1966 Mercedes-Benz 300SE Coupe
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale an Australian delivered, factory right hand drive, 1966 Mercedes-Benz 300SE Coupe.
The data card on file confirms this is an Australian delivered, matching numbers example which was delivered on 29th March 1966. The data card also confirms the car still caries its original colour scheme of ‘papyrus white’ (paint code 717G) with a burgundy interior (trim code 222). The car was delivered with the following options: Single front seats, instruments with miles indicator and English legend, Becker radio Grand Prix LM/MW/SW/USW, paint coat preservation, paint kit and reims adapter, automatic antenna, seat adapter between the front seats, lamp unit, asymmetrical for LH traffic, rear return signal lamps in orange, export license plate, instruction manual in English, rear axle ratio 1:3.92 and a fan clutch.
The service book indicates the car spend the first 5 years of its life in Sydney before it made its way to the Gold Coast where it has remained ever since.
The current owner acquired this car in 1994. He was made aware of the car by a work colleague. She knew he was a Mercedes-Benz enthusiast and she told him her dad had seen an old Mercedes-Benz in a shed in Nerang. He asked her to find out what the numbers on the back of the car were. She had her dad check it out and he said it read “300SE”. He then asked her to check how many doors the car had, thinking the car was probably an Adenauer (Type W186) which weren’t really cars of interest back then. When she came back stating the car had two doors his interest was piqued! An inspection was arranged and hidden under a thick layer of dust in the back of a shed was a 1966 Mercedes-Benz 300SE Coupe (Type W112) Coupe . . . a rare find indeed!
It is understood that the car had sat for many years and the dust was so thick it had to be scrapped off the windows to take a look inside. A deal was done and the car joined an eclectic collection of other Mercedes-Benz motor cars. The car was cleaned up and subsequently used sparingly. It was taken out for the occasional Sunday drive. Over the past 30 years the car has only travelled around 500 miles!
The current owner has decided to downsize his collection and is now reluctantly offering this very original Mercedes-Benz 300SE Coupe for sale.
Prior to coming to us, he engaged the services of Russel Ebeling, a well-known classic Mercedes-Benz specialist based on the Gold Coast, to recommission the car. Nearly $20,000 has been spend on the car to make it a reliable classic and get the car back on the road again. The brake callipers and brake master cylinder were overhauled, all the brake hoses were replaced, the radiator was reconditioned and all the cooling system hoses were replaced, the front cross member mounts were replaced, the engine and transmission mounts were replaced, all flexible air hoses were replaced, the air bags were renewed, the steering joints were reconditioned, all the power steering low pressure hoses were renewed, the steering box mounts were repaired, the steering box was reconditioned, the sway bar bushes were replaced and all the fuel hoses were replaced.
Today the odometer reads 61,815 miles. Based on the information in the service book and following discussions with the current owner, the mileage is most likely genuine. The car is mostly original. It is understood the car may have been repainted in its original colour of ‘papyrus white’ (paint code 717G) at some stage by the previous owner, but given the car’s mileage and condition it may well be original. The paint has clearly withstood the test of time and today it still presents well. There are a few small stone chips and blemishes here and there, but generally it is really good. The chrome work on the car, which is most likely all original, does show its age. Most pieces show evidence of light pitting. The grill, however, which is a feature on this era of Benz, is still in good condition and only shows very minor wear. The wheels are in good condition and are currently shod with 205/70/R14 Goodyear GT Sport 70 tyres which are date stamped 164 (week 16, 1994). Whilst the tyres still look to be in good condition, they should be replaced on age. The wheel caps are painted in the correct colour and present well.
Inside this car is a real time capsule and in good condition for a 57 year old car. The upholstery and the headlining are both in good condition and there are no rips or tears evident. The seats have aged well and still provide ample support. The instruments are all clear and in good working order. The steering wheel presents nicely with just the right amount of patina. The original Becker radio is also still present, but it is not working. The one thing that lets the interior down a little is the wood work on top of the dash. It has in reasonable condition, thought it has suffered from exposure to the harsh Australian sun and it does have a few cracks. All the other wood work is in good condition.
The carpets are all in good condition, though the rubber on the drivers’ side floor mat has unfortunately disintegrated. It currently presents as one big jigsaw puzzle!
