The day I met “Princess Michaela” a.k.a. 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Coupé

Mercedes-Benz 250 SE Coupé (W111/III A) 1967

Chassis W111.021-12-088627, Engine M129.980-12-020994

Hand-Built Luxury Made In Germany!

My newly acquired beauty, fondly named “Princess Michaela”!

First shown at Frankfurt Motor Show in 1965, the new S-Class Mercedes-Benz range was outwardly distinguishable from preceding models by a sleeker body-shell with lower roof and waistlines with increased glass area. All models featured similar all-independent suspension, as well as four-wheel disc brakes and power-assisted steering. However, although the saloon used this New Generation’ body-shell, the Coupé and Cabriolet kept the timelessly elegant coachwork that had debuted back in 1960 on the 220SEb. The latter had moved Mercedes-Benz’s styling into the modern era; longer than their predecessors, these elegant cars featured a wider radiator shell, wrap-around windscreen, enlarged rear window and vertically positioned twin headlamps, all of which were carried over to the 250SE Coupé and Cabriolet. As befitted top-of-the-range luxury models, the duo came equipped with automatic transmission, air conditioning, electric windows and stereo radio as standard. The 250SE employed a fuel-injected version of Mercedes-Benz’s new M129, with overhead-camshaft, seven-bearing straight six engine, displacing 2,496cc and developing 150bhp at 5,600rpm. There was a choice of four-speed manual or automatic transmissions, while the rear suspension featured Mercedes-Benz’s hydro-pneumatic compensating spring. Thus equipped, the 250SE was good for 190 km/h, with 100 km/h reachable in 12 seconds, a substantial improvement on the superseded 220SE’s figures. When the 280SE 3.5 ceased production in 1971, its passing marked the end of this long-established body style. Today all examples of these classic Coupés and Cabriolets are highly sought after.

When Paul Bracq introduced his latest design for the 111 sedans it had all of the trappings of a legendary car.  However, his translation of these designs into the 220/250/280 Coupés and Cabriolets made for some of the most desirable, best looking Benzes of the 60’s and early 70’s.  These cars have a presence nothing on the road can match; they’re staid and athletic, serious yet not imposing.  The more I look at the car the more l like it.  Perhaps even a little more than its Cabriolet brethren.  The shape, especially the C pillars and rear window, are more interesting in their execution than the soft top.  I would also prefer this design with the sunroof, not just to get a breeze, but it simply looks better with an open roof, combined with all that open pillar-less glass, it’s striking. From any angle or perspective.

This particular example which is wonderfully correct, original and unmolested, has an interesting history as her first owner was Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark, (to His friends “Michel de Grèce”) cousin and close friend of King Constantine who owned two similar 250 SE’s but Cabriolets.:!: The car belonged to the Royal Palace fleet and carried the Kingdom of Greece’s crest as a license plate on the front and rear! HRH kept the car until 1970 (when he and the King’s family fled the country from the Greek Military Junta era), when a very wealthy Greek shipowner, a young member at the time, of the Gratsos family, took ownership of the Coupé and kept her mostly chauffeur driven and meticulously maintained until 1999 when the car was acquired by its third successive owner, a well known Athens car dealer and ex race driver who kept the SE for ten years, allegedly having only added about 5,000 KM on the odometer. Aside from her intriguing ownership history, this is a quite nice example in that it has three of the most sought after features of the time:  1) The electric windows, 2) Air conditioning and 3) That wonderful automatic 4 speed transmission.

The rear bumpers have no dents, the tail lights are perfect as are the chromed dual exhaust pipes.

The 4 speed auto is a real treat, it’s precise and smooth, with a quick responding kick-down, whilst the gear changes are mated perfectly to the free revving mechanically fuel injected in-line six; it’s great both in traffic, and on the highway with plenty of pulling power.  Everywhere I would go in this car, people would ask me questions, she’s simply something people rarely encounter these days. I’m planning to be driving the 250 SE Coupé quite often, and I expect her to be doing everything quite well.  She doesn’t run hot; even in 38 C degree Athens summertime with the Behr pumping, water temp remains stable at 85 C.  In traffic she’s happy idling, on the highway she’s equally happy cruising at 120 km/h.  With all the windows down, it’s close to an open touring experience, with them closed, the Coupé really reminds me more of a 90’s model car, albeit with more wood, chrome, and style. Needless to say, it was a “love at first sight” affair with this 43 year old German beauty; I bought this car on the second day of viewing (18th Feb. 2010), upon inspecting the also excellent undercarriage;  the spouse justification being “a retirement gift for myself after having sold my IT business in the Fall of 2009” 🙂

