Mercedes-Benz W108-W112


This is the book in a series dedicated to the legendary cars of Mercedes-Benz. You will find hundreds of original photos of Mercedes-Benz W108, W109, W110, W112 sedans, coupes, and convertibles from the company’s advertising booklets published in the 1960s-70s. Thanks to special software that uses artificial intelligence technologies, it was possible to increase the resolution of scans to reveal small details of bodies and interiors in the photos that were practically invisible in the original images. The illustrations are accompanied by dozens of technical and historical facts about the listed models. The book, of course, will be a great gift to all current, former, and future retro Mercedes-Benz owners, as well as all those who appreciate classic Mercedes models.



Mercedes-Benz W108-W112

The appearance of the new family of
Mercedes-Benz executive sedans
was preceded by the painstaking
work of talented engineer Béla Barényi.

After graduating from the mechanical
department of the Vienna Technical
School in 1926, he worked for several
automobile companies: Austro-Daimler,
Steyr, and Adler.

Having gained experience,
Barényi became a member of the Daimler-
Benz team in 1939. In the post-war years,
he concentrated his efforts on the topic
of car safety, which resulted in a body
structure with deformation zones patented
in 1952.

This solution made it possible to
preserve the integrity of the passenger
compartment by absorbing the impact
energy of the removable zones in the front
and rear parts of the body.

The W111/112 sedan was the first production
passenger car in the world to use
deformation zones in its design. Other
passive safety features that debuted in
the new car included wedge-shaped door
locks, which prevented the doors from
spontaneously opening in an accident,
and a soft center section in the steering
wheel, which reduced the risk of injury to
the driver’s chest. Speaking of safety, it
is impossible not to mention the first appearance
of 3-point seat belts, dual-circuit
brake system, and front disk brakes
on Mercedes-Benz W111/112 cars.

The second person who made a huge contribution
to the new family was French designer
Paul Bracq. He always had a keen
sense of all the changes taking place in
automotive design. In those years, American
culture had a great influence on post–
war Europe, including the achievements of
the overseas automotive industry with its
“aerostyle” – pretentious shapes, an abundance
of chrome, and huge rear fenders.

Therefore, it was from his American colleagues
that Paul Bracq decided to borrow
the shape of the rear of the body. This stylistic
element earned the W111/112 family
the nickname fintail.

The model made its debut in late summer
1959 under the slogan “Die neuen
Sechszylinder – Eine Klasse für sich”, which
can be translated as “A new 6-cylinder model
– unique in its class.” And these were not
empty words: the car really stood out from
the competition with its bold design, safety
innovations, and traditionally high quality
and level of comfort.

Initially, the family was
represented by three sedans 220 b, 220
Sb, and 220 SEb (W111), to which stylish
coupes and convertibles were soon added.
For the first time, a 4-speed automatic
transmission was installed on the flagship
model 300 SE (W112), and the air suspension
provided an unprecedented level of
driving comfort.

In 1963, a long-wheelbase
version of the 300 SE appeared in the family,
with the distance between the axes increased
by 100 mm to 2,850 mm.

Production of models with 2.2- and 3-liter
engines ended in June/August 1965. The
220 Sb, 220 SEb, and 300 SE versions were
replaced by the new generation 250 S, 250
SE, and 300 SE sedans (W108/109), and
the new Mercedes-Benz 230 S replaced
the base 220 B version.

Production of the
230 S was diskontinued in January 1968.
41,107 cars of this modification were
manufactured, including 341 chassis for
constructing specialized variants. Belgian
company Belgian IMA produced the limited
edition 230 S Universal station wagons.

Between 1959 and 1968, the company
produced 344,751 sedans and chassis
models of the W111/112 series at the plant
in Sindelfingen. Coupes and convertibles
lasted on the assembly line until mid-1972.
A total of 28,918 coupes and 7,013 convertibles
were produced from 1961 to 1971.

Read the continuation of this story in the book.

Other books about history of Mercedes:

Mercedes-Benz W163



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