|At the opening ceremony of the Daimler-Benz Museum in Untertrkheim, which was housed in a representative new building in order to celebrate the "75th anniversary of motoring traffic", on the 24 February 1961, a new passenger car model, the 220_SEb type Coupe was unveiled. This elegant and representative model became the successor of the coupe of product line_128, which after October 1960 had been produced no longer.
From a construction and stylistic point of view, the new model was derived from the saloon car 220_SEb, which was presented in August 1959 and as was also part of product line 111. In contrast to its successor, the coupe was based on the curtailed framework of the saloon car belonging to the same type and was planned as a fully-fledged four-seated model. Although the tailfins, which had made such a sensation at the presentation of the 220_b_- 220_SEb types, were now apparent in rudimentary form only, coupe and saloon car still had many stylistic features in common. This makes the fact that not a single construction element of the four-door model could be used for the coupe even more surprising.
Engine and chassis had been taken over from the saloon car without significant modifications. The only important difference was a technical speciality: The 220_SEb Coupe was the first Mercedes-Benz passenger car model to be fitted with disk brakes at the front wheels.
In august 1961, a convertible version of the 220_SEb was presented, which was an exact replica of the coupe, except for the absent roof and required body stiffening.
Half a Year later, the 300_SE Coupe and 300_SE convertible, which had been constructed from pre-existing building blocks, had their debut at the Geneva Motoring Show. The bodies of the corresponding 220_Seb versions had been touched up with additional decorative elements and were combined with the technology of the 300_SE type. Thus, these new exclusive models, which, like the underlying saloon car model belonged to product line 112, featured a whole set of technical details. Basic equipment consisted of a 3,0_liter-Light alloy engine, 4=speed-automatic gearbox, servobrake unit, pneumatic damping and dual circuit brakes with disk brakes at the front and rear wheels. there was additional chrome decoration in the shape of a chrome trim extending from headlights to taillights along the longitudinal bead as well as conspicuous decorative trims at the front and rear wheel arches.
From March1963, the 300_SE Coupe und convertible were, like the saloon car, available with optional 4=speed gear box; in this case the list price was reduced by 1.400,=_DM. In January 1964 engine power was increased to 170_bhp so that driving performance was improved. This was made possible by converting the injection unit into a six-piston injection.
In 1962 the test department also constructed an individual special design of the 300_SE Coupe. The rear roof edge was removed together with the rear window and replaced by a retractable hood. This resulted in a Landaulet, which for several years, became the personal car of Professor Nallinger, head of the development department. Nothing more is known about the whereabouts and subsequent fate of this interesting car.
when the "tailfin"-saloon cars of types 220_Sb, 220_SEb and 300_SE were replaced by a completely reconstructed generation of models, the coupe and convertible versions remained in the sales programme. As these exclusive models, which had been produced for some years then, were by no means outdated beside the saloon cars of the new generation, expensive stylistic revision or the development of new small-scale serial production of model versions were unnecessary. the two 2,2_litre models received the 150_bhp 2,5_litre-engine of the 250_SE and also its type name. Furthermore, like the 3,0_litre-models, they were fitted with the 14_inch-wheels and bigger disk brakes of production line 108. New, too, was the hydropneumatic compensating spring at the rear axle, which had been incorporated into the 2,5_litre-types instead of the coil spring that had hitherto been used, guaranteeing that the level of the body remained constant irrespective of loads.
january 1968 witnessed the debut of the 280_SE type, which had a newly developed 2,8_litre-engine with 160_bhp and became the successor of the 250_SE. This change of generation did not only affect the saloon car, but also the two-door versions. Apart from the new engine, only some details had been changed in the coupe and the convertible; like the saloon car, both received flatter one-piece decorative wheel covers with integrated boss cap. At the same time as the 2,5_litre=models, production of the 300_SE type coupe and convertible was stopped. There was no immidiate successor, but this was not really necessary either, as engine power was only 10_bhp lower than in the 2,8_litre-versions and the same driving performance was achieved because of their lower weight.
In september 1969, new and significantly more powerful versions were launched, the 280_SE_3.5 coupe and convertible types. The new 3,5_litre-V8-engine with 200_bhp, which had been developed from scratch, was distinguished by its smoothness of running and reached a sports-car driving performance. Like the 2,8_litre-versions with six cylinder engine, which were still on sale, the new models were presented in slightly modified form: The radiator cover had been lowered and had become broader; accordingly, the bonnet was flattened at the front. Because of these characteristic features the face-lifted coupes and convertibles were described as "flat radiator"-models by insiders. The fenderes had changed, too: they now sported rubber edges like those of the saloon cars. The exterior of the eight cylinder models and the revised six cylinder types was exactly the same.
In May 1971 production of the 2,8_litre=coupes and =convertibles was stopped. When two months later production of the eight-cylinder versions ended, too, the era of the coupes and convertibles of production lines 111 and 112, that had lasted for over ten years, came to a close. In all, 28.918 coupes and 7.013 convertibles had been built at Sindelfingen. The most exclusive member of this model family was the 300_SE convertible with only 708 units produced. This was followed by the convertible 250_SE with 954 units, the 280_SE_ 3.5 convertible with 1.232 units and the 280_SE convertible with 1.390 units. Within this model family, the 220_SEb coupe reached the highest production number with 14.173 units.
From February 1972, the 350_SLC type, presented four months earlier, became the successor of the coupe models. In terms of construction, however, this car was not based on a saloon car, but on the SL-model which had been produced since April 1971. In the longer perspective, there were no plans for a successor to the convertible tpyes; outdoor-lovers had to make do with the two-seated SL.