Exterior Condition:

First glimpse of the car in its storage area. The front end is superb! No dents on the highly polished bumpers or imposing M-B radiator grille. A “Love at first sight” affair 🙂

The metallic paint is glossy with good shine, and the metallic silver color is quite good, nevertheless, I could not find the exact color code in my research.   I am not sure how long ago the car was repainted, however it is holding up rather well, is highly reflective, and is nicely presented.  I have established that the original color was dark blue (from the metal tag it must be DB-332). I would have to consider if  it would be advisable when the time comes for a new repaint to reapply the original blue color. All chrome has a high shine with no serious pitting, while some pieces are not as reflective as the grill and bumpers, but nothing is ‘dull’ on the car as you can see from the pictures.  There are not any small impressions in the 280SE model replacement bumpers (featuring the practical rubber protective surrounds), both front and back aside from very few superficial scratches on the rubbers.

The Daimler-Benz AG Serial Number metal tag

There are two blemishes on the surface paint that can be repaired by a specialist (one on the bonnet and one on the LH side just behind the driver’s door), few rust spots, but the fender mounted side mirror is loose and retained by tape.  I’ve seen no other blemishes on the kick panels, doors, or anywhere else on the surface of the car.  The inside of the trunk is very well presented, with no rust present although the original rubber mat is completely disintegrated and needs replacing.  The tail lamps are not cracked and the twin chromed exhaust tail pipes look shiny and good.

Interior Condition:

The interior is in good original condition.

The interior shows very well. In fact, the rear seat appears to have hardly ever been used.  Seats are blue leather, with no rips, tears, or heavy wear, all inner stuffing is in good shape. I had the Connolly-Auto Stop people look into the leathers and a treatment session is being arranged. The material used appears to be an original pattern but as expected the driver seat is worn more than the rest. All of the dashboard wood is in relatively good and in presentable condition, there is some cracking and chipping but it is all there, including all pieces along the headliner.  All of it would require to be refinished to a Valspar standard, a job to be undertaken by a Connolly associate. There are no cracks in the dash. There is no splitting of seams on the seats. All stuffing and springs are in good shape, and all seat controls work great and the metal hinge plating is shiny.  The headliner is completely intact and original; it looks good with no sagging but a thorough professional cleaning would be in order.  Both the rear & transmission tunnel floor mats and carpet are original while the front ones are newer replacements, but are not faded nor are they excessively worn. I have already undertaken cleaning them with a special carpet vacuum machine. The window/door rubber seals are in need of replacement and while at it, the window felts will also be replaced.  The Pioneer cassette radio as you’ll see in the pictures is incorrect, product of the 80’s-90’s, but it works well.  A Becker replacement is in order here.  The clock is working occasionally and would require repair.  The Kangol non-rewinding seat-belts are there, but the driver’s latch needs refurbishing.  Also, there’s an original factory fitted BEHR air conditioning unit which works well producing cool air upon trial. Pumping-up with old spec’s Freon is an issue though, as “Refrigerant 12” is banned from the market and hard to find.

Mechanicals:

The undercarriage is unmolested, no dents, no rust anywhere, original Bosch horns.

This 250SE Coupé is in terrific original shape, hence I would classify her asCondition 2 Fine”, i.e. well-restored, or a combination of superior restoration and excellent original. Also, an extremely well-maintained original car, showing very minimal wear. The previous owners have obviously cared for her, and there are several new parts present to attest to this.  One can immediately see upon opening the hood a new fuel system solenoid and lines, plus I was told by the last owner that he had new brake pads fitted and a new electric fuel pump.

Both of these make sense, as the car idles well and tracks true even under heavy braking.  The emergency brake is working well, as are all lights, interior and exterior, the air is sufficiently cold, and all gages work including the odometer. The mileage indicated is 108,843 KM which may or may not be true. The only faults I’ve found are a dead spot lamp switch, the add-on FIAMM air horns do not blow although the air pump is churning and the RH rear window lever was detached but not missing. These have been easily repaired though, prior to taking delivery of the car. All windows (electric front, cranked rear) roll down OK.  There is and auxiliary BOSCH electric radiator fan which is triggered automatically by the thermostat but also has a manual override with a period red light indicator glowing when activated.  Upfront there are twin Hella halogen spot lights.  Tires are a set of matched Goodyear Eagle GT+4’s, which appear to be in good shape but hardened by age, while the spare is an unused Michelin XWX.  A new set of Made in Germany Semperit tires are now on order. The aircon compressor is a YORK unit, made by Borg-Warner, USA and I wonder if this was an original item or a replacement fitted to work with the Behr cabin unit. A cylinder compression test indicated (psi): #1 150, #2 152, #3 165, #4 155, #5 160 and # 6 162, verifying a healthy engine condition. Needless to say, the car prior to transfer of title, passed the MOT test with flying colors!

