Listen guys and gals, these are nice cars, these are beautiful cars, they are luxurious, classy, powerful, suave, blah, blah, blah and I like them, I really, really like them. I bought my first one early this year and then bought 2 more. But lets be honest...reliable?!, well engineered!!?? Some people here even have the nerve to dump on Asian built vehicles! My 86 Toyota Land Cruiser HJ61, my 76 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40, my wife's old Toyota Corolla, my 69 Ford F250 are all far more reliable and in a lot of ways better engineered than my 560 SEL. I don't mean to rattle any one's cage here but it's a car, designed and built by humans, it's got a lot of good points, a lot of great points, but it's a frickin car! Thank god the person that started this poll didn't put reliability as one of the selling points! I'm used to getting 300,000km out of a well built gasoline drivetrain, I'll be lucky to get half that out of my 560. Timing chains fail at 100,000, tranny's at 200,000, idling problems, no start problems, sls issues and the list goes on. Just like it does for a lot of vehicles out there.
And somebody should look up the definition of prestige. I love the "honour and esteem bestowed on me, by others, for my impeccable taste and discerning habits. Whether I'm shooting my SIG or my Browning, 4 wheeling in one of my Land Cruisers, escorting my wife on my arm or picking up a client that earns more in a day than I do in a year, I love the looks and nods of approval I get when I soire with the best. Prestige has nothing to do with being snobby, uppity or a show off. It's about about appreciating quality and I dare anyone on this site to say they don't appreciate the nods of approval they get when they pull up in their S Class Mercedes.
FLAK SUIT IS ON!
I am an Indian and grew up in India. The W126 were the models that I grew up with in India. I remember that I would look longingly at them as a kid and peer into them, soaking up every exterior & interior details of these cars. I promised myself that this will be the very 1st car I would buy and own. Then, I grew up and started buying cars for my own use. The Mercedes were prohibitevely priced due to the government's import tax of 150% and out of my reach. I bought a Fiat (always giving electrical trouble & a PIA car but inexpensive to fix due to mechanics at all street corners), Suzuki (The 1st modern car available to the public in India at a reasonable price. Mine was an Esteem - underpowered, but reliable with the usual Japanese No-Fuss attitude) and the Opel (Astra - always giving mechanical problems.) But, I never forgot the Mercedes.
Then, I came to USA bought an old Toyota Celica, when in Houston. Nice drive and it did what it was supposed to - drive me to point B from point A and back. I did not feel safe in it & there was no emotional attachment to the car. It was simply a car. But, I never forgot the Mercedes. It was a dream for me to own it, one day. I sold the Celica when I moved to NYC and never thought once of it.
I got married, my wife got pregnant and had to start looking for a car. As luck would have it, on my way to pick up my wife, I saw a 1989 300SE for sale. There were a few niggling issues when I bought it. A leaking transmission, some small body rust, no service history, a less than ideal a/c and an arm rest that has seen better days. Instead of being calm & rationale, I still went and bought this car as I was thinking from my heart (&dick) instead of being patient and searching elswhere for a nicer maintained model (preferably the 420SE). It was THE model that I had grew up with and lusted after. I knew it had a transmission leak and was aware some parts will be needed to changed. The exterior and the interior did not matter to me as I knew what colour I wanted to repaint with and how I finally wanted the interior to be.
So, why did I buy a Mercedes and this Mercedes?
1. It was a childhood ambition that I was achieving.
2. There is always a safety & a reliability feeling that only a Mercedes and a Volvo gives.
3. This Mercedes has a steel gauge for a body that the present day cars lack.
4. Once done, it will be a beautiful car to admire and lust for.
5. Even in it's present semi-dilapidated condition, it still gets admiring looks, even from more latest version owners on the highway. I have had 2006 model owners coming over to admire the car and it's engine, when in the garage, commenting on how safe & over engineered the 300SE is and how beautiful the engine is (I personally think that for a 300SE, it's under powered).
6. This is the only car that I will trust my wife and baby in and I am a paranoid person when it comes to these 2 people in my life.
7. I love Mercedes-Benz W126 and W124 models.
I hope that I've answered your question satisfactorily.