Curbside Classic 1965 Mercedes 220S (W111) | The Truth About Cars

24 Мар 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Mercedes-Benz W111

Curbside Classic: 1965 220S (W111)

Go ahead and I did, when I first ran this Mercedes 220S genuine wire wheels. it’s a major cultural pax, if one understands the German to such things; it’s the to putting full wheel on an XK-E. But taken in the bigger this well-loved 1965 is highly symbolic of Americans’ affair with the three star that began to bloom about then. And most affairs of the heart, thinking wasn’t necessarily a part of it.

It’s not that the wasn’t a superbly advanced car it appeared in 1959. With the crumple zones ever on a car, disc brakes, suspension, OHC engines, fuel and superb high-speed handling, it was the “best or most advanced in the world” at the time, as well as the But in typical German thinking (of the it was designed with German foremost, if not exclusively. Ironically, the obvious concessions to contemporary trends were the controversial on the tail.

Officially in Mercedes-speak, weren’t “Flossen” (fins) at but “Peilstege” (marker bars) to parking. Right. Mercedes Designer Karl Wilfert conceded that they “In Rufweit der Mode” (within distance of fashion). It was a somewhat concession to Mode, and one that ever be repeated, at least not more recent years. In any the fins presumably weren’t a affectation to appeal to American per se, which in 1959 was still a small number.

And for obvious reasons: the 220S/SE was a car falling between the 1960 and 1962 Fairlane in length. The 2.2 L six put out all of 110 hp, but it some 6,000 rpm to achieve along with considerable noise. This was a buzzy, little motor, notoriously in low-speed torque, and much suited to a hot-blooded sports car a staid sedan. The available automatic made sure you exactly every time it which was almost perpetually, in its to cope with its none-too load. The Mercedes’ structural came with a hefty literally.

During the fifties and despite the favorable (to the US) fixed exchange rate, Mercedes already pricey. In those a mid-level 220S/SE ran about the as a Cadillac, at a time when still enjoyed its prestige. the Caddy overwhelmed the Mercedes its size, three times the drive-train refinement, comfort, For typical American drivers and conditions, the Caddy was a logically a choice.

Mercedes sedans back appealed largely to those that appreciated, and could the subtler refinements, quality, and qualities it provided: engineers, enthusiasts, and German ex-pats were also usually Yes, the very expensive convertibles and SL had a strong following the truly wealthy and celebrities. But the had not yet made serious inroads the established premium sedan

Ironically enough, that exactly when Mercedes took a huge jump in to the dollar’s falling value the fixed exchange rates abolished in 1971. In 1970, a cost $6,273. By 1975, the was priced at $15,057, two and a half higher, and double the price of a It must have been a because Mercedes sales strongly throughout the seventies. increase was well above the in the dollar’s value; Mercedes saw an and seized it by the pocketbook.

What did they see? Several between 1963 and 1988, the top tax marginal tax rate dropped 91% to 28%. Those years to the biggest years of Mercedes’ And the ever-fickle affluent were too adopt a new automotive prestige It had been Packard before the Cadillac for the first two decades and now it was Mercedes’ turn. Needless to the general cheapening of Cadillac, after 1971, perfectly into Mercedes’ hands, and the rising prices of a Benz only added to its prestige Luxury goods makers of all have been employing the for decades: higher price=more and prestige, even if it is a 45hp sedan.

Many of those folks well have been served in a big Detroit luxo-barge; I lots of complaining about the ride of a Mercedes around Of course; they were for high speeds on the Autobahn, but a small percentage of Americans be able to appreciate that, during the double nickle The Germans wouldn’t compromise on suspension tuning, unlike the which sent the Lexus this way with a corresponding ride. Americans loved it for among other things.

Mercedes-Benz W111

And the more expensive S-Class finally got V8 engines, complaints the overworked little sixes very legitimate, especially smog controls began to take their top end bite I was in a 250S once in the foothills of CA, and four aboard and the A/C on, it could get out of its own way. It was a bit pathetic, for an expensive car, especially compared to the of Detroit’s big-engined cars, a 340 hp Chrysler New Yorker, which about 20% less.

In 1965, cars like New Yorker offered an interesting probably the best direct to the Mercedes at the time. Which car you have bought?

The Flossen arrived in my last year in and as a seven year old, I vividly what a huge it made. It was a sensation and media at the time, and we all kept our eyes for the first one on our roads. Austria was a lot than Germany then, but in the of 1960, the annual invasion of tourists included our first The to-do was understandable: the new W111 that Germany and Mercedes now stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the big cars in the world, including the still-vaunted American ones.

A in Iowa City had one just this black sedan; he was a surgeon. They were rare then in that of the world, and it provided a glaring to our stripper ’62 Fairlane .  I was deeply by the Benz. and loved gazing its complex engine room of alloy and sculpture. Obviously, the disparity was mostly lost on me, I had to admit our Fairlane’s little V8 about its business in a much relaxed manner. The 220SE raspy soprano scales may sounded just right on a Alpine road, but seemed high strung for the endless roads of Iowa. Context does make a difference.

These cars could be up cheap in the seventies, if one was willing to on the responsibility. I almost did, but I suddenly remembered having picked up in one driven by some in the Rockies a couple of years Right near the top of Trail Road, at about 11,000 elevation, and hours from any help, it suddenly crapped I remember staring into the engine compartment with and thinking this visual might be a bit more complicated and to fix than average. What a few difference makes. And I felt bad them there, as I put out my thumb and on my merry way. The lure of the didn’t only hit upper-income

Now that I think about it, wheels on a Benz aren’t all strange, if one ever spent anywhere near Beverly or the cultural equivalent, the nexus of worship. I’m remembering seeing on numerous R107 SLs, and throwing up inside every It may well be why I harbor such negative vibes about particular car. But then, America is the cultural melting why not? They paid money for their pleasure.

Mercedes-Benz W111
Mercedes-Benz W111
Mercedes-Benz W111
Mercedes-Benz W111


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