The rear view of the car proves the beauty of the design lines, pleasing  from any angle!

Sports Car Market pegs the 1966-68 250SE Coupés value between €20,000 and €35,000 with a 100% change in value from last year! There were only 6,213 units made in 1966-68 combined for the worldwide market, of these, 4,108 being Coupés and 2,105 Convertibles.  As a new owner I believe that I will not ‘lose’ money on the car provided the car is well maintained.  For less than the price of a new Kia, I can buy a legendary Mercedes design, with a number of rare features and unique “Royal” history, a really appealing automobile that’s sure to appreciate.

The pillar-less side view, so characteristic of the Paul Braque design.

Repairs Log:

One of the first actions I took after delivery was to access the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center and order in CD form the STAR Classic Service Manual Library for the W111, plus the EPC Compact plus Spare Parts list. I also obtained the original 250SE Coupé Owners Manual, the Maintenance Booklet as well as some other accessories. Thus I started digging-into the secrets of these magnificent cars.  The other main priority after taking possession of the car was to seek and find appropriate repair establishments for the following categories:

  • Mercedes-Benz specialist for mechanical issues
  • Body work specialist
  • Leather & interior specialist
  • Spare parts suppliers in Germany and in Greece
  • Air condition service center

Past 70 and still going strong! Michael Gouliaras is possibly one of the few Mercedes-Benz mechanics with unrivaled training and deep-deep knowledge of the firm’s older (and newer) automobiles!

The first category was the most urgent one and for which I had no previous knowledge. Hence I asked a PHILPA (Antique Car Club of Greece) member and friend Dimitris Rizos, who owns a W113 230 SL Pagode along with few other M-B beasts (a.k.a. Unimog’s), to make a recommendation. Thankfully he did so quite successfully, referring me to the AUTOHAUS STUTTGART, an old “Pointed Star” establishment in the area of Piraeus. The main proprietor, Mr. Michael Gouliaras (now in his early 7o’s) has attended a three year course at the Mercedes-Benz School of Engineers during his youth and has worked in Germany, Switzerland and Greece all these years. His team members (all of them coming from the early 1930’s established M.K. FOSTIROPOULOS-VIAMAX S.A. exclusive M-B Distributor and coach builder until the mid-nineties, when Mercedes-Benz Hellas was established as a factory subsidiary). They are trained by him and all of them love their jobs and the old cars, while showing a lot of respect for their clients.

Car extra options:  Dark Blue color code 332 G, Klimaalange 306, Becker Europa Radio 514, (& other info) are engraved on the second metal tag of the car.

Amazingly, Gouliaras knew well Prince Michael’s car, having worked on her along with King Constantine’s Cabriolets and the other Merc’s of the Greek Royal Palace fleet being brought to FOSTIROPOULOS for service. He also snapped “Hey! her original color was Dark Blue!” (which is correct as depicted on the car’s metal tag, with code # 332 G). From that moment on, I knew that I was in good hands.

The Steel Compensating Spring and new bracket installed with the appropriate rubber shims.

Not knowing for how long the car was inactive in the hands of the previous owner, I wanted to empty all her fluids and pour in fresh stuff, along with replacing the relevant filters. That meant replacing the engine oil, brake, coolant, power steering, differential and auto gear box fluids plus executing a thorough grease job covering about 22 check points. The air filter and the fuel injection filters were also cleaned. The auto choke solenoid was looked after while a special injection cleaning formula was poured into the fuel system. The spark plugs and the distributor points were changed and the timing calibrated. The front brake disk pads were almost nearing their end of life so these were replaced and the brake system was bled. What a change in the braking power all that care did!

A new set of appropriate model Bilstein shock absorbers were fitted in the rear suspension. Noticeable in the picture is the new fuel pump that was installed by the previous owner.

