Mercedes-Benz W111

Mercedes-Benz W111

Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
Also called Mercedes-Benz Fintail
Production 1959—1971
370,807 built
Assembly Germany
Port Melbourne, Australia [1]
Predecessor Mercedes-Benz Ponton
Successor Mercedes-Benz W108
Mercedes-Benz C107
Class luxury car
Body style 4-door sedan
2-door coupe
2-door convertible
Layout FR layout
Engine 2,195 cc (2.2 L) I6
2,306 cc (2.3 L) I6
2,496 cc (2.5 L) I6
2,778 cc (2.8 L) I6
3,499 cc (3.5 L) V8
Related Mercedes-Benz W112
Mercedes-Benz W113
See Mercedes-Benz S-Class for a complete overview of all S-Class models.

The Mercedes-Benz W111 was a chassis code given to its top-range vehicles, including 4-door sedans, produced from 1959 to 1968, and 2-door coupes and cabriolets from 1961 to 1971. The W111, was initially attributed only to W110. All three versions W110, W111, and W112, in both 2- and 4-door bodies, were built on an identical chassis.


[edit] Mercedes-Benz W111 Design History

Mercedes-Benz W111

220b Mercedes-Benz W111

The Mercedes-Benz W111 series emerged from Pontons that were the volume models.

Work on replacing these cars began in 1956, and the design focused on passenger comfort and safety. The basic Ponton cabin was widened and squared off, with larger glass area, improved safety and seatbelts.

The exterior was designed for the European and North American markets. The body was modern and featured a characteristic German: Heckflosse).

[editMercedes-Benz W111 Production history

[edit] The sedan

Series production of the 4-door sedan began in August 1959, and the car was premiered at the Frankfurt International Automobile Show. Production ratio of the Mercedes-Benz W111  220b, 200S and 220SE was roughly at a rate of 1:2:1.

Powering the three cars was an identical 2195 cc fuel injection producing 120 hp (89 kW) at 4800 rpm, with top speed of 172 km/h (107 mph) (168 km/h (104 mph) for auto) and a 0–100 km/h in 14 seconds.

Mercedes-Benz W111

220Sb Mercedes-Benz W111

In 1961, the Mercedes-Benz W111 fintail range was filled with three new models: a simplified 4-cylinder 190c W110, an identical 300SE, but fitted with a big-block 3-litre engine W112, and a 2-door coupe/cabriolet of the W111/W112 (see below). Though never attributed as part of the fintail family, the Mercedes-Benz W113 Pagoda roadster was designed on an identical but shortened chassis, and came about in 1963.

Mercedes-Benz W111

220SEb Mercedes-Benz W111

In summer 1965, production was terminated due to the launch of the new Mercedes-Benz W108 sedan. A total production of each was: 220b – 69,691, 220Sb – 161,119, and 220SEb – 65,886. Earlier in May, Mercedes-Benz gave its budget-range W110 cars a major facelift and in doing so opted to continue producing the W111 as a new model 230S. Previously the W110 was separate in terms of marketing and was classed as a 4 instead of 6-cylinder, 1965 turned that around. Despite their visual differences the cars were practically identical in terms of chassis and drivetrain. In 1965 the W110 was equipped with a six-cylinder engine, creating the model 230. The 230S, became a flagship model of the Mercedes mid-range cars (predecessors to today’s E-class).

Mercedes-Benz W111The 230S was visually identical to the 220S, with a modernised 2306 cm3 M180 engine with twin Zenith carburettors producing 120 horsepower (89 kW) at 5400 rpm. Top speed 176 km/h (109 mph) (174 km/h (108 mph) on auto), acceleration 13 seconds (15 on auto). In this final configuration a total of 41,107 cars were built through January 1968, when the last of 4-door fintails left the production line. Between 1959 and 1968 a total of 337,803 W111s were built.

[edit] The two-door Mercedes-Benz W111

Mercedes-Benz W111Mercedes-Benz 220SE coupe (US)
Mercedes-Benz W111The fintails were almost gone on two-door versions

Design of a replacement for the two-door Pontons began in 1957, as most of the chassis and drivetrain were to be unified with the sedan, the scope was focused on the exterior styling. Some of the mockups and prototypes show that Mercedes-Benz attempted to give the Mercedes-Benz W111 two-door car a front styling almost identical to what would be realised in the sedan. The rear bodywork however, persisted, and thus, though officially still called a fintail, the rear end design had no chrome fin highlights.

Production began in late 1960, and the coupe was premiered in Frankfurt Auto Show in 1961; the Mercedes-Benz W111 cabriolet was almost identical to the coupe, with the soft-top roof folded into a recess behind the rear seat and covered by a tightly fitting bag. Unlike the previous generation of two-door ponton series, there was only one model for the 2-door vehicle, the 220SE on both versions, with the identical M127 2195 cc engine. Prices in 1962 were 32,500 for the coupe and 36,000 NLG for the cabriolet. Options included a sliding sunroof for the coupe, automatic transmission, power steering, and individual rear seats.

Mercedes-Benz W111300SE Mercedes-Benz W112

In March 1962, Mercedes-Benz released the almost identical two-door 300SE. However, due to marketing reasons, this car, like its sedan stablemate, was kept apart from the 220SE, and had its own chassis number W112, which envisioned it as a successor to the W187 300S two-door series, rather than the Ponton range. The car was featured with a chrome strip, air suspension and Daimler’s top-range 2996 cm3 M189 engine. For prices of 45,000 and 48,500 for the hard and soft roofs respectively, this vehicle remained split from the rest of the W111 family.

