1978 Mercedes-Benz W116 450 SEL 6.9 V8

Summary:

Wallet-emptying, glorious beast!

Faults:

I bought this as a drivable project. It had been neglected by previous owners over the last 10 years. During my year of ownership I have done the following so far...

Full engine service (including an 18 litre oil change).

Replace all 5 suspension spheres with new MB.

New exhaust (half from MB, half custom).

New brake hoses, calipers, discs, pads and park brake shoes, all around.

Fix blower motor.

New headlight wipers.

Various other small parts.

Extensive underfloor rust renovation.

General Comments:

What a fantastic car that I feel lucky to own. It has so far cost me a fortune to bring it up together, and next year it will be going into a body shop to have a full strip down respray, and I'm toying over whether to leave the seats original or refurbish. The wood will be refurbished.

With the new spheres it drives like no other, the comfort is uncanny. The engine is a work of art and I also just enjoy looking at the car.

Don't worry about fuel costs, that will be the smallest expense of owning one of these. Parts are mainly expensive, lots are NLA so you have to be creative.

Prices are rising all the time, so if you want one, get it whilst you can, but make sure you have deep pockets!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th August, 2016

1979 Mercedes-Benz W116 350SE 3.5 petrol

Summary:

Should have kept it

Faults:

Leaks into the cabin, albeit not on the Titanic's scale.

General Comments:

I bought this silver number on eBay. I forget the eBay number. The vendor said it was "very cool". I noted the AC didn't work so it wasn't that cool. He'd taken it to the beach with his young son in tow (in the rear, not a trailer). I knew this was true due to the copious amount of sand he hadn't bothered to hoover from the rear foot wells, to employ synedoche.

At the time, these W116 vehicles were about as wanted as the AIDS virus. Who but an owner of an oil well would even consider the purchase of a (laughably) 3 speed automatic with fuel consumption of around 15 MPG (on a good day) at a time when petrol was around £1.40 per gallon? The answer of course was me, and I ain't no JR Ewing, seeing as I'm moral, non-wig wearing and lack the eyes of a priapic crocodile.

This car had problems with drink, as specified in the paragraph above, and frankly could have been named Sue Ellen. Whether it was an unfit mother is a moot point. It also had a broken aerial, so the reception on the awful stereo was bleaker than an apocalyptic landscape. The tyres were more cracked than the face of an octogenarian smoker, and the engine rougher than the surface of the Moon. The aerial and tyres were replaced.

That said, it was a handsome beasty, finished in metallic silver. The interior was upholstered in blue velour with the customary wear to the bolster of the driver's seat. If I was Marty McFly, I would use the DeLorean to educate the former owners on deploying either a seat cover or diminishing the size of their posteriors, Baby's Got Back, or simply maneuvering them in a less friction-based method. It's a butt-bear, or bug bear, of mine.

The vehicle was left outside. Sadly it developed a leak in the cabin through the front screen rubber, I think. The ridiculous sheepskin over-rugs were soaked. Why would anyone order sheepskin on the floor? Why? I was vexed and appalled at the senseless original purchaser. It was sold.

Years later it was advertised on a website for four times what I'd sold it for, with the vendor claiming it had recently had new tyres and an aerial. How recent is recent, I mused? Why do cars only gain value after I've bounced them?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th January, 2016