Mercedes-Benz have been making luxury cars far longer than anyone else. During those 114 years they have offered some iconic cars such as the SL, Grosser, 600, S Class, Pagoda, Gullwing, 450SEL 6.9, to name but a few. However, over the years they have had a few bad days at the office. So here is a brief (thankfully) shortlist of berks rather than Mercs.
The SL And SLC
In 1971 Mercedes launched the SL and SLC (internal codes R107 and C107). Both soft and hardtop/Coupé were available from the onset, unusual, as car makers traditionally tend to launch soft tops later.The SLC was essentially a stretched Coupé version of the SL and it simply did not pull off the looks or glamour of the smaller SL. The SLC has often been rightly described as “ungainly” looking. However, others such as LJK Setright described it as “the most
The SLC was essentially a stretched Coupé version of the SL and it simply did not pull off the looks or glamour of the smaller SL. The SLC has often been rightly described as “ungainly” looking. However, others such as LJK Setright described it as “the most beautiful car in the Mercedes-Benz range, and surely one of the most beautiful in the world”. As far as I am concerned the proportions were never right and there was odd detailing such as the rear window louvers to make the glass look smaller.
The E-Class are often described by many Mercedes enthusiasts as “proper built Mercs”. However, the W210, is not so highly regarded. I never liked the looks from day one, especially those incongruous Jaguaresque headlights. The biggest problem was quality issues – this must be the quickest rusting Mercedes. Where Mercedes of the past needed to be very old before showing visual rust, the W210 had the tin worm, especially on the front wings early on. If you see a battered, bruised Mercedes, it is more likely to be a W210. The story goes that you either you find a good one that will never rust, or one that will corrode terminally – the latter being more common.
The W126 S-Class was replaced by the W140. The W140 was criticised for being bulky and slab-like. However, a year later the C140 (the Coupé replacement for the SEC) was launched. The biggest shock was the dopey, enormous bug-eye lights. Car magazine described them as having the startled look of someone getting a Disney-style whack over them. One can only imagine that Mercedes bought a job lot of ready-made, cheap headlights and force-fitted them onto the Coupé. The 600 SEC had the distinction of being the first two-door Mercedes V12 and the first Mercedes in 1995 to list price at 100K – equivalent to around £180,000 today. Whilst prices of used examples have risen, it is still the cheapest 100K car that you can buy used.