The other main concern was around the hydro-pneumatic rear axle self leveling BOGE compression leg device. The rear end was sitting low and needed rectification. Mike told me that this was a well known problem for the W111 series and the BOGE units were replaced by the factory back then, by installing the earlier, simple coiled steel spring. So far so good, but where could we source such a spring, when in fact it came in three different grades? Michael’s “old boy network” was put into action, and within minutes he had sourced locally the appropriate spring, in brand new condition together with its fixing bracket for 100,00 €! WOW :-). By next morning the car was sitting perfectly level having gained the correct increased ground clearance, while the camber of the rear wheels were measured OK by an old rig which Mike had in his tool chest. Next a new set of appropriate Bilstein shock absorbers were fitted in the front and rear axles.

The AUTOHAUS STUTTGART Team. From Left: Stefanos (co-owner), Panayiotis (body shop chief), Yiannis (a.k.a ‘Spithas’), Mr. Michael and the younger Electrician.

The AUTOHAUS STUTTGART incorporates a body shop service and an electrician. Mr. Panayiotis looked underneath the car, checking for rust spots; alas he did locate some in the passenger side floor board, hidden by the underside tar covering, plus minor ones in the spare wheel well in the trunk. These will be addressed in the coming weeks. A foam sealing was applied in order to provide a temporary protection from possible car operation in the wet. He also fixed the inoperable drivers side door lock. The electrician replaced the emergency flash switch cum relay and now the turning signals and flashers operate perfectly. He did adjust the head, fog and spot lights. He also replaced another relay for the FIAMM air horns which now blow nicely! We all agreed that the Pioneer radio-cassette unit is due for replacement by an appropriate Becker Europa or such model.

I left the shop with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction: for a job well done, for making new friends and from knowing that the AUTOHAUS STUTTGART will be indeed the appropriate house of care for my precious Princess Michaela!

The Semperit Comfort-Life tire

While the Coupé remained in the Piraeus shop for three days, my tire supplier had called to advise that the new set of four Semperit Comfort-Life 205/70 R 14’s – which had already been ordered from Germany the previous week – had indeed arrived. What a joy! Now that I had in my hands a well sorted car in the areas of brakes, steering, suspension, engine tune-up and so forth, a new set of radials would further increase the comfort of the ride as well as that all important factor of road safety. The more than 10-year old Good Year’s had lost their softness and the treads were well worn. Onwards then from Piraeus to the other side of Athens, in the North East region of Gerakas. Costas greeted me smilingly. Alas, his Kärcher hot water high-pressure cleaner was broken, as I wanted to have the steel wheels well cleaned before wearing on the new tires. Oh well! A small job left behind for another time. He did inspect all four wheels for rust, signs of damage or untrue turning. All were in great shape. The new tires and air valves were quickly installed and the wheels carefully balanced. These high-tech balancing Corghi machines (all Made in Italy), never cease to amaze me!

A new set of Semperit Comfort-Life tires were fitted.

Costas Michopoulos is my trusted tire supplier of many years.

All along these day’s, intensive Internet searches pointed me to the DB Depot in Dettenheim, Germany as a reliable specialist for spare parts. A similar search for two local suppliers verified that their prices were much more expensive, most items not in stock (probably they would buy them from DB Depot or similar source). Exchanging several e-mails with proprietor Andreas Reinacher, helped me source the much needed rubber parts for the doors and windows, plus a number of other cosmetic parts. Andreas offered his valuable advice about the many items I inquired, he only failed to provide me the fuel tank sending unit and the windshield wiper rubber foot pump which was leaking. “The search is on” for these vital OEM items. An order has been placed with DB Depot which I eagerly await in order to proceed with my appointment at Auto-Stop/Connolly where my good friend George Pitsikos is going to take care of revamping the leathers, the wood and the carpets, and changing all the weather seals in between.

After that job, (more news and progress report as they develop), the car will go back to AUTOHAUS STUTTGART for the body work repairs and paint touch-ups. I do consider as appropriate to repaint the car in her initial dark blue color, but I tend to leave this task for the Fall or even for next year, since the current Silver Metallic paint is quite good and presentable.

The Behr Aircon will be pumping plenty of cool air after upgrading the refrigerant system.

