Tuesday, September 30, 2014

5k: 570SEL: 1980 Mercedes-Benz W116 Chevy V8

In 1973 Mercedes-Benz introduced the legendary W116 S-Class around the globe.  In case you might wonder, the S is short for Sonderklasse, or Special Class, as in, unless you earn money like a special body parts doctor, you can't afford this.  Today, the W116 chassis is known for its low startup costs, incredibly durable interior materials, tank-like build quality and expensive parts/labor costs if something major goes wrong...unless you've removed the costly Mercedes-Benz engine and shoved something cheap up front.  Find this 1980 Mercedes-Benz W116 with Chevy V8 offered for $4,000 in Rockland, NY via craigslist.  Tip from Cory.

This W116 started life as the 280 SEL (or it could be a simple SE), a long wheelbase luxury sedan powered by a 2.8 liter inline-6 that was rated at 170 horsepower.  Gone is the original Mercedes engine and in its place is a 350 cubic inch Chevy V8.

This is the standard blue plate 350 Chevy V8 that puts out something on the order of 350 horsepower when fed via a big carburetor up top.  Bonus points for the seller because the entire thing fits under the stock hood; no nasty hood bulge on this one.  

The seller doesn't specifically state if this is an SE or SEL, but that rear door looks really long to me, although the rear leg room isn't quite we I'd expect from the SEL version...jury is still out on this one.  Whatever the configuration this car does a really nice impersonation of a real 450SEL 6.3 at a fraction of the future repair costs. 

See another car with a rear bumper big enough for a few pots of coffee? tips@dailyturismo.com


  1. the pictures go:
    Dignified Mercedes
    Dignified Mercedes
    Dignified Mercedes
    Dignified Mercedes
    1972 Nova with a garter belt on the mirror and a "ass, grass, or gas - nobody rides for free" bumpersticker
    Dignified Mercedes

  2. Honestly, the lovely original straight six would have been a selling point for me, so this one leaves me unmoved. It is not always about power...

    1. I think the 6.3 indicates it did not have any "lovely straight six". and while the 300ish hp V8 6.3 is/was a great engine until like everything it wore out., a small block Chevy costs about the same as a overhaul gasket set for the 6.3.

  3. This is one of those cars that could be great or a disaster depending on the quality of the swap work. And the W116, like the E12 and E28 BMWs and a few other cars of that vintage, are rendered almost impossible to look at by their Nixon Bumpers.

    Once again us Californians look at a carbureted, open-filter engine swapped into a 1980 car and imagine the BAR smog ref shaking his head.


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