Photo by Salt Water New England

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Mercedes

Photos by Salt Water New England
 Two Questions for the Community:
What are your thoughts on current Mercedes? 
What is your all-time favorite Mercedes?



























































77 comments:

  1. ‘71 four door. Swoon!

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  2. Love Mercedes old and new. Currently drive one and it is my favorite car I’ve ever owned by a mile. They do comfort well, performance well, and they’re a little more interesting right now than BMW or Audi. Audi hasn’t changed their interior substantially since my ‘99 A4, and who the hell knows what BMW is doing with their naming convention (I used to know what a 3 series, 5 series, etc. Since they changed models I don’t know what’s what and I don’t really care).

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  3. I preferred Mercs when they were made by the engineers, and not the accountants. Tank-like build quality, over engineered, lots of chrome. Not a fan of the new ones. Far too "bling, bling".

    Favourite model? 1989 R107 500SL in signal red with mushroom leather. Euro style. Not US style with the massive bumpers and twin headlights.

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  4. my 1981 240D (W123) manual transmission the best car ever

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  5. 1953 Convertible

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  6. I've always gotten the sense that Mercedes are a bit more on the "conspicuous consumption" end of the spectrum, as opposed to Volvo or Saab, for example. They are well-made vehicles, but not necessarily any more so than others. If you had to divide cars between "New Money" and "Old Money," I'd say that newer Mercedes are New Money whereas Volvo's are Old Money. Old Mercedes fair much better than new ones in this regard. With that being said, there is an entire world of vehicles considered "luxury" that are far more "New Money" than Mercedes.

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  7. Replies
    1. I agree completely. I once owned a 280SL. I have owned a lot of nice cars. The 280SL is my clear favorite. I purchased it new in 1969. I am also fond of the 190.

      I like the looks of the G Wagon. A friend owns one, and he really likes it. I am now an old man, and I don't drive much. If I had a nice dog, I would consider a G Wagon as probably my last vehicle. Just seems like the kind of vehicle that requires a dog riding shot gun.

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  8. Replies
    1. Since my wife won't let me buy a Mercedes (or a pickup truck), something I've let everyone know about already, it doesn't matter. But it would have to be a Unimog, even though I've only seen one in the U.S. It would be much more "me" than a sedan anyway.

      The first Mercedes I probably liked and would have loved to have was a 220, which makes it about 50 years ago. But the only one I ever drove was a 450, which was not a bad car, although I only drove it about a hundred miles or so. Volvos seem to be as expensive as Mercedes these days, depending on model. I see a lot of Mercedes vans around here and Volvo construction equipment.

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    2. 100 times yes to the Unimog!

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  9. I could say my 1979 450SL but I would truly love a 500E. I drove one once and am hooked, the co-build with Porsche was historic. I encourage all Mercedes owners and lovers to join The Mercedes Benz Club of America.

    David J Cooper

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  10. I own both a Benz and a Saab. Both are built to a standard that few others have been able to emulate. The Mercedes is a C300 that was purchased some seven years ago. It's not loaded. The Saab's a Viggen. It came with everything standard, except the sun roof, which I decided to forego; European vehicles had clogging and leaking issues with their sun roofs, and I was reluctant to risk it. Both vehicles have similar horsepower, but very different engines and characters - and purposes. Both are a pleasure to drive.

    Banacek

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    1. Unfortunately, today's C300 looks a bit like something from "Who killed Roger Rabbit?", and drives like a couch - not exactly my preference in a European sedan. Mercedes built a more attractive vehicle when they were competing with BMW for a share of the "sports sedan" (a term I use despite its being an unintentional oxymoron) market.

      B.

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    2. ...having dissed the current line of daily-drivers, the AMG GT is a fine automobile, despite its lack of a manual transmission...

      B.

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  11. They have always been very nice cars all around. But in the last 20 or 25 years the whole vibe has changed. That being said we do have a 2014 E 350 wagon that we really enjoy. I hope to keep it in good shape for many years.
    My sister had an S 500 about 20 or so years ago that was very nice to drive.

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  12. Never owned one, so take that into consideration —

    For me the 300 SLR is/was IT. Nothing better. (For civilians, it would be the gullwing hardtop version.)

    I thrilled to read about Stirling Moss and his co-driver, Denis Jenkinson, in the 1955 Mille Miglia, and the turn-by-turn, revs-and-gear road log they compiled and used to win the race — abd they beat Fangio by 32 minutes!