Mike’s partner Stefanos has already referred me to another M-B specialist from their extended “old boy network”, for taking care of the air conditioning system. The task involved is to upgrade all system valves, hoses, filter etc. with closer tolerance fittings and thoroughly clean the refrigerant gas from the old (now forbidden) Freon R-12 to the new, R-134a US/EU approved and environmentally friendly refrigerant agent. Such replacements are required in order to prevent the smaller molecular structure gas of R-134, i.e. with higher density, from escaping the system and polluting the environment. Since summer is just around the corner and temperatures in Greece are quite high, having the old Behr unit pumping out plenty of cool air in the cabin is deemed important and will certainly add to the comfort and enjoyment of the car.

The Becker Mexico 7948 unit offers all the high-tech jingles & bells plus an iPod interface!

The last issue would be to replace the radio. I fancy the Becker Mexico 7948 modern replica unit, but aside from its high price, there are some pro’s and con’s to consider about that…


P.S.: My Uncle Costas 250SE Cabriolet

From Left: Cousins Connie, Christopher & Aunt Sophia, at their Cedar Grove, N.J.  family house driveway.

Fate has it that my beloved Uncle Costas Iliades, an ENT M.D. with practice in New Jersey, who was also a high ranking officer in both the USN and the Hellenic Navy, was himself a Mercedes-Benz aficionado! Having owned first a 190SL in the late fifties, which eventually he donated to his son Christopher upon entering College, then he bought for himself a brand new signal red 250SE Cabriolet (W111). The car was driven aside from the Doctor, by his wife Sophia and daughter Connie. I thank Connie for providing me with this period family picture of the car.

Technical Specifications of the 250SE

Engine Type: 6 cylinder overhead camshaft
Bore and stroke: 80 x 78.8 mm
Displacement: 2496 cc
Power output: 150 hp
Compression ratio: 9.3:1
Torque: 22 mkg @ 4200 rpm
Carburetion: Bosch two plunger injection pump
Engine speed at 100km/h: 3245 rpm
Gear ratios Automatic: I. 3.98:1II. 2.52:1

III.1.58:1

IV. 1.00:1 Rear axle ratio:3.92Chassis:unit frame and bodySuspension: independent front, with coil springs, single joint swing axle rearBrakes and area:disk, servo assist, two circuit hydraulic, 273/279mmWheelbase:2750mmTrack front/rear:1482/1485mmLength:4900mmWidth:1810mmHeight:1440mmGround clearance:152mmTires: 7.35 H 14 or 185 H 14Turning circle:12.1 – 11.9 metersSteering type and ratio:recirculating ball, 22.7:1Weight: 1490 kg
Maximum speed:188 kphAcceleration:12 sec 0-100km/hrFuel consumption:Automatic:17 L/100 km, Super (13.7 mpg)Fuel tank capacity: 82 L (21.7 gal)

Datacard for Chassis W111.021.12.088627

I am indebted to Mr. Gerd Langer,  of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars, Brand Communications of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Organization, who kindly provided me with the official “Datacard” of my car along with a number of additional documents, period brochures and so on. Among other details, now I know that my car was built on 25th June 1967! 🙂

Click here to browse the “Datacard”: Datacard-11102112088627

Anyone can also double click below to see the spec’s and options that HRH “Michel de Grèce” had ordered for this car (marked with an X on the left), as for example, Code 256 “Differential mit begrenztem Sperrwert”, Code 3o6 “Klimaanlage” etc. : W 111_112 Coupé_Cabriolet 1967

What can I say about German efficiency, meticulous record keeping and customer care?

Finally, read the “official” version by M-B about the story of these cars:

At the opening ceremony of the Daimler-Benz Museum in Untertürkheim, which was housed in a representative new building in order to celebrate the “75th anniversary of motor traffic”, on the 24 February 1961, a new passenger car model, the 220 SEb Coupé was unveiled. This elegant and representative model became the successor of the 128 series coupe, which after October 1960 had been produced no longer.

From a technical and stylistic point of view, the new model was derived from the 220 SEb sedan, which was presented in August 1959, and was also assigned to model series 111. In contrast to its successor, the coupé was planned as a fully-fledged four-seated model. It was based on the chassis of the sedan the wheelbase of which remained unchanged accordingly. Although the tailfins, which had made such a sensation at the presentation of the 220 b – 220 SEb models, were now apparent in rudimentary form only, coupé and sedan 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 sedan without significant modifications. The only important difference was a technical specialty: The 220 SEb Coupé 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 coupé, except for the absent roof and required body stiffening. Half a year later, the 300 SE Coupé and 300 SE Cabriolet, which had been constructed from pre-existing building blocks, had their debut at the Geneva Motor 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 Type 300 SE. Thus, these new exclusive models, which were, like the underlying sedan model assigned to model series 112, featured a whole set of technical details.

