no idea that Chrysler was receiving either design or platform influence from MBz.
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: hokman on 02 March 2006, 09:16 PM
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

Paris, France

Yep, I agree 100% with Denis.  Even though chrysler has the fortune to share e-class's chassis.  It would only be a sin to compare the best benz with that ugly thing.  The chrysler 300 might be a bargain, and also Dodge's 300HP FF Caliber, but that's it.

Good eye for finding the granada as a copy of 116.  The back is 90% w116 but smoothened.  Which actually made the Ford look pretty nice, they even copied the rear headrest.  I don't think that ugly as hell american granada look like benz at all.

I don't think the first C-class is a good car at all, it might even be the worst mercedes.  My friend had a C220, the car is very slow and not quiet.  The style is cheap.  My aunt had a C36 AMG and although could have been quite fast, it's not smooth nor quiet.  And look what I've found: http://automobilesdeluxe.blogspot.com/2006/02/so-much-for-benzs-heyday.html
it's not really safe too.  So I think the Chrysler crossfire can't be any good, it's just that they can't get their hands on anything better.
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: michaeld on 03 March 2006, 11:45 AM
Does anybody out there have a similar pic of an 116 in a 40 mph crash?  Goodness gracious, one of the reasons I like old cars is because they DON'T crumple up.  Granted, it is more important to keep the passenger compartment pristine than the engine or rear compartments, but to design a car to be totallydestroyed in a relatively minor wreck?  Keep your aluminum cans and give me METAL!!!

Now, I had a thought (I know: thank you, thank you... it does happen every now and again even for me) that relates to why I started this post in the first place.  I noticed John Hubertz posted a pic of a 77 Lincoln on another post, and what a ... friggin' metal box the thing was.  60's and 70's cars appear to have been influenced by Pablo Picasso and the whole impressionist school of art thingy, don't they?  And Japanese cars similarly have severe angular, almost harsh lines to them.  BMW's likewise had a boxy structure that seemed to be one of their distinctives even into the early 90's.

Now contrast the "smooth as a baby's butt" lines of the w116s.  They have such smooth, graceful, aerodynamic lines that (correct me if I'm wrong) were unique in the auto industry of the 70's.  Now, if modern cars did not copy the 116 contoured lines, then it at least seems clearly obvious that 70's Mercedes cars were years ahead of their time.  Almost every car from every manufacturer in the world today builds cars that feature the contoured, aerodynamic lines that seem very much to have been pioneered by Mercedes cars.

Mike
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: oscar on 03 March 2006, 05:37 PM
Does anybody out there have a similar pic of an 116 in a 40 mph crash? 

How about a W114, click here. (http://www.mbspares.com.au/default.asp?d=18019&p=18013)
Title: Re: Similarities between today's hot cars and 116's?
Post by: hokman on 12 March 2006, 12:15 AM
Does anybody out there have a similar pic of an 116 in a 40 mph crash? 

How about a W114, click here. (http://www.mbspares.com.au/default.asp?d=18019&p=18013)

what a big difference:

(http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/5807/1885/1600/mercedesbenz_cclass_1997_front.jpg)
(http://www.mbspares.com.au/site/files/ul/data_text07/268.gif)
60km/h is approx. 40mph right?  So benz didn't use safety cells in the 90s or what?