    (You had to be there — which I wasn't, being a just kid — but the racing publications covered it in detail.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1955_Mille_Miglia

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    1. That was a great drive by Moss, who then hopped into his personal transportation and drove most of the way across Europe as soon as he'd collected the trophy. He later explained that he'd been taking uppers. The log-in-a-box was brilliant, like one of those roller-style hotel directories Holiday Inn used to put in rooms. One Italian newspaper reported that a "bearded priest" accompanied Moss and read from his breviary along the way. How Jenks must've loved that part.

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  13. Fun pictures-love all the varieties of Benz! My older brother owned a 450 SL -tan with a brown top and tannish leather interior. At the time I was driving a butter yellow VW Bug convertible and borrowed his car for some reason or another. I put my foot on the gas and in the blink of an eye practically landed in the next county. I also fantasized about owning the station wagon after watching too many episodes of Hart to Hart.....

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  14. Current Model I would consider driving: E 450 4MATIC Wagon
    Favorite Model of All Time: W123 300td

    -JM, Virginia

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  15. When I am Europe, Mercs are great rental cars. A few co-workers have purchased new ones and they are a money pits when the warranty runs out. One sold it and got a Honda Accord.

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  16. Not a car person, but I share a birthday with Karl Benz!

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  17. Favorite: CLS early 2000s, still the best lines despite its image as a gangster car
    Current S-class is better than ever, other lines not so much!

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  18. Last few decades Mercs don’t age very well. General image here in the Netherlands is that it’s a brand for either new money or for criminal money. Once they hit the second hand market they soon turn in to working class/lower class cars.

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    1. Working-class/lower-class cars? Heavens, dears, we can't have that.

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    2. That's sooo true! Many of our taxis here in Switzerland are Mercs!! The newer models don't even get a second glance (well, maybe they do, but with a little smirk), and the older sedans are, well....

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  19. All about the wagons and SLs. The perfect combo.

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  20. My vintage 250,SL. Never fails! The new ones are far too sterile to suit!

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  21. Although strictly utilitarian, and absolutely beat by other models in the eye candy/fun departments, the 240D is really the absolute classic, attested to by the thousands of them still on the road (see the million mile club). I personally had a lot of fun with the 450 SELs that I owned - the fastest mattress on wheels one could dream of. I could clock them (and did) at rather extraordinary speeds and never feel a bump. I was rear ended by someone who was fleeing the police in a high speed chase once, and the police swore the only reason I lived was my giant, steel, Mercedes tank.

    I still love the classic MB, but feel that quality (and appearance) started to slip around 93 (those chassis changes - ugh, the hideous but still kind of fun 190E), and really took a decided turn for the worse with the whole Daimler/Chrysler biz. I wouldn't dream of buying a new Mercedes, the quality just isn't there, but will always keep room in my heart and driveway for one of the classics.

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  22. I'm sure I'm in the minority, but for some reason I like the fintail line from the '60s, probably because I was a car-crazy little kid then and the first Mercedes I ever rode in was a fintail sedan that a friend of my parents, the VP of a large Southern university, had bought in Europe.

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  23. Well, if a 190SL was good enough for Sonny Drysdale...

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    1. But Milburn drove a Chrysler Imperial LeBaron!

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    2. Yes, but he wasn't in his 17th year as an undergraduate. But ah, that Imperial. Whenever I see that car and hear the Miss Jane theme, I know something wonderful is about to happen on-screen.

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    3. Oh wait, sorry, my other reply was in error. Miss Jane generally didn't drive the Imperial, as I recall. Didn't she usually drive a Dodge convertible? I think they even gave her a Challenger eventually.

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  24. Through the years , I have had the C and E class models. All good solid autos. I am currently driving an SLC300. Be careful with the low profile tires. I once blew out two tires on one pothole. Quite i feat. Still thinking of moving on to the AMG43 when my current lease expires in two months.

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  25. I have a friend whose job is to test drive them and those cars are pretty nice .

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  26. I'll take a W-124 please!

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  27. Got my current GLK 2012 SUV "pre-owned" at 2% interest rate --unheard of for a second hand car. My car is close to 100,000 miles and still runs great. And not only are their cars built like tanks, the service department is top notch too. You go in, talk to the service guy and they lend you a brand new model to drive until your car is ready. Sweet!

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  28. Those are exactly my thoughts about Mercedes- I respected them when they were about engineering, but they have become too flashy and I get the sense the quality is not there anymore. I have an '86 190D and it is a joy to clatter about in...