Basic equipment consisted of a 3.0-liter light-alloy engine, 4-speed automatic transmission, power-brake unit, air suspension 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 March 1963, the 300 SE Coupé and Convertible were, like the sedan, available with optional 4-speed manual gearbox; in this case the list price was reduced by DM 1,400.

In January 1964 engine power was increased to 170 hp so that driving performance was improved. This was made possible by converting the injection pump into a six-plunger unit. In 1962 the test department also constructed an individual special design of the 300 SE Coupé. 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 “fintail”-sedans of models 220 Sb, 220 SEb and 300 SE were replaced by a completely reconstructed generation of models, the coupé 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 sedans 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-liter models received the 150 hp 2.5-liter engine of the 250 SE and also its model designation. Furthermore, like the 3.0-liter models, they were fitted with the 14-inch wheels and bigger disk brakes of  the 108 series sedans. New, too, was the hydropneumatic compensating spring at the rear axle, which had been incorporated into the 2.5-liter models 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 model, which had a newly developed 2.8-liter engine with 160 hp and became the successor of the 250 SE. This change of generation did not only affect the sedan, but also the two-door versions. Apart from the new engine, only some details had been changed in the coupé and the convertible; like the sedan, both received flatter one-piece decorative wheel covers with integrated boss cap. At the same time as the 2.5-liter models, production of the Type 300 SE Coupé and convertible was stopped.

There was no immediate successor, but this was not really necessary either, as engine power was only 10 hp lower than in the 2.8-liter versions and the same driving performance was achieved because of their lower weight. In September 1969 the more powerful 280 SE 3.5 Coupé and Cabriolet models were presented. The completely new 3.5-liter V8-engine with 200 hp was very quiet and smooth and made sports car performance possible. These new models, and also the 280 versions with the 2.8-liter 6-cylinder engine had minor external modifications. The radiator grill was lower and wider and the bonnet was accordingly lower at the front. The bumpers were also modified, now being fitted with rubber strips like on the sedans. There were no external differences between the 8-cylinder versions and the new 6-cylinder versions.

In May 1971 the production of the 2.8-liter coupés and cabriolets ended and two months later the production of the 8-cylinder versions also ceased, thus bringing the ten-year era of the 111 and 112 series coupés and cabriolets to an end. A total of 28,918 coupés and 7,013 cabriolets of this range were built in Sindelfingen. The most exclusive version was the 300 SE cabriolet with 708 units produced, followed by the 250 SE cabriolet (954 units), the 280 SE 3.5 cabriolet (1,232 units) and the 280 SE cabriolet (1,390 units). The 220 SEb coupé achieved the highest production volume with 14,173 units.

The 350 SLC, which became available from February 1972, was the successor of the coupé models. This car was not based on a sedan, however, but on the SL model, which had been launched in April 1971. No replacement was planned for the cabriolets; fresh air Mercedes drivers had to be content with the two-seater SL.

Text: Courtesy Mr. Gerd Langer, Images: web files

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38 comments on “The day I met “Princess Michaela” a.k.a. 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Coupé

  1. Byron
    What a wonderful Car!!!And the history, You have and eye with eclectic tastes.The web site is a work of love.How many cars do you have?It is fun to hunt down the hidden treasures. I still think there are more to be found. The work you are doing on her is right for a driver. The air shocks have always been a problem and expensive to fix.I look forward to take a ride.
    Talk to you soon Love Capt Marco

  2. kalimera,

    i love your blog.. i just inherited a project from my father in law …
    to restore a 1966 mercedes 250se coupe automatic with sunroof…
    can i contact you for advice?

    thanks

    christos
    montreal 5148667438

    • Hi Christos,

      Thanks for your appreciative comments 🙂 How is lovely Montreal? I had some relatives living there years past.

      I am at your service re restoration advice. Is yours an automatic or manual? Color? Have you deciphered the codes on the metal tag in the engine bay? You can also obtain the “Data Card” from M-B in case not included in the papers. What is her history? Was your in-law the first owner? Do send some pictures OK?