Mercedes-Benz W111300SE Mercedes-Benz Coupe W112


In summer of 1965 Daimler-Benz launched its new replacements for both W111 and W112 sedans, the S-Class was shown in 1967). Given these two facts, Daimler did not develop a W108/W109 two-door vehicle at all and continued production of the W111/W112. However both models were modernised; the 220SE was superseded in early autumn by the 250SE which featured the new 2496 cm3 M129 engine, producing 150 horsepower (110 kW) at 5500 rpm, which gave it a significant improvement in top speed, 193 km/h (120 mph) (188 km/h (117 mph) on auto), and 0–100 km/h acceleration 12 seconds (14 on auto). Visibly the changes only affected the new 14-inch rims with new hub cabs and beauty rings; this was to accommodate the larger disk brakes and the new rear axle from the W108 family.

In November 1967, the 250SE was superseded by the new 280SE. The new M130 engine had 2778 cubic centimetres volume, and output 160 hp (120 kW) at 5500 rpm. Top speed was hardly affected, the acceleration though improved to 10.5 seconds (13 on auto). Inside the car received a wood veneer option on the dashboard and other minor changes including door lock buttons and different heater levers. The hubcaps were changed yet again to a new one piece design and the design of the exterior mirror changed. The 300SE, based on early 1950s M189, was also retired. The modern 280SE could outperform the 300SE despite the smaller engine.

A final model was added in August 1969: the Mercedes-Benz W111 280SE 3.5 coupe and cabriolet. The car was fitted with the brand-new M116 3499 cc V8 engine with 200 hp (150 kW) at 5800 rpm, a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph) (205 km/h (127 mph) on auto) and a 0-100 at 9,5 seconds (11,5 on auto). To accommodate the large engine, the car’s front grille was widened and front and rear bumpers were modified with the addition of rubber strips. The rear lenses changed to a flatter, cleaner design. Some view this car as an ideological successor to the W112 300SE coupe, though it lacked the air suspension.

Mercedes-Benz W111280SE Mercedes-Benz W111 cabriolet “Flachkuehler”


There were initial plans to place the larger M117 V8 engine on the W111 (the model would have been called 280SE 4.5), but they did not materialize.

The last Mercedes-Benz W111 280SE was produced in January 1971, with the 280SE 3.5 ending in July. The total production over the decade was: 220SEC – 16,902, 250SEC – 6,213, 280SEC – 5,187, and 280SEC 3.5 – 4,502 units. Not including 3,127 W112 300SE models, the grand total of 2-door W111 models was 32,804 of which 7,456 were convertibles.


[edit] Models

Model Years Chassis code Engine Displacement Power Built
[cc] [PS] / [kW]
220 Sedan 8/59–8/65 111.010 M180.940 / R 6 2195 95 / 70 69691
220 S Sedan 8/59–8/65 111.012 M180.941 / R 6 2195 105/110 // 77/81 161119
220 SE Sedan 8/59–8/65 111.014 M127.982 / R 6 2195 120 / 88 66086
220 SE Coupé 2/61–10/65 111.021 M127.984 / R 6 2195 120 / 88 14173
220 SE Cabriolet 9/61–10/65 111.023 M127.984 / R 6 2195 120 / 88 2729
230 S Sedan 7/65–1/68 111.010 M180.947 / 951 / R 6 2295 120 / 88 41107
250 SE Coupé 9/65–12/67 111.021 M129.980 / 981 / R 6 2496 150 / 110 5259
250 SE Cabriolet 9/65–12/67 111.023 M129.980 / 984 / R 6 2496 150 / 110 954
280 SE Coupé 11/67–5/71 111.024 M130.980 / 984 / R 6 2778 160 / 118 3797
280 SE Cabriolet 11/67–5/71 111.025 M130.980 / 984 / R 6 2778 160 / 118 1390
280 SE 3.5 Coupé 11/69–7/71 111.026 M116.980 / 990 / V 8 3499 200 / 147 3270
280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet 11/69–7/71 111.027 M116.980 / 990 / V 8 3499 200 / 147 1232

[edit] Model timeline

Chassis Type 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971
W111 Sedan 220
280SE 3.5


[edit] References

[edit] External links

Media related to Mercedes-Benz W111C at Wikimedia Commons

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Mercedes-Benz W111, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Gerard October 30, 2019 at 6:58 pm

Dear Madam / Sir,

I just bought a 1965 model, w111 coupe 220 SE. I would like to share the VIN number and engine number as following;

VIN number 111 021 10 082435.

If it is possible , could you please supply to me the datacard of the car according to the VIN number?

Best regards,


caglar January 6, 2019 at 4:06 pm

Dear Madam / Sir,

First of all, I would like to wish you a happy new year.

I just bought a 1964 model, w111 coupe 220 SE. I would like to share the VIN number and engine number as following;

VIN number 111 021 10 05 5874
Engine number 127 984 1000 8664

I just contacted to to learn about datacard of the car however they couldn’t supply me the datacard of the car and directed me to the local Mercedes-Benz dealer. Unfortunately , we could not reach the datacard of the car also in Mercedes-Benz dealer. I need datacard to start healthy restoration . I even don’t know what was the original exterior color of the car.

If it is possible , could you please supply to me the datacard of the car according to the VIN and engine numbers?

Best regards,

Caglar Cakmak
0090 532 284 62 27


Josh Bertram January 17, 2018 at 7:58 am

Hello, could you tell me if the w110 (64 190d) and the w108’s share the same chassis and suspension components? Thanks for your time.


Subhojit February 12, 2016 at 1:11 am

A beautiful ’55 gull wing Benz.I hope there is a chngae in the White House soon. I’m tired of politics,seems every election year, the years get longer and longer.


Mehmet February 12, 2016 at 12:26 am

A beautiful ’55 gull wing Benz.I hope there is a chgnae in the White House soon. I’m tired of politics,seems every election year, the years get longer and longer.


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