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1985 500 SEC EURO AMG/LORINSER; 1988 560SEL, 1995 S500 Sonderschutz
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3,680 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've always enjoyed brotherhood, comradeship, and sense of belonging to a "group." I have the idea that Mercedes-Benz owners are part of this group. I find myself nodding to other individuals driving a Mercedes, showing them a little more courtesy in traffic (not that I'm not curteous in traffic, what an asshole :) ) and enjoy checking out their cars.

The flipside of this positive feeling of community, is that I'm driving what many Mercedes drivers look "down on." Are older Benzes not part of the "in-crowd" when it comes to MB drivers? Are they too readily available to the "common" man? This common man being someone who doesn't recognize the prestige, the quality, and history of these cars. Someone who doesn't care for their car as enthusiasts do, but simply treat it like a vehicle?

I suppose it comes down to the individuals behind the wheel. Is the other person one to appreciate such comradeship, or even the person to appreciate the fact they are driving a MERCEDES-BENZ.

I almost scoff at my former self, driving around in my father's 560 SEL, regarding it as just a "hand-me down," not acknowledging compliments in an effort not to seem boastful, but deep down I only knew it was nice to wax it once in a while and change the oil. I knew nothing about the history or the WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE AND WHY! Ever since the accident I've come to appreciate this car, and the entire Mercedes lineup.

What are your insights?
 

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'73 450SL, '83 300CD, '01 E320 4matic
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2,449 Posts
I test drove a couple new MB's.... It's still quite a nice drive, but they can keep them....

The vintage MB's were so much more thoughtfully assembled by people who gave a shit... I think like anything else, there's little pride in manufacturing.

Germany outsources things too... Bosch parts are now made in Brazil, India, Japan....
 

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'12 E550 Sport, '01 550 Maranello *RIP*, '97 M3 6-Speed, '95 Dinan M3 Vert, '16 F350 Dually
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775 Posts
I also prefer the older models but will still buy nothing else. The new Mercedes have lost the original "quality" but I still have an affinity for them.
 

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1985 300SD, 1984 500SEL Euro (for sale), 1977 450SL (adopted)
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340 Posts
I believe it was Chevrolet that invented the "model year". Today we live in an age that "requires" us to be be bleeding edge or we're not hip. It seems like most people think that if you're not driving a CAR, much less an MB, that wasn't built in the past few years then you are not "in".

There are very few individuals who can appreciate the quality, craftsmanship, and pride that went into our cars... The others simply think we're wanna be's.

And that's just my 2 cents...
 

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85 500 SEC AMG Euro 83 300 SD
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788 Posts
It was the same back when I had some older BMWs, those with the new cars couldn't care less about the older cars that built the brand reputation. The Corvette guys, on the other hand, always wave to each other and have a respect for all vettes, regardless of year.
 

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96 and 08 911 turbos
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2,988 Posts
I'll give you an outsiders prospective.

I like the 126 and the 140. But since I don't have room for a third car, there is no way i can own one. I simply won't buy a 20+ year car as a daily car for several reasons.

Safety. While its built well, there is something about 14 airbags from every angle. Not to mention the brakes and traction/stability control are very useful. No 4matic option

Performance. Unless you get a 560, acceleration is not impressive, and the 4 speed tranny just leaves something to be desired. Ride comfort is great, body roll is a bit exaggerated.

Looks: Great, no problems there

Interior: Nice appearing, but short on options. Im not a tech freak, and I don't need every option, but things like parktronic, keyless go, navigation, heated/cooled/dynamic/massaging seats, sophisticated 4 zone climate control, etc are simply nice to have. Not to mention the extremely comfortable seats and serene quiet. The 126 steering wheel and gauges are also a bit aged looking to me.

I think most enthusiasts who own new cars would like an older benz, as would I if I had the space. People who don't care about cars and are into it for the status symbol just want new and expensive, doesn't matter what.
 