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  29. I have owned five. 1967 230SE, aka, the "Rhineland Rambler," with fins - a reliable, safe, slow car. 1971 280SL in chocolate brown (see 8th from the top) that was an automatic and while the 280SL was not a sports car, I hated the automatic so I traded for a silver 1971 280SL four speed, which I drove for about 20 years and sold for twice what I paid for it. 1970 280SE convertible (3rd from the top) that was a wonderful car. It had a rear seat, but in reality was a two seater, so when babies arrived it was a choice between keeping the 280SE or the 280SL and I kept the latter. The final was a 1982 300SD (17 from the top if I counted correctly) bought when gas prices were going through the roof. At the time, each was superior to any American car and there was not the variety of Japanese and now Korean cars available. I'm afraid that the current crop of Mercedes do not justify their prices - the rest of the world has caught up in terms of quality, but not in terms of price.

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  30. The 300SL Gullwing and Convertible from the late 1950s. I never owned one.

    I once saw a documentary on Hugh Hefner that showed him driving through nighttime Chicago in a black 300SL convertible -- back when Playboy ruled the world.

    The cars go for $1.5 million today -- a little steep to go grocery shopping in.

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  31. I've owned them since 1971. First was a '69 220D stick,now 4 wagons, 3 sedans, 2 cabriolets and 4 SL's later, My current SL has been on the road the last 14 years,best ever,why change. I remember Hugh Hefner (plate HH1340, his address on State pkwy) being chauffered in his black 600 daily to his office at the Playboy Building on Michigan ave. However, it was always around 5pm, the privacy shades were always drawn.

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  32. I love the 200 Series from the l970's / early 1980's where the color of the hubcaps matched the color of the paint on the car's body. Understated elegance.

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  33. I just bought a Mercedes wagon, an E450 4Matic with the Luxury package. The luxury package has the classic grille and mascot vs the large garish star in the grille. I looked at the new Volvo V90 wagons, but they're a little too fashion forward IMHO. Plus the Merc can accommodate 7 passengers with the rear seats.

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  34. In general, they are well-made cars, if we are talking about functionality and aesthetics, and in decades past, they were touted as arguably the best of German engineering, but here in Europe, unless they're the sports Cabriolet-type, the Merc sedans are seen by many as only fit to be driven by paid chauffeurs for exiled dictators. Many are divided over the newer models (I am undecided about them), and quite a few think they've lost their appeal as they seem too pedestrian and common looking. I've frankly never been moved much by them. When I was younger, I liked Saabs (Scandi) and Audis much more. Saabs are no longer made, and I like Audis and Mini Coopers, but would be equally happy with Hondas and Subarus.

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  35. Updating my comment to add: I only like the Merc station wagon (or "break" as we call it in central Europe for some strange reason) because it isn't bling/showy, is very capacious and built like a tank. In the 90s to early 2000s an ex of mine had a wagon that he used like a utility vehicle around his Tuscan farm and he preferred it to any SUV. I'm still not wild about any SL or SLS because they remind me too much of "American Gigolo".

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  36. Long standing and deserved reputation for well made cars with the right touch of luxury. My uncle has exclusively driven MB since the 1960s and has nothing but praise.

    Here in South Florida, however, along with BMWs, they are everywhere. There is a certain hierarchy with the C-Class being the more egalitarian option whereas the G-Wagon is reserved for the twenty-something wives of wealthy much older Latin American men.

    As for myself, I pull into the Everglades Club in a 10 year old Honda with a freezing cold AC, the only luxury that truly matters in SoFla.

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  37. I wholeheartedly support your driving a Honda with the AC blast :) They are much less pretentious than the MB as of late, which along with the BMW, have become too much the symbols of arrivistes and the nouveau riche.

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  38. They all look better with a dog as co-pilot.

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    1. My dog grew up riding in my mb and to this day 15 years later she can differentiate the sound of older Benz engines.

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  39. The only one we had was a 1985 300TD. Worst car ever. Came from some south Florida friends of my in-laws. Leaked like a sieve and then grew mold everywhere. We passed it right down to my son, so we could hear him come home from 5 miles away.

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  40. Give me an old MB estate. Last ten years MB has become the symbol of the "look" at me I made it. What they tend to not realize is that over the past 15 years anyone with a job could lease an MB thus it has become an ordinary car with not much cachet. Take Volvo's, they represent/identify with a certain personality - intelligence, powerful yet understated - which does not appeal to most. Current MB's lack this type of personality and identity thus they are built for the masses - particularly after that 4 year lease. :)

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    1. Et voilà! I prefer Volvos over MBs; they have more cachet these days and less of that "m'as-tu-vu" syndrome.

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    2. I used to see Volvos that way but not anymore. The S90 and V90 are models of conspicuous consumption.

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    3. Guilty. My S90 is a bit over the top, but that premium sound system is like hearing the voices of angels.

