They’ll never be another Mercedes-Benz like the W116 S-Class. In the late 1960s when these were developed, the philosophy was just different. I’m really not trying to be the “They don’t make them like they used to!” guy, but these were just built differently. Bank vault-like doors are replaced by doors where closing as softly as possible is the goal. Don’t get me wrong, I love new cars and would absolutely love a new S-Class, but a properly sorted W116 is just so satisfying. That explains why I still have one in my modest collection.
Today’s car, a 1977 280SE up for sale in California, pre-dates the 300SD turbodiesel and is the little brother to the 450SEL and legendary 6.9. It isn’t a powerful car by any means, but sturdiness and longevity is the name of the game here. Which is probably why we are still checking it out some 46 years later.