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1978 Euro 350SL Lorisner, 73 450SL AMG Clone
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1,152 Posts
Mercedes in Europe are like Chevys here, the amount of models they can choose from are 3 times a many as here. Most people in Los Angeles who have newer mercedes do it for status, the same for BMW and the many others.

But real mercedes drivers understan that the car was built to last. Why elese would a brand like mercedes have a million mile club. Was it not Rolls Royce who stated that if you bought one of them it would last you a lifetime, and you would never need to buy another car, thats why they cost 100K+.

So that be said why do so many Rolls Royce owners buy new ones and sell or trade in the old ones? STATUS, keeping up with the Joneses, making one feel that they are better than others. But that is not all drivers. I also have a 03 C320 sedan that my wife drives, and we had a 03 ML320 until last Sept 08 when we were hit by a 16yr old girl who ran a stop sign, that car after rolling 1 1/2times and all got out with only scratchs, a few minor cuts and some bumps and lumps, no broken bones etc... so mercedes saved our lives.

Yes the new ones are nice but you can not work on them, you need a full comptuer shop to plug the car into to see what is wrong.

I personaly like the looks of the older and feel of the older mercedes and no matter what the snobs think about me I do not care, I can buy any benz I want but am happy with the SEC.
 

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96 and 08 911 turbos
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2,988 Posts
Yes the new ones are nice but you can not work on them, you need a full comptuer shop to plug the car into to see what is wrong.
pretty common misconception.

engine/obdII codes can be read with a $30 code reader. A/C codes come up on the display. Things like seat heaters, sam modules, and the like are easy enough to figure out with some old fashion diagnosing.

While the $5,000 SDS computer is very helpful, its not necessary for a good amount of stuff.
 

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1978 Euro 350SL Lorisner, 73 450SL AMG Clone
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1,152 Posts
Just pointing out that the person buying the new 500 CL or CLS or a new 500SL is not one who is going to go out and be a backyard mechanic on his car. It is a status thing.
 

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1986 420SEL, 1988 560SL, 1980 300TD
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470 Posts
You should not forget that a lot of these people are driving a Mercedes because its the most expensive car out there, think of those girls with bug-eyed glasses driving round in a new SL55 because daddy wanted her to be happy.

I have my ML430, it has satnav (well it just stopped working) and a good sound system (well, that just stopped working as well) and its performance is pretty good, but lets be honest, that car is ugly.

For me there is just so much more class, history and style to older cars. Even those beaters are awesome, just knowing a car has been around for so long, and been through so much, but it still wants to keep going, is cool to me. Sure it'd be nice to buy a new car and not have to worry about it, just drive it, but with older cars there's always something to do, which is great, maybe one day I'll get bored of it, break down and buy a prius, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
 

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1978 Euro 350SL Lorisner, 73 450SL AMG Clone
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1,152 Posts
with the prius and the mazada mita I could put up what we say in the entertainment business about them and the people who drive them but it is not potlically corret and I do not want to offend anyone on the board. because we never know who is who.
 

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1986 560 SEC Red
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88 Posts
So true. I drove some new one's and I can only say that there not the same in feel unless you buy the top of the line models. The C-240 and the like you can have. Noteworthy is the other end of the spectrum. And I now have a hard on for a Cl 55. or Cl-500. I have always had a thing for coups. Especially since I am now single. There is one in my near future but I don't think I will ever sell my 86 560 SEC. It just speaks to my soul. Scott
 

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R.I.P. Never Forgotten
1983-2007 MB's
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8,023 Posts
Uhm, what about the CL600 owner and all that sh*T they face, OBD reader or not?

Parts, as technology increases (and failure rates go up), go higher as the years progress.
 

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96 and 08 911 turbos
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2,988 Posts
Uhm, what about the CL600 owner and all that sh*T they face, OBD reader or not?

