Base 280 S – underpowered due to
Axel Krumbach’s S-Class makes the W-116’s heart beat faster: first coat of paint in “icon gold metallic”, immaculate interior in “mahogany”, smells new car and 81,565 kilometers on time. Axel smiled understandingly as he handed us the keys. Because the nameplate is dead. A 280 S with a six-cylinder carburetor, which was considered lame and thirsty on the tables of regular German customers. But there are no signs of underpowering.
With a warm roar, the dual cams hit the service brake when automatic gear is engaged. A chrome-plated tin castle confidently parted a sea of modern plastic cars in Stuttgart city traffic and then made the Swabian metropolis disappear in the rearview mirror. Connoisseurs appreciate the 280 S for its frugal charm.
Popular zero retailer with confidence. And as early as 1973, a trade journal declared that the entry-level model had “respectful driving performance”. Considering the 280 carburetor from zero to one hundred it took a blink of an eye longer than the injectors. At the latest when the second stage of the carburetor fires up and he slams his tenor against the injector which sounds meaningless, you know: you got it right!
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aluminum wheels? there isn’t any. Even the “high end equipment” with foamed door panels (425 marks) is missing. Although it doesn’t make cabbage fat anymore with expensive ingredients like window regulators, air conditioners or automatic systems.
Middle – in the shadow of brother
At that time car testers hounded the 24 liter through the K-Jetronic only to find that the 350 SE’s driving performance was “not very attractive” for its price class and displacement. The BMW 3.0 Si with its 200 hp six-cylinder is two seconds faster from zero to one hundred and runs at 214 km/h. But even a light gas foot has to be prepared for something at the pump.
But 350 doesn’t disappoint. It looks vibrant and stretchy, and at high speeds it adds to the incredible performance. Only the automatic brakes soothe the sporty nature of the Benz. It will be a celebration to ride it in gear. And to spend 168 marks on the tachometer, which Mercedes itself charges extra for 450.
Coronation – “Six-nine” beats its own myth
Right? Let’s put it this way: The top model of the 116 series continues to impress even after more than four decades. Even the driver of the massive turbo-doped diesel has to stomp hard on it to keep up with the two-ton steamer down the highway.
But now the legend himself beats the Benz bosses of the ’70s. Overly complex technology and expensive parts prices raise questions about the relationship between effort and results. His technical prowess comes at a high price. But the strongest of all 116 intermediate sprints quivered out of the arms casually bordering on arrogance. And Mercedes was silent, it even had 235 good things in it. Thanks to the constant deflection of springs, the hydropneumatic chassis solves the conflict of purpose between cuddly soft and cornering, but compared to the standard 116 it seems a little less damping.
The interior promises Bonn Republic comfort. When the heavy portal slides into the pivot lock and the velvet velvet lining caresses your back, you almost think the world is fine then. That’s not true in the context of our photo car history. The family of employer president Hanns Martin Schleyer wears 6.9 gray-blue. He was kidnapped and shot by terrorists while the vehicle was still being built in 1977.