Author Topic: What do we call our cars? Oldtimers?  (Read 510 times)

p. rex

  • Enthusiast
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Crazed 6.9 owner
  • Location: Austin, TX
What do we call our cars? Oldtimers?
« on: 24 September 2019, 03:38 PM »
Gents (ladies?),

I have found myself thinking on this a few times and wondered what the forum thought.  It seems like the Germans categorize all older cars into oldtimers (think MB 300 Adenauer, '50s BMW roadsters, prewar Auto Union race cars) and youngtimers (1980s quasi-classics like W124's, Opel Mantas, and original Audi quattros).  When I drove a W124 300E, I knew where I fell in this classification scheme.  I was cool with this because given my age (I was born in 1989), most of my favorite cars fit in the youngtimer category.

But where does the W116 go?  It seems obvious beyond doubt to me that the W108/W109 are oldtimers, and that the W126 is a youngtimer, but the W116 is a tweener.

Do malaise-era '70s cars just fall into an undesirable hole?  Hoping for your gut takes!

Cheers,

Jordan
1979 450SEL 6.9 #7184 “Die Marschallin”

daantjie

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,715
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Re: What do we call our cars? Oldtimers?
« Reply #1 on: 24 September 2019, 07:31 PM »
IMHO I think 1980+ would be youngtimer but I'm sure our German friends will correct me. Makes me think of Yuengling beer, man that's good stuff ;D unfortunately we can't get it here in Canada...
Ok back on track ::) I have long since held the view that the 116 is in a bit of a value dead zone. Sandwiched in between the muscle cars and the new wave of cool 80's models is where we find ourselves.
Not a bad thing for us diehard 116'ers as you can still get dandy ones for walking around money.
However I think the sharks are circling and values appear to be creeping up. Jump in now while the water's warm :)
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

Randys01

  • Classic
  • **
  • Posts: 127
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: adelaide australia
Re: What do we call our cars? Oldtimers?
« Reply #2 on: 25 September 2019, 01:53 AM »
 "mid timers"?!!
When people ask me about the W116, "classic 70's" seems to fit the bill.

ptashek

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,758
  • W116 owner
  • Location: Ireland
    • History of ZV9485
Re: What do we call our cars? Oldtimers?
« Reply #3 on: 25 September 2019, 06:19 AM »
There's several classifications used, but the most common I've seen goes something like this:

Veteran: pre-1919
Vintage: pre-1939
Classic: pre-1969
Modern Classic: at least 30y old
Youngtimer: at least 20y old

Ours would be modern classic then.
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE (history, resto)

daantjie

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,715
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

p. rex

  • Enthusiast
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Crazed 6.9 owner
  • Location: Austin, TX
Re: What do we call our cars? Oldtimers?
« Reply #5 on: 25 September 2019, 10:00 AM »
Daniel, I tend to agree.  We are stuck in the middle.  It is regrettable that our cars get stuck with the Cutlass Salons, the Mustang II's, and other lousy 70s rust buckets.  Of course, the Radwood set thinks that Fieros and 944's are super cool, which benefits the W126 crowd but not us.

For my money, the 116 is remarkable because it integrates classically-informed styling with forward-thinking technology.  Many folks only see the old-fashioned looks and fail to appreciate that nearly everything that was good about the 126 originated in the 116.  But that's their loss, really.

I wouldn't mind a pint of Yuengling to help wash down my work lunch.  I remember when I was road-tripping back from New York to Texas with my brother, we found ourselves in a downpour in the dark forests of Western Pennsylvania.  It was sweaty, hair-raising driving.  We pulled off the road at a neighborhood bar in Warren.  I recall I ordered a reuben sandwich and a Yuengling.  It's probably partly the circumstances, but I cannot remember ever drinking a tastier pint of beer.
1979 450SEL 6.9 #7184 “Die Marschallin”

floyd111

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,394
  • W116 drama student
  • Location: taiwan
Re: What do we call our cars? Oldtimers?
« Reply #6 on: 25 September 2019, 09:28 PM »
I've always been comfortable with "70's Classic", but in Chinese, there are no such common words for such distinctions. Only translation: "Antique Locomotive" ;D, close to "Antique Vehicle"

Randys01

  • Classic
  • **
  • Posts: 127
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: adelaide australia
Re: What do we call our cars? Oldtimers?
« Reply #7 on: 26 September 2019, 03:40 AM »
Slightly off topic but I am co-ordinating some work on a W100 600 Grosser. Chinese transaction is correct in this instance.!.by the same token so much of this vehicle is astounding.

p. rex

  • Enthusiast
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Crazed 6.9 owner
  • Location: Austin, TX
Re: What do we call our cars? Oldtimers?
« Reply #8 on: 26 September 2019, 10:40 AM »
"Locomotive" is about right.  When I bought my car, I nearly pulled the trigger on "LOKOMTV" vanity plates.
1979 450SEL 6.9 #7184 “Die Marschallin”

UTn_boy

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,113
  • Location: knoxville, tn
Re: What do we call our cars? Oldtimers?
« Reply #9 on: 27 September 2019, 12:26 PM »
Slightly off topic but I am co-ordinating some work on a W100 600 Grosser. Chinese transaction is correct in this instance.!.by the same token so much of this vehicle is astounding.

