Author Topic: What kind of person buys/drives a w116?  (Read 8829 times)

michaeld

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What kind of person buys/drives a w116?
« on: 25 April 2007, 10:27 PM »
As some of you know, I bought an old Pontiac.  It's led me to think of a few questions that I otherwise probably wouldn't have had.

One of them is this: what kind of person buys a w116 rather than some other older or classic car (like, for example, an old Pontiac)?

Is it income?
Is it socio-economic status (or status seeking)?
Is it education?
Is it "class"?
Is it "taste"?
Something else? (fill in the blank yourself).

I wrote down what went through my mind when I considered this, but I wanted to see what a few of you thought about it before I posted it.  I was about to post it here, but copied it to a Word file instead.

What do you think?  What quality differentiates a classic Mercedes buyer from OTHER makes?  Is it just a subjective preference, like taste in ice cream, or is the difference more substantial?





Des

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Re: What kind of person buys/drives a w116?
« Reply #1 on: 25 April 2007, 10:35 PM »
One of them is this: what kind of person buys a w116 rather than some other older or classic car (like, for example, an old Pontiac)?

POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 ;D

1977 W123 230 
1977 W116 280S *new*
1980 W123 250
VW Beetle "Oval Window"
VW Golf Mk1
Volvo 240GL
Volvo 740GLE

Andrew280SEL

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Re: What kind of person buys/drives a w116?
« Reply #2 on: 25 April 2007, 11:11 PM »
Well in my case, my dad introduced me to them because his bought a few as he liked the model.

Then, after a few years of not driving a w116, my dad bought his blue 450SEL.
He let me drive it up the road, and I just said "I have to have one of these!"

I fell in love... then I bought my 280SEL, best purchase ever.  ;D
'79 280SEL- 560,000 Kms
'73 350SE- getting an AMG facelift
'79 450SEL 6.9

BC

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Re: What kind of person buys/drives a w116?
« Reply #3 on: 25 April 2007, 11:14 PM »
In my case it's more to do with the engineering and the way it is made. The thing I like about my 450SE, and other Benzes too, is the way it it obvious that people actually sat down and thought about how it would all work even before they began the design process. That shows in the essential design concept and in the way parts fit together. I also like the austerity of the car - there is nothing superfluous in it and nothing that does not have a function.
The 116 is an engineered car for the mechanically minded driver.
I like the design philosophy of 'Function determines Form' - and the sheer utility of all the 116 parts. I like the handling - the ability to accurately balance it through a curve by using the accelerator - the solid engineering and manufacturing values, inherent in the design.
It is also made to be repaired. I have read that the current Jaguar motor is designed NOT to be repaired but for replacement should part fail....
For that reason I also wear a spring-driven German watch made in Glasshutte by a small firm and made in the Bauhaus style. It is also a good feeling to send it back to Germany for servicing which is undertaken by the same small team that designed and made it in the first place. And when it comes back, there is always a small note to say thanks from the manufaturer. I like that anti-mass manufactured approach.
To me the 116 in its many forms is class-less and the wonderful thing is you don't have to be wealthy to own and run one.
Regards,
BC
« Last Edit: 25 April 2007, 11:17 PM by Brian Crump »
1979 450SE. Silvergreen/Ivory leather. For sale.
2001 ML320. Titanite Red/Java leather.
2007 CLK350. Cubanite/Pebble Beige Leather.
1993 Silver Spirit II. Dark Oyster/Parchment Leather.

koan

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Re: What kind of person buys/drives a w116?
« Reply #4 on: 26 April 2007, 01:56 AM »

I have to agree with Brian, I like the function determines form approach, an obvious example being the door locks.  Maybe they went a bit far with the extra bumper bars but I like 'em.

koan
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Martin 280s

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Re: What kind of person buys/drives a w116?
« Reply #5 on: 26 April 2007, 03:29 AM »
It took me a few years to get round to buying my car. I used to drive/ride past the used car lot and think "I want that car".
One fine day I stopped to talk to the salesman and we struck up a deal. Three years passed by until I finally drove it home.
Later on, I discovered the car had been on the lot for almost 10 years! Maybe the car was just waiting for me!?!
Well loved and cherished...
Lady Geneviève - 1976 - W116 280S
Lady Audrey - 1994 - W140
Lady Galatea - 1999 - BMW K1200 LT

Andrew280SEL

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Re: What kind of person buys/drives a w116?
« Reply #6 on: 26 April 2007, 03:34 AM »
Wow, Martin, it certainly seems to be fate!  :)

The day you drove it home must have been one great day for you   ;)
'79 280SEL- 560,000 Kms
'73 350SE- getting an AMG facelift
'79 450SEL 6.9

nathan

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Re: What kind of person buys/drives a w116?
« Reply #7 on: 26 April 2007, 04:29 AM »
listening to the group, i think 116s more than other cars often have a family/historical link.
my dad bought his 280sel new in 79...my brother got that...i remember when i was in last year of high school thinking i love the 280 and its solid ass doors cluinking shut...if only it had more power, which is when the mechanic first told me of the legend of the 6.9...

PB what you trying to say, cant afford child support and a 6.9...surely a kid cant cost a fraction as much as a 6.9 to run - Chris??  maybe ill have to have words to the wife and put plans on hold
6.9 79 #6436
6.9 79 #6290
6.9 79 #6181
6.9 78 #4764
6.9 77 #3096
6.9 76 #1741
6.9 76 #0902
6.9 75 #0018

OzBenzHead

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Re: What kind of person buys/drives a w116?
« Reply #8 on: 26 April 2007, 04:36 AM »
[...] surely a kid cant cost a fraction as much as a 6.9 to run [...]

