What is it really that can cause someone to be fascinated and enthusiastic about a 50-year-old car, also referred to as “garage gold.” The range of classic automobiles is known to be very large. Equally different are the respective preferences of their owners as well of those who still want to purchase one, one day. Let's take a closer look at a model series that conveys such a potential of emotions across all interest groups that even the most subdued and head-controlled pragmatist cannot escape from:
The Mercedes-Benz Coupé and Cabriolet of the series W 111 / W 112, for instance, was produced in the period from 1961 to 1971. The sedan built since 1959, which has entered the model history as a “tail fin,” formed the basis of this innovation. It succeeded the “Ponton series” and was the result of a new safety awareness in the course of the automotive development. For the first time crash tests led to a hitherto unknown passive safety through a stable passenger cell and effective crumple zones.
The 6-cylinder in-line injection engine with 120 HP, which was initially offered in the W 111 Coupe and Cabriolet 220 SE, was replaced in 1965 by the 250 SE with 150 HP and from 1967 by the 280 SE with 160 HP. The initial top model of the series was the 300 SE (W112), which was offered from 1962 to 1967 with a power of 170 HP.
As of 1969, the 280 SE 3.5 eight-cylinder engine with 200 HP became the coronation of the W 111. The number of vehicles produced in manufactory construction was very manageable: In the course of the ten-year construction period, 28,918 coupes of all engines and only 7,113 convertibles were produced. The manual effort in the Sindelfingen production was very high. For the bodies of the C-models, only a few body parts of the sedan could be used, so that they had to be produced mainly by hand. The C-models were therefore about 50% more expensive than the sedans.
So far, these are more or less sober facts about an automotive series. Just recently the motor journalist Alf Cremers on the occasion of a driving report with a 112-Cabriolet and a 111-coupe came to the conlusion:
“With the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE Cabriolet or the 280 SE 3.5 Coupé you are always your own Concours d'Elégance.”
And we can join this passionate confession with the utmost conviction. Imagine, you approach the garage or the parked Coupé or Cabriolet and wherever you go, again and again impressed by the almost physical perceptible radiance of a sensual elegance, you are looking forward with increased pulse to the upcoming driving experience. The wide doors provide a very comfortable entry and you slide down into the fragrant leather seats. What an impressive ambience that even top luxury sedans today can hardly offer.
The door falls into the lock and the side windows, which are lowered at mild outside temperatures, give a non-existent B-pillar an uninterrupted view in Cinemascope format. A peculiarity that also benefits the aesthetics of the sideline of both C-models immensely. The engine starts with a sonorous grumble, the large servo-assisted Volant slides through the hands, gently and calmly, the automatic switches to the next higher driving levels. Thanks to a feeling of exhilaration, you are glided by the evolving sovereignty and serenity of landscapes, whose beauty and charms, driven by everyday stress, have not yet been perceived. Here you can enjoy the wonderfully elastic six-cylinder, which already in the basic version as SE 220, seems much stronger than the paper can expect, or you feel the power of the slightly more muscular and gently fidgeting 3.5 L V8 in the 280 SE 3.5.
An almost entranced automotive world of experience opens up, which is able to fascinate by their sensory impressions also people, who have not yet been infected with the subject of classic cars.
Too much poetic enthusiasm? We invite you to get your own impression. For a personal get-together, including a test drive, there are three vehicles of the type described ready for you:
Mercedes-Benz 280 SE Cabriolet
Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Coupé
We are looking forward to making an appointment with you!