Never use Grosser.  Always Grosse.   ;) 
1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1976 280s astral silver/blue MB Tex
1978 450sel 6.9 Euro, Anthr/velour

Randys01

  • Classic
  • **
  • Posts: 127
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: adelaide australia
Re: What do we call our cars? Oldtimers?
« Reply #10 on: 29 September 2019, 02:36 AM »
You are correct of course  8)but I've been down this road a dozen times and the reality is, except for the most esoteric of discussions, it seems the global vernacular is "Grosser". I know I know I am  perpetuating a misnomer but........sorry sorry... :'(.
I have a theory as to how this "corruption" arose but I won't tie up this forum on W100 matters.

floyd111

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,394
  • W116 drama student
  • Location: taiwan
Re: What do we call our cars? Oldtimers?
« Reply #11 on: 29 September 2019, 04:07 AM »
It should be easily explained how that happened. In German grammar, if you write "big car" in a sentence, there are 16 grammatical possible positions/reasons to write the last 1-3 letters after "Gross", depending on rules linked to some 35 different words, being present or not, placed either before or after "Gross"
Unless your German is mint, you're gonna hit and miss all the time, trying to wing that one.
Add to that the fact that Grosse means "big" and Grosser also means "bigger"
I'd expect there's a bucket of reasons in there why Grosse became Grosser ???

UTn_boy

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,113
  • Location: knoxville, tn
Re: What do we call our cars? Oldtimers?
« Reply #12 on: 29 September 2019, 11:56 PM »
You're right about everything you mentioned.  However, the bottom line is very simple.  The 600 was advertised as "The Grand Mercedes".  The Germans used "Grosse" for "Grand", so that's what we stick with.  :)

When "Grosser" is used in the context of talking about a 600 it roughly comes off as big, fat, bulbous, overgrown, gigantic. (hinauswachsen übern) Mercedes never ever meant for the 600 to be any of those things.  It just so happens that "Grosse" can mean "Grand" and "Huge".....but it depends on it's placement in the sentence, what words come before or after, letter suffixes, etc.  But you already mentioned that.  In English there are similar confusing words.  For example, take the word "tear".  It can be used as a verb in "tear" a piece of paper or tear a ligament in your leg, it can be used to describe (an adjective) the voraciousness in which someone does something ( to tear through the forest with a machete), and it can be a noun (He sheds a tear every year on September 11).  English is a very cruel and nonsensical language in which perfection can never be attained. 

I'd say most people aren't able to pick up on the subtle audible differences between "Grosse" and "Grosser".....they sound almost identical.  I guess that at some point "Grosser" was adopted because that's what "Grosse" sounds like, and because, well, the 600 IS a massive car.  We could speculate all day, and every speculation could possibly be the correct one.  Go figure.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1976 280s astral silver/blue MB Tex
1978 450sel 6.9 Euro, Anthr/velour

Randys01

  • Classic
  • **
  • Posts: 127
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: adelaide australia
Re: What do we call our cars? Oldtimers?
« Reply #13 on: 30 September 2019, 02:58 AM »
For our purposes and in this context Grosse clearly is meant to be anglicised as Grand....means "Grand 600.' we are all happy with that.

IMHO  I suspect  Grosse is ordinarily enunciated with the flatest of "eh" on the end.. bit like  Porsche is pronounced "portia".  Over 50 years,  everyone for whom German is not their 1st language, has in endeavouring to pronounce it ,has progressively exaggerated the suffix. Gross-e became Gross-er.
Vehicles are measured in Gross weight  [no e on the end here] but generally pronounced Grose or Grossss in this part of the world.
144 articles is a Gross pronounced Grose...but never Grosss.??
Ah we could go on.!
Anyway, before anyone gets too excited about the logic of  pronunciation versus how a word is written ,I invite them to study that wonderful city in France. ... Reims.

Now......I have a friend who is a senior engineer within VW Audi group. His German is hi- end University standard. .yeah.so what.?
But he also holds a degree  in English from Oxford University.
Now that's a winning combo.
I will put it to him..see what he reckons for a bit of fun.?!

floyd111

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,394
  • W116 drama student
  • Location: taiwan
Re: What do we call our cars? Oldtimers?
« Reply #14 on: 30 September 2019, 04:48 AM »
At this point, inquiring minds want to know!
I can add to the mix that -as far as i know- there can not be a combination of grossER and Mercedes. Ein (a) grosses mercedes, das (the) grosse mercedes, das grossere (bigger) mercedes, ein grosseres (bigger) mercedes. It never becomes "grosser mercedes"
My money is on the yankees. General knowledge would allow for those people to know that gross is big. One syllable each.
But, they all heard "grosse", 2 syllables. So, English must be "bigger", 2 syllables as well, as a default, for big-ge does not exist to pick from.
 
OK, where's my Retalin?