Parts, as technology increases (and failure rates go up), go higher as the years progress.
like what? the ABC suspension? only thing you really need SDS for there is the rodeo procedure.

coil packs are easy to diagnose.

Most techs these days have lost the art of mechanical diagnosis and rely solely on a computer to tell them whats wrong. Its great for high volume flat rate places, but just because its easier and quicker doesn't mean it can't be done without.



As for the ML, well, that is not, and never has been, a good model for MB.
 

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1974 450 SEL Champagne Beige Metallic(Sold); 1986 560 SEL Champagne Metallic
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181 Posts
The new models are technological wonders, and I am a tech fanatic, but I also appreciate the care that was given to the production of these cars from 20 years ago and further back in time.

I have owned 116 and 126 and will continue to do so until I am buried in one.

I have owned other manufacturers over the years and was continually disappointed by the proliferation of plastic and poor construction or "substance" while the technology was beaten into us by the media.

Let a new car hit one of our true classics, and they will fold like an accordian while we may just need some paint touch-up!

The older cars have that sophisticated 'je ne sais quoi' and a solid feel not captured since. JMHO
 

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Always Remembered RIP
1991 560SEC AMG
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10,146 Posts
I don't think I will ever sell my 86 560 SEC. It just speaks to my soul. Scott

What does it say when it talks?


Mine says:


"Hey you, Give me some *MORE* of that Persian Perrier, I need to guzzle more, more, more"


hahaha
 

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1988 560 SEC, '03 Ducati ST4s abs, '68 ZZ430 Camaro
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118 Posts
The only time I've felt like I owned a "black sheep Mercedes" is when I took it to a MBZ dealer to have my broken back window replaced - and not only got gouged, price-wise, their subcontracter glass installers did a substandard job (got sealant all over and bent my antennae). After my protests they replaced the antennae, but I still feel the job was performed poorly.
While it's true I don't produce the income required to purchase a new S550, I feel that (as a gearhead, in love with my SEC) I, excuse me, we W126 faithful are the truest, most pure ambassadors of the marque. My entire family knows of my love affair with my W126 (I joke that if I'm going to dally with a 21 year-old, it might as well be a car). Well, my brothers' wife just went out and bought a C230...black, just like my car. They didn't ask me or I would have probably steered them toward a nice E430, but still, my passion for MBZ was not lost on them...can't say the same for Mercedes North America.
I think one of my favorite things is being able to introduce people to the undeniable quality of my "old" car. After 186,000 miles, it's still solid as a bank vault. Recently drove a SL500 R129 and it was remarkable how much it drove like my car. Liked it but wished it were bigger.
 

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560 SEL
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62 Posts
I often talk to other Mercedes owners, with cars much younger than mine, and very often they start talking about my 126 being one hell of a lot better than their new, or almost new, Mercedes (costing 5-10 times as much)

There is the prestige crowd too, but most of them know that no modern Benz is build like the 126, and have a lot of respect for the 126...

That said, there is a difference between an old enthusiast car like ours and a daily driver doing thousands of km's every month (even if a 126 would do that job as well :) - to a lot of people, the 126 is just not a sensible choice - but they still respect the values of the car...

Just my two cents...
 

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2019 Hyundai Elantra, 2005 Chrysler Town & Country, 1999 GMC Yukon
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1,660 Posts
For me, mine and my wife's Mercs are great cars that we could pay cash for. We needed a wagon, and I bought the best I could find. Her '95 E320 Wagon is what converted me to MB. My SEC is just freakin' cool, although I didn't NEED it at all. It's turned out to be the best car I've ever owned.

I was suprised my the looks and waves BOTH our cars get by owners of newer MBs. A couple in a ML suv was all around my wife's car on the highway, followed her to where whe went and told her "that's a REALLY good looking car" She told them a little about it and everyone went on their way.

Snobs are trying to impress so that they can feel superior, and will drive whatever they feel impresses the most. The rest of us appreciate these cars for what they are - superior.
 
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