I shouldn't bet the rent on that!

I'd swear that my two sons cost me far more than 56 cars have. And I'm not allowed to sell the kids when I'm tired of them!   ::)

Martin 280s

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Re: What kind of person buys/drives a w116?
« Reply #9 on: 26 April 2007, 05:20 AM »
It took me a few years to get round to buying my car. I used to drive/ride past the used car lot and think "I want that car".
One fine day I stopped to talk to the salesman and we struck up a deal. Three years passed by until I finally drove it home.
Later on, I discovered the car had been on the lot for almost 10 years! Maybe the car was just waiting for me!?!

10 years?!?!

what type of deal did you get in the end, if you dont mind me asking

I P/Xed a 1976 Honda CB500/4, paid R$6,000.00 cash and two installments of R$300 and one of R$350. But, for that I got the car's doc paid up to date except for the transference, a new exhaust and all the importation docs. It turns out I'm the third owner, the first being a Coronel of the Brazilian army who imported the car privately using his diplomatic powers, at that time Brazil under dictatorship rule. I moved to Brazil well after that!   
Well loved and cherished...
Lady Geneviève - 1976 - W116 280S
Lady Audrey - 1994 - W140
Lady Galatea - 1999 - BMW K1200 LT

Mercules

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Re: What kind of person buys/drives a w116?
« Reply #10 on: 26 April 2007, 05:53 AM »
My experience is a combination of "I've always wanted to own a 70's classic" & "right place right time"

I have just finished a ground up restoration on a 1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner with my brother... it was a race to the finish for my sisters wedding and now I have a nasty mark where the car bug has bit me... again!

This will be the 4th time now... Mini - Celica - VL Turbo - 280SE! Don't ask me how one led to the other coz I can't tell you!

The guy who runs the garage I work in bought this 280SE for his 16 year old son as a first car - turned out to have a blown head gasket... which turned out to be a cracked block. He mentioned to me he would sell it for peanuts on eBay and I could not refuse the offer!

Whilst i never really liked European cars all that much, I can't help but fall in, love with the 280's style & stance.

But.. if it wasn't this car - it would probably have been something else!

Cam

Grant V

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Re: What kind of person buys/drives a w116?
« Reply #11 on: 26 April 2007, 06:25 AM »
When I was about 7 or 8, the W116 350SE was the ultimate luxury car, apart from a Roller. In SA, the 350SE was the most expensive Mercedes at R13 000, when an XJ6 Executive cost a mere R8 000. My chum across the road was the grandson of one of our old Ministers of Transport, and the old man used to send his driver to collect his grandson for visits in a black 350SE with sunroof. I remember being totally in awe of this car and have always wanted one. When the 6.9 came up for sale, I bought it immediatley - unseen.
"You've bought another bloody car?!? We should have you committed!" he shrieked, storming out of the room

oscar

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Re: What kind of person buys/drives a w116?
« Reply #12 on: 26 April 2007, 06:58 AM »
My dad bought my 350 in 1989 for around $24,000AUD, about the same as a new family sedan back then.  At 17 I was struck by the  unmistakable grill and badge. It's a BENZ!! And I liked the shape.  It wasn't until months later I started to notice it's differences eg: like the heavy doors that Nathan mentioned and the ease with which they closed.  But I was off to Uni then, no more merc.

FF to 4 years ago, I swapped an '85 Fairlane for the same 350 off my dad, then I started to notice more qualities that set it apart from other cars I've had.  It was in poor nic mechanically, was missing trim, but still drove well and was fun to drive, I was hooked and started to delve for parts. 

Thanks to the internet, I discovered I was driving a "W116".  A year later I find this site.  Then, more and more I discover the engineering qualities that BC talks about.  That was a very good post Brian!! 
 
The attraction beyond the grill and the badge came after ownership for me.  There's no illusion for me of being something I'm not by driving a Benz even though onlookers are fooled thanks to the w116 timeless, classic shape. 
But in the end, I agree once more with BC - To me the 116 in its many forms is class-less and the wonderful thing is you don't have to be wealthy to own and run one.
1973 350SE, my first & fave

johnnyw116

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Re: What kind of person buys/drives a w116?
« Reply #13 on: 26 April 2007, 12:14 PM »
i got infected by the W116 virus by my father he bought 2 times a brandnew one i was a small boy at the time the second time he bought a new one i was the one who may decide the color of the car a moment i never will forget  :D since that moment ich liebe der W116 baureihe !
sometimes you see something at a young age like A W116 for example and you really want to own one when you grow up that is what happend to me  .         
Mercedes W116 kwaliteit is geen toeval
Mercedes W116 quality is no coincidence

JohnnyW116

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Re: What kind of person buys/drives a w116?
« Reply #14 on: 26 April 2007, 08:12 PM »
[...] my letter dropping serial killer mode [...]

I leave my OzBenzHead calling card



in the door/window of any owner-unknown, unattended W116 or older Benz I come across.  It has led to a number of worthwhile associations.

I refuse to be alarmed by media-hyped "boogeymans".  Having hitchhiked tens of thousands of kilometres, and picked up zillions of hitchhikers, I've never experienced anything more unpleasant that a bit of rank body odour - and one obnoxiously drunken female uni student.  It strikes me as unlikely that doing a letter drop would bring trouble.