Finding a truly exceptional W116 S-Class of any model is a very hard task indeed. Particularly UK-supplied right-hand drive examples. A couple of decades of low values combined with their propensity to rust has meant that excellent cars are nigh on impossible to find.
The costs of correctly restoring these cars should never be underestimated, so to find a car as good as this, that has been recommssioned without regard to cost is highly unusual. And it’s very easy to see why interest in the first S-Class has been soaring in recent years as they are extremely handsome cars and drive beautifully.
This 1975 280SE had one owner for the majority of its life, has been magazine featured and over 2016/17 had over £20k spent on recommissioning to ensure it remains in A1 condition.
The original bill of sale shows that this 280SE was sold to its first owner, a Mr Barrack, on January 3rd 1975. It was ordered in Pine Green metallic with cream MB Tex upholstery and equipped with an automatic gearbox, power steering and electric windows front and rear. In 1980 he sold it to the lasy who lived opposite but continued to look after the car whilst in her care and bought it back again in 1984. He owned the car for a further three decades until he passed away.
The car received a five-page feature in Mercedes Enthusiast Magazine in February 2014, showcasing its superb original condition, and appeared in Classic Mercedes Magazine in Autumn 2015 too.
The current owner acquired the car in 2015. As a perfectionist and Mercedes collector he took the car to John Haynes Auto Technics for an assessment and recommissioning. It would be impossible to list every aspect of work carried out over the last year, but to give a brief summary, the cylinder head was completely rebuilt, the fuel pipes replaced, the cooling and ignition systems renewed, the steering was refreshed, the braking system was almost entirely replaced along with the exhaust system. All fluids and filters were changed and the ‘Mexican hat’ alloys were replaced with new steel wheels and new hubcaps with correct Michelin MXV-P tyres, as the car was supplied with new. In total the bills amount to £20,294.90.
Aside from the recent recommissioing work, the car is totally unrestored and original. The underside is superb and free from rust. The bodywork and chrome is exceptional and the interior is unmarked and original right down the the stereo. On the road the fuel injected six-cylinder provides plenty of performance and the car has all the refinement and quality of ride that made the S-Class the best car in the world. Thanks to the recent work and low mileage of 64,482 miles, it drives exactly as Stuttgart intended and is a lovely machine to waft about it.
The car comes with all books and manuals, plus all the recent bills and magazines in which the car is featured.
A better W116 would be extremely hard. This must be the finest available.