Displacement: 3,499 cc
Horsepower: 197 bhp @ 5,800 rpm
Engine Torque: 211 lb ft @ 4,000 rpm
Top Speed: 127 mph
0 - 60 mph: 9.4 seconds
click on image to enlarge
The 111 chassis cars were the top of the Mercedes-Benz range and were available as four door sedans and two door coupes and cabriolets. Designs were begun in 1957 with the first cars being produced in 1959. The 111 chassis coupe was introduced in 1961 and was an immediate success, offering very attractive styling and comfortable seating for four. Initially powered by a six-cylinder engine, they remained basically unchanged with various small revisions to trim and displacement until 1969 with the launch of the 280 SE 3.5. This featured an all-new 3.5 litre V8 engine, which dramatically improved the car's performance. Additionally, the front grille was lowered and widened to accommodate the larger V8 engine, which also served to give the car a more modern appearance. Consequently, these are the most sought-after versions of the legendary 111 series. Only 3,270 coupe versions were built, making them pretty rare, but the challenge in finding one is further compounded by the number of these already lost to corrosion. Even though the factory first dipped the entire body of each car in a giant 52-ton bath of primer, which was then baked on (prior to the application of a further 25 pounds of undercoating), they were sadly, still very susceptible to rust, if driven in even vaguely inhospitable climes.
Though this particular car was delivered new in Europe, it was brought to California shortly thereafter (as one can tell by its original blue California license plates). The car was then put into storage in 1983, where it remained for the next thirty-two years. Therefore it was only driven on the road for twelve years and is consequently in very good original condition throughout, with just 79,000 kilometres (49,000 miles) from new and, importantly, thanks to its short on-road life and the perfect climate of its adopted home, unlike most of its siblings, it is remarkably rust-free.
Though originally DB50 White, it was repainted DB350 Medium Blue at some point in its early life. The paintwork however, is still in very good shape and the body is very straight. The navy interior is original and shows very little wear. The wood and chrome are also in good condition. The electrics are all in working order, including the power windows and extremely desirable factory sunroof and, to round out the plus column, it was ordered with the highly sought after, floor-shift automatic transmission option.
Upon purchasing it, we replaced the fuel tank and pump and flushed the entire fuel system as well as flushing the hydraulic lines and replacing the brake flex hoses, to counteract its many years of slumber.
Long acknowledged to be one of the most drivable classic cars, their values are quickly increasing with no sign of slipping and well optioned, good examples of these cars are increasingly hard to find, making this an excellent opportunity to enjoy one of the best looking and driving cars to leave Stuttgart.