Thanks MB. DOC. That explains the '97 E320 and the '77 300D, but it leaves a question on the '86 300E. That car started in first gear and yet had a positive "hillhold". It would lead one to assume that the trans, while working just fine, was in fact not working properly. The trans now has 150K miles, serviced regularly, but never pulled out of the car.
Back to the original thread, Benz75, does this answer your questions, and what models do, or did you have?
Thanks again for all the responses, Ed