1980 Mercedes-Benz W116 300 SD 3.0 turbo diesel from North America


Good solid car, handles great, easy on fuel, I'm happy with mine!


When I first bought this car, it wouldn't idle, after trouble shooting I found that the previous owner had filled the tank with gasoline. The solution was simple; drain the tank and fill it with diesel and it's been running just fine ever since.

I've also replaced the rear shocks about 6 months ago as they were in bad shape when I bought this car.

The drivers seat is starting to wear out, but it still has some life left in it.

The paint is going away, the clear coat is peeling.

The cruise control is not one of this car's strong points, many people have complained about it not working correctly and my car is no different that way.

The A/C has not worked since I've had the car and it appears to have a bad compressor and no refrigerant in the system.

Parts are expensive and getting harder to find.

General Comments:

This car is not at all quick, although once at speeds above 40 MPH, it will move right along when you stomp on it.

It climbs hills just fine and has no problems when it comes to passing another car, just make sure you plan your move a little bit ahead of time.

The car handles so much better than any American sedan in this year range that it is, in my opinion, in a league of its own. Very solid through the corners and a comfortable and smooth ride make this car a real jewel on the road. The car weighs in at about 3800LBs.

The seats are okay for short trips, so, if you are planning a long trip, you'll want to plan to stop and walk around for a bit about every 2 hours or so.

As for economics, my car gets 26.5 MPG and driving over 500 miles on a single tank of fuel is easy to do as the fuel tank holds approx. 20 gallons.

The transmission has always been a little slow going into reverse, but seems solid otherwise, the shift points seem to be good at getting the best performance from the 3.0 L. 5 CLY. 120 HP. 149 LB FT torque turbo diesel power plant while still keeping the passengers comfortable. Smooth and solid shifts are definitely one of this car's strong points.

This car is very dependable, easy on fuel and one gets a sense of security in the fact that this car is very well built and heavy, good handling, nice body lines and a fair amount of other goodies on the inside as well, and that is what makes this car a winner in my book!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th September, 2005

15th May 2006, 11:43

I am a 57 year old w/male. I have owned several autos in my life. Some classy some not. Katrina got my 92 jag. When I decided to replace my play pretty. I found a real good deal on a 1980 300SD mint condition one owner. I was raised around diesels and have run them since then, but I had never heard of the 5 cyl. Diesel. I could not be pleased more with my new toy. I have it antique tagged and I get much more compliments on my 300 SD than the Jag. Keep fuel filters changed and make sure that Injectors are screwed in snug and there is plenty of power. Never a better road car.


1980 Mercedes-Benz W116 450sel 6.9 6.9 litre V8 from North America


The 6.9 Sedan


Many things were wrong with this car when I purchased it. Since restoring the car I have had no further real problems with it.

General Comments:

When I first saw this car was on an Ebay listing late one Saturday night. It was being sold by a dealer as an "all original", the engine was said to be sound and well kept. The bidding ended on Sunday so of course I could not talk to anyone before buying it. But, the body was beautiful and I had to have it. Astral silver is the color, with indigo blue interior. It took about two weeks to have the car shipped from the mid west (yes, it is completely rust-free). It arrived at 9p.m. on a misty night, so of course I still didn't know what I had until the next morning.

The car was in better shape cosmetically than I had expected, some various chrome pieces needed to be replaced, along with the rubber trim pieces, and two or three dings removed. The paint was not new, but in good shape and would do well until she could be resprayed.

The interior was pretty enough, but I soon realized how worn out it was (I suppose from the dessert heat). So the interior had to go. New German leather, German carpet, Mercedes CD with Bose speakers and other various interior items ran into the 5 to 6 thousand range.

The engine had been well kept untill 1995 when it had been parked. Since then the oil had not been changed. The engine was due for its major service and in bad need of a valve job. It needed a radiator, various new pumps, gaskets, hoses, belts and seals. All totaled it took about 5 thousand to get the engine and transmission in order.

The suspension system was shot. To overhaul the suspension and brakes was 3 thousand.

Of course I have done various cosmetics to my own taste including a $4k respray, but the is irrelivent.

Since the restoration I have had no trouble with it other than the climate control system failing once. Make no mistake that I am very happy with my car, but you must expect to do atleast some restoration on this old a car. I just chose to do a lot of restoration. Of course you do have on going maintenance bills, but on a car like this if well documented you could get every penny you put in it. I will keep mine.

A friend of mine named the car "Elvira" and that is her name. Elvira will now easily go down a highway at 120 mph just as she first did in November of 79 when she was delivered to the USA. I like to think after restoration the car is better than it was when new. Elvira certainly got a new life, and well deserved it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th February, 2005

6th Oct 2005, 03:34

I just purchased a '79 W116 6.9. It is American spec so the power is down a bit, but it is still quite rapid. My car had been repainted in original (Anthracite) color with original Palamino interior. It has genuine 49,000 miles on it. It was sitting in my friend's A/C (weather is hot in Thailand) garage for many years. Just before being parked there, it had all new suspension.

I think it is one of the cars most overlooked by classic car lover, may be because it is not that old yet. It drives exceedingly well with very smooth suspension and powerful engine. It surpasses luxurious modern cars in many ways (fuel consumption certainly is not one of them).

I will try to drive it as much as time permits me. It is a waste to keep it parked. I was told by the mechanic working on the car that hydraulic suspension needs to be used.

I am a classic car lover with a '79 6.9 (W116), '68 e-type Roadster Series 1.5, '76 350SL (R107), '66 600 (W100), '93 Aston Martin Virage (less than 9,000 Miles) and '92 512TR (with 1,800 miles).

23rd Apr 2006, 19:55

Hello Fellow 6.9 Owners:

I have a '77. Silver/Blue with less than 50k miles. This is an amazing car. Not for the faint hearted--either to drive or maintain. Much of the car is interchangeable with a basic 450 SEL. I had an idle problem that was making me crazy. It would start fine, and after driving for awhile, the idle would drop and get real rough. My M-B guru suggested swapping the FI distributor with the one on my 450 SEL. No Help. I replaced plugs, cap, wires, ignition module, coil. Still no help. FINALLY, looked at the ERG valve. It was sticking. Easy to by-pass.

Mine was a desert car, but kept inside. Leather/carpets are perfect. Dash cover has cracked. Haven't had nerve to remove dash cover to see what the real dash looks like. Bought the car in Palm Springs, CA and drove it straight back to Detroit. Great Drive. Buy only one that has been maintained and that they can prove mileage on odometer.

Regards, Jeff Poe (jmpcitroen1@hotmail.com)

20th Jun 2006, 12:09

Hi guys, don't know if this is checked often, but I have a '77 MB 6.9 with 102k on it... 8 out of a 10... mechanically awesome except...

Sometimes it idles low as a couple of you have dealt with... at 5k RPM rough... then I turn it off, let it sit and come back to it and it's like normal... EGR valve? Good deal!

Also, the suspension leveling system works, but is very very bouncy.. heard it may need new spheres.. ouch. It sits until I can get it an hour north to a reputable shop, as I'm afraid to take it to the local dealer... any advice on this car?

Pics are here... I bet you haven't seen one like this.. http://www.cardomain.com/ride/764349/1977-mercedes-benz-s-class