      Keep in touch,
      Byron

  3. Hello Byron
    Very nice restoring i´m impressed. I have such a car in my garage im on to give it a new inner roof . Do You have some ideas how to do , this car has a sunroof . I have a new in my hand (the textilepart). My profession is to restore the woodenpanels from zero to high finish . varnishing as well as vaneering in all kind of wood. so the innerroof is normaly out of my profession.
    I can send You some pictures on wood-details if You send over Your email address.
    Best regards Bertil Simonsson Sweden
    bertilsimonsson@gmail.com

    • Hi Bertil,
      Thanks for visiting my blog and appreciating my stories.
      If you have obtained already the cloth material then you only need a specialist upholsterer to carry out the fitting part.
      Go ahead and send your photographs to the e-mail address I will provide you.

      Best success,
      Byron

  4. Dear Beracuda
    Interesting Blog, i have already 1965 Mercedes Benz but in Pakistan now days you cant trust on mechanics and the Dish boards veneer is in rough condition kindly suggest me which kind of veneer i can use in?
    Thanks

    Arif Khattak

    • Thanks Arif,
      For the varnish, after proper preparation you can use any good quality marine varnish of well known brand. Apply several thin coats (at least five) with fine grade light sanding in between.
      Avoid leaving the car exposed to the sun, the UV rays will soon destroy the exterior coat, the varnish and the upholstery.

      Best regards from Athens, Greece 🙂

  5. Dear Byron, I have just found a 66 250se Coupe in R/H drive here in the UK

    Silver with black leather, would be good to swap stories pics etc as I have fallen in love with the car, wonderful drive looks superb a real German Bentley!

    I will be taking pics as soon as possible, very few issues with the car, but lots to discover.

      • Thanks for that, I am keen to meet anyone else who has one of these cars in the UK, do you know of anyone/meets, events etc? I am based in Brighton. Hoping to meet anyone.
        Best regards Kirk

  6. I would also love to know how to decode the plate on the car and to find any history. I have very little from the last owner who says he had it 25 years, but that it was rebuilt by a Greek mechanic who has unfortunately died. I understand it was originally black, but that’s it, anyone any ideas where I should start?

    Kirk

  7. Allo.

    I have MB 250SE, 6 cyl FI # 088397….
    Horizon Blue/Red Lthr. 119,000 Miles.
    In Northern Calif. The car is a beauty and
    is running well, after a new Fuel Injector Pump
    which are hard to find and very expensive.

    • Hi what where the symptoms of the fuel pump failing? I have the same car and the other day it lost power and stopped, after a few mins it started again, but kept stopping all the way home, just before home the brake pedal went to the floor. I would not have thought this to be related but any advice or comments would be appreciated?

      • Allo.

        In my case: I drove the 1967 250SE to local store (15 miles).
        Stopped. Went shopping & returned to crank over the car….
        Noticed the accelerator pedal would not move. The car cranked over but
        would not start. And the acc pedal was frozen. Opened the hood and
        tried to move the throttle linkage. It too was frozen. I called mech for help.
        A diagnosis revealed: Fuel Injector pump froze/broke/died due to lack
        of oil…….! This pump needs to be checked for oil. It is not lubracated
        by the engine….! I have had the MB 12 years and driven it only 4000
        miles. Nobody informed me that this pump needed some inspections…
        It may be checked at certain regular services, but during my ownership
        I have only had to change the oil…
        Pls know this is part # 129 070 0601 Fuel Injector Pump….
        Not the Fuel Pump…Big difference.

        It’s about a 10 hour labor job….

        Total cost $2500….$1600 Part (reman)

      • Hi DrRx, that is very useful to know, I had no idea re this either and will check that all is ok immediately, though not sure it is the same problem as mine as my acc seems to move freely and when the car runs it revs fine. Thanks for useful response.

      • Hi Byron, As I have only just brought her I’m a little short in the history front at the moment, but will keep you posted, the car has been in western Australia it’s whole life and so looks very solid with very minimal surface rust which I have found in the boot and i noticed a small piece behind the front right wheel arch where it meets the chassis, the interior has a small crack in the drivers seat and needs a professional clean.
        I have also purchased the CD STAR Classic Service Manual Library as I’m hoping this will allow me to do small jobs on the car myself. The only thing that scares me a little is the cost and availability of spares. Can you give any advice on the repair of the dash as mine is cracked or is this best left to professionals?
        Not sure how to send you a few pictures do you have a email address I can sent to?

