1971 Mercedes-Benz W109 300 SEL 3.5 petrol from Australia and New Zealand
A fabulous relic from a bygone era
Not much. A persistent misfire was cured by finely tuning the 'trigger points'.
This car has presence and refinement. Stylistically and mechanically, it is a superb piece of work.
Driving the car is akin to yachting. One 'progresses' rather than merely travelling.
The power of the V8 takes care of most situations, and the incredible air suspension takes care of bumps and dips.
The interior, with its 'cognac' coloured, leather upholstered seats, leather lined doors, burr walnut trim and tinted glass is an unusual combination of luxury and simplicity, at which Mercedes-Benz excels.
The power available, though not huge by today's standards, is more than ample. The old girl can really pick up her skirts. High speed cruising is effortless, and despite weighing two tonnes loaded and being 5 metres long, the car corners remarkably competently. Moreover, it's all done with a just not quite discreet V8 burble. Very satisfying.
I find myself looking for excuses to drive it.
It's reliable, it goes like a train, it's as comfortable as your old grandmother's parlour, and it looks like the dog's whatever's from the big grille and quad headlights, to the vast, squared-off boot.
While it's really only a big old Merc that happens to have survived, you find yourself fighting unbecoming feelings of superiority over your fellow road users, cramped as they are in their lumps of rusting, pressed tin.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd January, 2015