Although many critics described the car as a “fintail without the fintails”, the vehicle was an amazing success. Mostly, due its simple and square contours, it is not remembered for its looks, though some argue that it was thanks to such design that the car has such a timeless charm, but instead it was very well known for its reliability and durability, as proof of excellent German engineering. Last, but not least, the car ended nearly a full decade of the Ponton family (1953–1962), thanks to which, Mercedes-Benz went from a ruined post-WWII marque to one of European and World leaders in automotive industry. It was succeeded by the W116, a car which brought a new household name for any car, the S-class.
The original M116 engine 116.980 was introduced in August 1969 in the 300SEL 3.5. The new engines arrived in late 1969. The first was the 200 hp (150 kW) M116 3499 cc V8 with Bosch D-Jetronic electronic fuel injection, and was shown fitted to the W109 at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The car was christened the 300SEL 3.5. Its performance included a top speed of 200 km/h (124 mph) and 0–100 km/h in 10 seconds. During the summer of 1970, the M116 was added to the W108 lineup on both regular and LWB, the 280SE 3.5 and the 280SEL 3.5 respectively.
This lovely example is finished in metallic seagull grey with brown leather interior. It comes complete with a sunroof and air conditioning which for the era in which it was manufactured shows that no expense was spared in the spec of this model when originally ordered from the great German manufacturer. This wonderful “S “class of its era exudes luxury and performance from its smooth 3.5 litre V8 with automatic transmission and is presented in lovely condition throughout. The seats in these models are certainly more comfortable than those in more modern examples! A great touring car.