        Mine is jayhotz@hotmail.com

        Thanks Again Jay

  8. Hi, Kirk here again, I have just been to look at a 65 convertible, silver with red leather interia. Guy asking £40k, not sure what they are worth, but a nice car needing the wood and chrome re-done. Anyone got any ideas?, it’s a manual. 250se, but with later 280 engine. Best to everyone, Kirk

  9. Hi Kirk and glad to have you back! For whatever is worth check on the following links:
    http://www.silverstarrestorations.com/111SE.htm (a lot of advice before buying a W111 example here, as their repairs might prove quite costly).
    http://www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk/classic-car-page/176586/1967-mercedes-benz-250se/
    http://www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk/classic-car-page/176928/1966-mercedes-benz-250/
    http://www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk/classic-car-page/173784/1966-mercedes-benz-220-seb-coupe/

    Re the example under consideration, without seeing the car, £ 40k seems OK for a convertible, BUT you must have the car scrutinized by a professional. Also the fact that the engine has been changed with a 280 means that the car is not original any more, hence has lost some of its value. In case there is a link on this advert, let me know.

    Best of luck,
    B.

  10. Hello!

    Nice car and history.

    Three hints:
    1. The original leather color is 210-nature (naturfarben, code 8 at your datacard).
    2. The chrome belongs to a 300SEC.
    3. You should replace the petrol hose to the fuel pump.

    Greets
    Kai 280SEC (Berlin/GER)

    • Thanks Kai for the visit, your appreciation and suggestions. Have visited your web site but unfortunately is only in German, no English part eh?
      • Did not know about the leather color, was told by the previous owner that it was the original…
      • did know about the extra chrome,
      • in case that you have the correct p/n for the hose, kindly let me know.

      Best,
      Byron

      • Here is a explonation about the datacard:
        http://www.sl113.org/wiki/DataCard/Start

        You can take a standard hose from a reel. Yours seems to be damaged. Do you have pictures from the motor?

        One mor hint:
        The bumpers came from a Sedan. The late Coupe-bumpers look different.

        Sorry, that my site is only in german, but I’m working on a site about the W111C history and this will also be in English too.

  11. Hi everyone, I have eventually solved the problem with my engine stopping regularly. I had assumed it was a fuel problem eventually and it turned out to be the fuel pressure regulator valve, the diaphragm had perished. A new one direct from MB Germany and not only does it not stop, but she runs much better all round crisper and smoother. Hope it helps someone

    • Allo.

      I, too own a 1967 MB. 250SE. Coupe. 6 Cyl. FI. Auto. 119,000 Miles. Horizon Blue/Red Leather. A/C and clock still work. Owner since 2000 .

      The MB lives in Northern Calif and loves to show off at The Ironstone Concours D’Elegance in Murphys, Calif.

      Pix enclosed.

  12. Thanks for sharing this very important and most great information about “The day I met “Princess Michaela” a.k.a. 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Coupé “. i love Mercedes cars and it my dream to drive once Mercedes any model

    • Dear Ole, thanks for your kind words of appreciation. I have likewise seen your Blog which is very nicely presented! Your W111 looks good, with an interesting Northern previous life and I am sure that now she is under an excellent stewardship, providing her ample TLC! 🙂
      All the best from the South of Europe.
      Byron

  13. Hi Beracuda ;

    I,m owner of a 250 sl coupe grey . I am in love with him , but las year something is wrong with the electric system . Someone tall me ist because cable from the spark is not from this model. Can be possible ? It not burning the gas normally , its like a cylinder doesn’t work.

    Can you help me ?

    • Hi Paco, thanks for the message. From what you describe it could be a number of reasons. Before replacing cables or spark plugs, start the engine and then carefully remove one at a time, the spark plug pipes. By holding them near the plug, you can notice (and hear) if there is sufficient spark. Use a pair of insulated pliers to hold the pipes so that you do not get an electric shock. By this test you can determine if there is sufficient spark in EACH wire/pipe. Also you can determine if there is something else wrong inside the cylinders. If there is sufficient spark in all 6, by removing the pipe (one at a time) you can notice if each cylinder is working properly. If by removing the pipe, the engine sound changes and the engine runs a little rough, then each cylinder is working OK. In case that there is no change, then it means that that specific cylinder is not working.

      But there could be other causes: faulty distributor, points, condenser, coil, spark plugs, wires etc. If it is not something simple, I suggest that you take the car to a Mercedes specialist. These cars are precious and need good care. Let me know of results.
      Best, Byron.

  14. Dear all, you may remember my stopping then running problem? well its back again. I have replaced the fuel regulator and all seemed well, but not it is exactly as before two years later and less than 500 miles! I am wondering about he fuel pump this time, anyone any experience?

    Kirk

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