Yep... vintage muscle was interesting.
But you know, that is what is so appealing about the 116 - during an era of frightful build quality worldwide (I had a several English Ford Capri (sold as Mercury here) and you couldn't keep the steering rack in the damn things - not to mention the Volkswagens and even toyotas with rust at all critical points due to welds not being properly sealed), marginal handling, terrible performance unless applied by brute force/cubic inches etc etc, the Benz consistently was a true driver's car.
If you really want to appreciate the 116, I suggest the following:
Drive a full-size sedan of any other brand of the same year
Drive a performance car - I suggest a 911, as it was the best
Drive a luxury vehicle - I suppose in Europe that would be a Jag or a big Opel? Here it would be a cad or lincoln
Then get out, and walk about 20 feet, and turn and look really carefully at the car you drove, preferably with the 116 parked next to it.
Appearance, fit and finish, driveability and handling - those are the things that set our cars apart. You really cannot appreciate the impact of the 116 until you realize what state of the art was in the 70s.