The great Mercedes-Benz Coupes - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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The great Mercedes-Benz Coupes

For many decades, the large coupés by Mercedes-Benz have been synonymous with elegance and exclusivity in automotive engineering. An exceptional design, high-quality appointments and trailblazing technology come together as a style-defining whole. At the same time the luxury coupés never make their appearance merely as variants of the saloon models, but rather as a visibly distinctive line within the respective model series.

They have also offered groundbreaking innovations in vehicle technology, for example in 1995 with ESP®, the Electronic stability Program. They have amazed fellow-designers and fascinated countless customers all over the world. This consistent principle of distinctiveness extends from the 300 S Coupé, which entered series production in 1952 and perfectly symbolises the transition from the post-war era to the boom period of the economic miracle, and on to the CL 500 of 1999 in which the Active Body Control suspension system celebrated its world debut. But for all their technical refinements, the coupés also give rise to emotions. Their appearance is a delight to the senses.

Building exceptional cars was already a carefully and intensively maintained tradition at Mercedes-Benz before the Second World War. These include, for instance, the very rare Coupé versions of the supercharged models bearing the Mercedes star on their bonnets, which were produced between 1920s and 1930s. They have lost none of their eye-catching effect today, and are sought-after cultural representatives of their time which need fear no comparison with valuable paintings in terms of their value and importance.

Mercedes-Benz built on this tradition only a few years after the end of the war, when it presented the 300 S Coupé at the Paris Motor Show in 1951 - the S-Class Coupé in the W 188 model series. The general enthusiasm peaked in the verdict of the motoring press, which referred to "a car for the world’s elite". The motoring public were also surprised, as nobody had expected a German manufacturer to make a smooth transition from the austerity of the war years to the production of exclusive luxury cars from practically a standing start.

The 300 S Coupé, which entered series production in summer 1952, was the crowning glory of several promising indications that the German economy was back in business. Not only was Mercedes-Benz showing that it was worthwhile to invest creative potential in the future, the 300 S Coupé also demonstrated that there was a market for exclusive products even in difficult times.

This was by no means commonplace at the time. While luxury was not unknown, it was far out of reach for most people. In 1952 the road surfaces and network were anything but perfect, and communications technology was still in its infancy. In 1952, for example, telephone operators faced redundancy when West Germany began to convert from manual switchboards to self-dialling for long-distance calls. The television age was taking its first faltering steps, initially only in black-and-white. From today’s perspective these were certainly pioneering achievements, however.

In this environment the Mercedes-Benz 300 S Coupé represented a cultural phenomenon, combining a successful design, exclusive appointments and the best vehicle technology of its day into a style-defining whole. In a sense it was a window on the future of the automobile, and it also marked the birth of a new Mercedes-Benz tradition which has remained alive to this day: the tradition of large coupés with their visionary symbiosis of perfectionism and emotion.

My uncle had a blue 1983 Euro SL500 Convertible and my cousin still has his 1984 US SL380 Convertible.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 02:22 PM
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Nice! What about the 280/350/450 SLC? It's not in the pic....

“One who conquers himself is greater than another who conquers a thousand times a thousand on the battlefield.”
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 04:23 PM
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Lets not forget the mid-sized coupes from the late 1960's. In January of 1968, the replacement for the W109 series was launched; The 114. Eleven months later in Hockenheim, the 114 coupe was introduced.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 12:15 AM
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<3 = a heart for all of you non-internet chat folks...that's just an exaggerated heart to emphasize that i love the 560....ok, enough of me rambling :-P
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 08:11 AM
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I have always loved the 300CE's and the 1st gen CLK's
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 11:52 AM
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Ah yes, the 124.

Someone correct me if I’ve bungled the lineage of the recent mid-sized coupes – In January of 1968, the w109 was replaced with the w114. Eleven months later, the 114 coupe was announced. That took us to January of 1976, when the W123 series sedan was introduced as the replacement for the w114/115. In March of 1977 at the Geneva Motor Show, the w123 series CE was introduced. This was produced up until 1986, when the w124 sedan became available. Then we had the long wait for a mid-sized coupe. The first W124 based 300CE wasn’t available until the 1989 model year. The W124 based 300/320CE was produced from 1989 though 1995. For 1996, the 210 sedan replaced the 124. A year later, the 208 was announced.
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