1979 Mercedes-Benz W116 350SE 3.5 petrol from UK and Ireland

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

1979 Mercedes-Benz W116 300SD turbo diesel from North America

Summary:

The Silver Bullet rides forever

Faults:

Nothing. Preventative care (new fluids, new belts, new filters, new tire, new hoses, new brake pads, new battery = $1,200 worth) have this car running tip top.

General Comments:

Love the seamless smooth power.

Tractor-like torque.

Excellent build quality = cast iron, real wood, real paint, redundant safety, a "stereo versus digital" automobile. Old school in every way.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st March, 2011

1979 Mercedes-Benz W116 280SE M110 Inline-6 from Germany

Summary:

That, what we all mean to the name Mercedes

Faults:

The both front doors got rusty during the first three years, but they had been changed by our dealer without any costs for us.

General Comments:

We used the car for caravaning and going to holiday with the whole family. The most time we used it, we used it with a heavy weight caravan or boat on a trailer when we went to wales or France. So the 227.000 km the car pulled it's double weight. The car is still in original condition. The engine still runs unlike any other. The car never had a fault during our journey. It took about 14 liters at 100km super fuel leaded.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th November, 2004

8th Apr 2011, 10:07

That's the very proof of Mercedes' reputation of heavy duty.

Indeed, I once towed a Mitsubishi Delica (L300) pick-up loaded with a lot of milk containers with my Mercedes-Benz 260E 1992; she did quite well with her strong torque and stiff body structure!