I’ve had several 126’s, 123’s, and even 115’s over the years. My first Mercedes was a gift from an employer decades ago, a pristine 1988 420SEL; my dream car at the time. I’ve even had an over-heating, oil burning 350 SDL! It was a beautiful car, and I spent a ton of money on it before I found out the basic engine flaw and unloaded it.
But now I own this beautiful 116, a 1980 300SD. The article is right about the 126 being more refined. I was able to compare my “new” 116 with my then current '85 300SD, also a beautiful car, just before I sold it. The 126 was quieter and just seemed a little nicer overall. The 116 is about 400lbs heavier, and 4 inches longer and wider! And for some reason I never got quite the mileage in the 126. With the 116 I average about 25, and can consistently get 28mpg with over-filled tires and keeping the speed to 60 to 65.
But of the several 126’s I’ve owned, gas and diesel, and all wonderful cars, I prefer this 116 by far. I get a lot of comments, thumbs up, and even people stopping to look and talk to me about it. Even though I always thought the 126 was one of the prettiest cars ever designed, I have people tell me they think this one is much prettier. And fortunately, the previous two owners took impeccable care of it. All the rubber, the interior, and just about everything else seems almost new.
I can’t see myself ever selling this car. Thanks for the article. From a true fan.