It was been said that the problem with the 116 is that they will never be an old car, nor will they ever be a new one, they are just stuck there, in no mans land.
That is one of the factors that makes the 116 so appealing to me. I believe the 126 is even more timeless, and will continue to be so until at least 2010, overtaken only by the radical rethinks we can expect in the auto industry over this decade.
Even after 2010, they will continue to have the cachet of, oh, a real swiss watch, any Jaguar pre-87, and so on.
Contrary to what you seem to think, the 116 is quickly moving into quasi-quirky territory -- by virtue of all the chrome, if nothing else.
Some people desperately want their cars to make a statement, but they raise that to the level of a scream at everyone who sees them in theme. I have no problem with that. But I would submit that many of us are equally comfortable with the statement that the 116, 123 and 126 and, arguably, a nice (read: low-key, particularly slc flavour) 107 simply whisper real, enduring quality and value.
And they further show that their owner has demounted from the automobile industry's merry-go-round, and torn up their fairground day pass to boot.
Here ends the lesson.
- Steve MacSween, Davide Frada