Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Street Parked: Mercedes W111 250SE Cabriolet

My daily work commute includes a 12 minute (each way) stroll through Seattle's hip and newly Amazonified neighborhood, South Lake Union. As I dodge SLUTs and try to avoid being squashed crossing Mercer, I sometimes notice interesting cars parked on the streets.

This car, a Mercedes Benz 250SE Cabriolet, was spotted in the parking lot of the Seattle Tesla dealership.
Fintail convertible!

Even for an old an Mercedes our subject is a unique car, being one of 954 250SE cabriolets made from 1965 to 1967. These W111 chassis 220/250/280SE coupes and convertibles were the last hand built Mercedes.

The W111 still had luscious curves between the hood and fender of its Ponton predecessor.

Beneath the curvaceous hood lurked a 150hp inline six backed by a four speed automatic transmission. Although this car is a boulevardier with no pretense of sporting intentions at all, it can cruise the autobahn (or I-90) comfortably at just over 100 mile per hour.
What stories lurk beneath that bonnet?

I've long been a fan of these Heckflosse (that's German for "fintail") Mercedes. I find the little tail fins to be a charming nod to the car style of 1959, when the first W111s appeared.
Shake those tail feathers.

The interiors of this era of Mercedes are wonderful places, with real wood adorning the dash and doors. The thin rim steering wheel is classy with its padded hub and chrome horn ring.

It's just missing a pipe smoking driver in Harris tweed.

While this car looks to have been bumped (the rear bumper is slightly askew) a few times in its life. I have no doubt this car will be motoring luxuriously along in another 40+ years as Mercedes of this era were built to survive a zombie apocalypse.
The best cars in the world.

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