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    4. MB buyers buy for the MB name while Volvo buyers buy for practicality, safety and as is the case for the V/S 90's understated (Swedish) elegance. Basically a Volvo will remain a Volvo because an MB/BMW/Audi buyer/driver would rarely consider a Volvo thus the elegance will always remain understated. Its the buyer (and their preferences) who identifies the perception/character of an automaker and the autos they produce.

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  41. I had little interest in the two-seaters, but by far the best Mercedes-Benz autos were the classic W115 especially in diesel; the extremely well-engineered and well-built W124; and the magnificent W126 S-class, the finest luxury car ever built. Okay, the 600 Pullman was too exceptional to be included. The original Gelandewagen is a classic, and I must admit the current modern G-Class is the best vehicle MB currently makes.

    Otherwise, modern Mercedes-Benz cars are fussily designed with run of the mill engineering and poorly-developed electronics. The aesthetics are alos not exceptional any longer, and AMG products tend toward tacky and flashy.

    However I do second the wonderful Unimog, it is a shame the world no longer tolerates such cheekiness!

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    1. Cheekiness? What did that make a Dodge Power Wagon?

      The original Land-Rover, which I mentioned elsewhere, even as reliable and excellent off-road, was simply too slow for American tastes. Then came the Toyota Land-Cruiser, and then everyone had a monster pickup truck for sale. So Land-Rovers became luxury SUVs in several variations and that was 50 years ago. And Mercedes makes a few of those, too.

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  42. The Volvo 240 Wagon in Edwardian Grey was my first car handed down to me. It was the perfect utilitarian car for trips to the Topsfield Fair, old drive-ins, local pizza shops (usually Greek-styled pies with the thick buttery crust), vinyl record stores, beach outings in York and hiking adventures up the Whites.

    I also owned a few Saabs as well. 900 Turbo and 93. They were quirky and fun to drive but terribly unreliable. My auto mechanic probably retired a rich man because of these cars.

    For the Mercedes, I still prefer the boxy shape of the 80's 300 E Wagon.

    The newer Mercedes in my area are mostly driven by college students from a country that our incumbent is hawkish against.

    Tesla seems to be car maker of the moment. Land Rover, not so much these days. Too many trips for unexpected repairs have all but killed off the demand.

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    1. My own mechanic did well enough during our period of owning Volvos. He advised against owning a Saab. Don't know about more recent Land-Rovers but the older ones (Series II mainly) were quite reliable and they show up in photos here frequently. I even managed to get over 100,000 miles out of a Rover 2000TC. Just about all the interesting British cars have gone the way of DeSoto's and Ramblers. Mercedes are probably here to stay.

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    2. I am on my second used GM-era Saab. I want to get a license plate that says "OPELY" because I imagine it has some Opel in it. I must say they have been fantastic.

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  43. I have had G wagons since the 2000’s and they thankfully look the same through the years. They also do not depreciate like most other models. I now have the latest version and appreciate the modern cabin that is roomier both front and back. The cargo area is now a bit smaller but we do fine on road trips up to Orleans. It remains a capable truck without the reliability issues of the RR’s.

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  44. Thoughts on current Mercedes: The CLA is a good looking car. The difference between seeing a 1979 6.9 liter back then vs. seeing an S class Mercedes now--it's just not the same. The other manufacturers are now making great cars also.


    All time favorite Mercedes: 1957 300Sc convertible.

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  45. Anonymous Aug. 21 @ 11:45- nice to hear from someone from the north shore. I’m in Nbpt.
    Modern Mercedes( roughly mid ‘90’s on) have very little to do with older Mercedes. People have forgotten how horrendously expensive they were back in the day, but they simply lasted longer than other cars and had their own character. As a friend of mine who historically loves German cars and has a 911 but an Acura SUV as a daily driver “they are like an unreliable Lexus” Statistically their reliability is terrible. The closest thing to a Mercedes or a Volvo 240 of old is indeed a Toyota or Lexus. Which is why I drive a 4Runner. I expect 300,000 miles to be a realistic proposition. Nobody will be doing that with a modern MB or Volvo. I remember a family friend who had a 300 SD w 340,000 miles and he was still driving it all over NE even though he could have bought a new car....

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  46. I've had four Mercedes: A 1971 250, a 1980 300D, a 1988 300E and, currently, a 2012 C300. I like them all. Solid, well-built cars. I guess I am a fan.

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  47. W 112 and R 107 cars with the 280 or 300 engines. Gas better than the diesels, in terms of finding fuel, more power and less noise. Had one from the late 1970's, 300 sedan. Great car. Now, not the same machines at all. Too much electrical gadgetry and too styled up for my liking.

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    1. Pining for “keys and a heater?”

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  48. The best MB sedan ever is a Lexus LS400.

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