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Homepage. This page: Examples of the fintail (heckflosse) Mercedes-Benz saloon of the early 1960s.

Mercedes-Benz W110/W111/W112 saloons.

The "fintail", or heckflosse, range of Mercedes-Benz cars went into production in the autumn of 1959, making this 1960-registered example an early RHD example of the breed. Judging by its gleaming condition, this Kent-based M-B (700 LKN) was little-used at the time of the photograph being taken. There were three main series of fintails on sale by the early 1960s, factory codes W110, W111 and W112. By a process of elimination I believe this is a W111, either a 220S or 220SE.
A small pre-war car can be seen in the background, driving towards the Mercedes, but what it is I'm not sure - maybe an Austin Ruby.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size Mercedes images.)
Fintail Mercedes W111 1960 photo
While the "Ponton" series of saloons had done a fine job for Mercedes in terms of sales, by the late 1950s its styling was looking a little long-in-the-tooth, and a sharp-suited successor in the be-finned form of the W111 series was, by 1959, ready to take over the mantle from the older car. The models on offer were the six-cylinder 220b, 220Sb and the 220SEb, with prices for the entry-level 220b starting at 16,750DM, rising for the higher-spec'd models.
In 1961 the range would be joined by the W110 four-cylinder range, comprising the 190c and the 190Dc (diesel). This more affordable car was most easily identifiable by its use of single rounded headlamps, bolted to what was a shorter nose than seen on the six-cylinder cars.
The same year would also herald the launch of the top-end W112, or 300SE, the new flagship in Mercedes' expanding saloon car range.
As the car shown above was registered in mid-1960, it can only be a W111. The extra chrome fitted to the 220S and 220SE lead me to think that 700LKN was one of these.
The company's 2185cc straight-six powered all of the W111 variants. The base model 220 came with just a single carburettor as standard (the engine producing 95bhp), while the 220S benefited from twin carburettors (upping the output to 110bhp). The 220SE though offered an extra ten bhp, thanks to the fitment of Bosch fuel injection, endowing the teutonic mile-muncher with a top speed in the region of 107mph. In 1965, coinciding with the introduction of the W108 series, the W111 line-up underwent a re-shuffle and re-badging exercise, the cars continuing in production until 1968.

A trip to the country.

Next, a photograph of German origin. Here, a light-coloured "fintail" is parked up, its occupants stretching their legs. The well-laden roof rack suggests that perhaps the family were off on holiday. The date is 8th August 1969, but as I'm unable to decipher the copious amount of handwritten notes on the photo's reverse side, more information I cannot add.
Side view of a laden Mercedes car

Many cars parked in a town square.

A gaggle of Germanic gems now in this town square scene, where cars of many manufacturers rub door handles on a damp, rainy day. Mercedes-Benz is represented thanks to the saloon parked on the right, and also another example parked a little distance away, of which only the back end can be seen. The line of parked cars comprises a trio of VW Beetle saloons, an unusual Messerschmitt KR200 Kabrio, a pair of DKW F93s, a VW/Karmann Beetle cabriolet, a two-tone saloon (Taunus?), and a split-screen VW 'bus. I'm unsure what car is parked alongside the furthest DKW, at first I thought it might be an Opel Kapitan, but I've yet to find a match online.
Many different German-built cars
Return to Page 16 in the gallery of classic vehicles.

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