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Mercedes-Benz S-Class W116 (1972-1980)

Mercedes-Benz S-Class W116
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Mercedes-Benz S-Class W116 was a high-quality prestige mobile

He was the privilege of top industrialists and other people who held important positions in the 116s. Today, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class WXNUMX no longer creates such a distance and more people can enjoy the exclusivity of yesteryear. The prestige mobile from Stuttgart requires some care in return if he does not want to lose his grace. 

Text & photography: Aart van der Haagen, archive
Technical support: Eric Breed (Schagen)


The overwhelming charm of vintage car driving will appeal to all of us. But does that automatically mean sacrificing reliability, safety, driving comfort and performance? If it is up to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class W116 from the period 1972-1980, it certainly is not. At the time, it was the pinnacle of what you could afford with a well-filled money bag on almost all fronts. The car is now much less behind than most of its contemporaries. And yet it has that classic look and experience. 

No wonder neat, honest Mercedes-Benz S-Class W116s today sell for considerable amounts. With that they gradually rise above the level of a nice hobby car for it and many will regret that. On the other hand, they save people who have to start saving from scratch to have maintenance performed for a heavy financial burden on their shoulders. After all, you don't want to have such a beautiful limousine carefree fun?

To drive

For a car that entered the market almost half a century ago, this former flagship of Mercedes-Benz still drives very quietly, stable and comfortable. If you switch from a luxurious British saloon or an American cruiser, you have to get used to the sturdy service and the typical seats. When landing, these are - to put it bluntly - a bit like a camp bed. However, you can last for hours and the rest of the driving experience hardly gives fatigue a chance. 

In the meantime, there is a continuous feeling of absolute superiority and unconditional quality. This is also reflected in the reliability. But keep in mind that some repairs can get into the papers. That is due to certain hard-to-obtain components and the price tags attached to them. 

Unfortunately, with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class W116, Mercedes-Benz Classic does not live up to its reputation for good parts supply and that sometimes tests proud owners of such an automobile, both in terms of costs and patience. However, it is fair to say that most peers from those years certainly do not score better in that area. Moreover, the technology of such an S-Class is much less likely to give up. Truly a top division, in every respect. 

Also interesting to read:
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- So the Mercedes SL class
- The Mercedes-Benz T line
- Mercedes Benz C123. A beautiful coupe.
- King Bhumibol of Thailand fanatic Mercedes-Benz collector

Mercedes-Benz S-Class W116
Mercedes-Benz S-Class W116
Mercedes-Benz S-Class W116
Mercedes-Benz S-Class W116
Dashboard of the 450 SEL 6.9, with walnut wood and optional climate control
In the beginning there were even versions with the automatic selector on the steering column
The American bumpers and headlights are not very popular
SEL versions are easy to recognize; some find the relationships a bit lost

One Comment

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  1. My neighbor from Murwijk had moved in together around the corner and had such a “Merc-Limo”. What a carriage compared to the VW Ponton that my father drove at the time.
    Very sharp is my memory of the ride with the W116 through The Hague with Toto's “Africa” from the impressive stereo.

    That "American"? Not to be fooled.

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