After having familiarized ourselves with the interior it is time to take the car out for a test drive. The car starts pretty much at the first turn of the key and the engine quickly and easily settles into a smooth idle. When we went to select ‘4’ (drive) we did notice that the gear indicator needle is not working. Out on the road this Mercedes-Benz behaves exactly as you would expect from a Mercedes-Benz. It feels solid and just goes about its business in that typical Germanic way. The engine is smooth with plenty of power and the gear changes up and down the box are clinical. There is a slight wine evident from the drive train at times, which may well come from differential. This car handles, steers and stops exceptionally well.
It is no surprise, with the amount of recent work done, that the car drives well. It just needs to be used and enjoyed! We felt the car got better and better after every mile. After fitting a new set of tyres we would have no issue driving this car from Brisbane to Sydney tomorrow.
As the next owner of this Mercedes-Benz 300SE Coupe you have a number of options on your path forward with the car. Yes, a new set of tyres is a must, but after that you can simply use and enjoy the car. The alternative is to fix and improve a few things on the car to take it to the next level.
The Mercedes-Benz 300SE Coupe has been somewhat of a sleeper and given its rarity we believe offers great value when compared to the 280SE 3.5 Coupe, the ubiquitous Type W113 Pagodas and its peers.
When new they were one of the most expensive cars to wear the Three-Pointed Star and indeed one of the most expensive cars on the market.
These cars were a popular choice with celebrities when new and today the exclusive Mercedes-Benz 300SE Coupe would turn heads cruising along the French Riviera or streets of Beverly Hills.
A Mercedes-Benz 300SE Coupe is a rare car and to find one like this Australian delivered example with 61K genuine miles doesn’t happen often.
- Australian delivered, factory right hand drive example.
- One of only 2,419 Mercedes-Benz 300SE Coupes built.
- Low mileage.
- Very original.
- Recently recommissioned.
Following the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Europe’s car industry was decimated. In Germany both Daimler and Benz went back to producing cars post-war, however, times were tough. A merger between Daimler and Benz would ensure that both companies survived and following a technical co-operation agreement in 1924, the companies formally merged on the 1st July 1926. Mercedes-Benz was born!
Subsequently, Mercedes-Benz went on to build some of the greatest cars of all time. The cars from Stuttgart bearing the three-pointed star all had one thing in common . . . they were renowned for their technical innovation, build quality, luxury and performance.
In 1951 Mercedes-Benz introduced the Type W187 220 Series cars, which was the first model to be powered by a six-cylinder engine post World War II. This model was a great success and built in relatively big numbers. In the 1950’s Mercedes-Benz produced one of the greatest cars of all time – the iconic 300SL Gullwing and 300SL Roadster. Whilst fabulous sporting cars, they were very expensive and generally sold to the rich and famous. The Type W186 and Type W189 300 series four door luxury tourers were built alongside the Type W198 300SL Gullwing and Roadster and they were indeed fabulous cars in their own right, though still very expensive. Mercedes-Benz wanted to build full sized luxury cars that were ‘more affordable’ than the Type W186 and Type W189 300 series cars, so the Ponton range of cars (Type W120/W121/W105/W180/W128) filled that void nicely.
In 1959 Mercedes-Benz introduced the Type W111 as a successor to the very successful Ponton. The Type W111 was built as a sedan, coupe and convertible with many different engine configurations. The sedans were sold in big numbers all over the world, however, as has been the tradition with Mercedes-Benz the two door and convertible cars were built in far smaller numbers and carried a significant price premium. The majority of the Type W111 models were powered by a six-cylinder engine of varying capacity, ranging from 2195cc (220 series) through to 2778cc (280 series). In 1969 Mercedes-Benz introduced a new 3499cc V8 engine which they fitted to the Type W111 coupes and cabriolets.
The Type W112 was introduced in 1961 and it remained into production through until 1967. Like the Type W111, the Type W112 was built as a sedan, coupe and convertible. It was fitted with the 2,996cc fuel injected M189 all alloy six cylinder engine, a development of the same motor found in the legendary 300 SL Gullwings and Roadsters, boasting the latest Bosch mechanical fuel injection and a healthy power output of 170 hp at 5400rpm. The flagship Type W112 was marketed as a 300SE and these were very high end cars and were fitted with luxury features like power steering, automatic transmission and a pneumatic self-levelling suspension.
In total, Mercedes-Benz built 28,918 Type W111/Type W112 coupes, however, the 300SE Coupe accounted for only 2,419 cars.
- Mercedes-Benz 300SE Coupe
- 61,811 miles