Guest Article: My W116 Journey

It was back in April 2018 when I got a call from Greg at Gullwing Motors, telling me to come in as he had a car that I might be interested in. Oooh, this sounded exciting, what was it?! I couldn’t get up there fast enough to see the red W116 450SE which Greg had just towed out of a customer’s garage, together with a W123 300D, as part trade ins for a sale of a W211 E500. Growing up in the 70s, the W116 was the S-Class of my youth and in the 80s a friend’s father had a […]

The Mercedes W116 in Australia

The W116 Mercedes is no longer a common sight on the roads of Australia. Yet, at one time, it was quite prevalent. With a 450SEL costing more than 8 times an equivalent Holden it was a very expensive car. Despite that, it was a strong seller with little real competition. The closest competition was probably from Jaguar – but they were much cheaper, and the 70s was the nadir of Jaguar’s quality. Rolls Royce was in a league of its own, and BMW were really only competitive with small sports saloons.

The W116 was on sale during a tumultuous time […]

50 Years of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The S-Class is probably the signature model for Mercedes-Benz. Personally it’s what I think of when I think of the brand. When I think Porsche, I think rear engined sports cars. When I think of BMW its sports saloons with an inline six. For Mercedes-Benz, it’s the S-Class. Throughout the years the company has seen other halo models come and go, such as the 300SL Gullwing and the 600. But the S-Class has always been that statement of what the best car they could make that would actually sell.

The S-Class was officially launched in 1972 with the introduction of […]

My 1979 280SE project and my quest for the perfect W116

I’ve been thinking about selling my 1986 300SE for a few months and replacing it with something different. I bought that car five years ago when I needed to be able to drive it every day to drop my daughter off at daycare then to the park and ride to get to work. I no longer work in the office every day, so the need to have a full registered car for this purpose is gone.

Last year I dropped it back to club rego. While it got used a lot, it was always second preference to the 560SEL and […]

More and more parts for Mercedes modern classics are NLA

Mercedes-Benz have justifiably maintained an excellent reputation for making parts available for their older vehicles. They still do a great job for their ‘halo’ classics like the 300SL gullwing or Pagoda SL. At the same time, I have noticed a big increase in the number of parts No Longer Available (NLA) for the modern classics. I define the modern classics as those made from the early 70s to the early 90s. This includes cars such as the R/C107, W114/115, W116, W123, W124, W126. There are probably others.

I’m really not sure how that extends to the late 60s models such […]

Mercedes 450SE W116 – The car I almost bought

I have always admired the W116 model. However, since the introduction of the W126 in 1980 the W116 has lived in its shadow. My 450SLC has been my primary car for most of the time I have owned it, but with three children, this is no longer possible. As I needed something that could fit three child seats in a row, a W116 would fit the bill nicely. I found a car – this 450SE W116 and agreed to buy it. Unfortunately, the sale fell through after a major mechanical problem was discovered by the seller before I was going […]

Driving the mighty 450SEL 6.9

Today I was able to drive a 450SEL 6.9 for the first time. I have driven many M117 engined cars (450’s and 560’s primarily) and the big difference is the massive amount of torque on tap with the M100. Regardless of the speed or gear the car launches immediately with even minor throttle input. The car I drove was the imported high compression model (8.8:1 instead of 8:1 in the Aussie version). This was a particular contrast to my 450SLC which as the low compression version of the M117 450.

The suspension is supple even with the low profile tyres […]