Converting a 111 coupe into a cab - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Converting a 111 coupe into a cab

Hi all,

Yes yes, I know there are plenty out there who would want to string me up by my nether regions for considering such an act to what many consider to be a beautiful car, however I have never been a big fan of the C-pillar on the coupes. If I were to lop the roof off, I would have the best of both worlds - a cab in the summer, and I could make a hardtop with a smaller rear window that was more to my liking for rainy days.
I saw Peoria Benz mentioned they had done a couple. Can anyone inform me as to what is involved? Please cover off issues such as:
- where did you cut the C-pillars and how did you make them look good
- how did you stiffen the car (I think the factory cabs had a much bigger trans crossmember)
- how did you modify the top of the screen to look good?
- If you put on a convertible folding rood, what model car did you source this from

Thanks,
Drew in Oz
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 08:19 PM
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Hi Drew, I'll be the first to chime-in "please no!" but I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Factory cabs had more than bigger crossmembers alone ... Check out EPC and you'll see exploded/dismantled views of cab vs. coupe.

A few I can think of are door sills & rails were thicker steel... underpans were reinforced, and the convertible boot area as well. The cabrio was stiffened in many different ways as you may know.
And I remember hearing that all the strengthening and stiffening modifications should be performed before the mutilation occurs, since the moment it's cut-up then flexing and warping may start...
Good luck (with a small frown).
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 03:50 AM
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im no expert

but i will NEVER buy a convt. that started life as a coupe

it just feels wrong but not sure why to be hoesnt but what benzbar just wrote made me even more scared and make me dislike it even more
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 07:18 AM
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I.m sure sorry for a guy who can't appreciate the design lines of these beautiful coupes that won awards for their "extreem beauty" at their debute at the paris auto show. although they were designed by a french designer, their influance on the mercedes line
created the wonderfull stack headlamps and beautiful front ends we still admire in the convertable and sedan cars that followed after it.
These coupes are still admired as the most beauriful mercedes coupe ever. To cut one up like he describes turns my stomache. offense intended
JJ
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2010, 05:45 AM
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I'm not sure Paul Bracq (if this is the designer you are refering to) designed the W111 Coupe. I remember reading that his first task when he joined MB was to design the famous "Pagoda" hard top for the W113.

[Edit: Paul Bracq joined MB in 1957 after the W111 "fintail" sedan was designed. He reworked the hard-top of the 190 SL by adding a bigger rear window. He then fully designed the W113, W100 and W111 Coupe/Cabrio.]

Later, he designed the W108 getting inspiration from the W111 Coupe for the rear end. He wanted to replace the vertical front headlights by horizontal ones ala W116 (already), but this was resisted by the then MB management who saw vertical headlights as the MB treadmark. So Paul Bracq is not the "father" of the vertical headlamps on MB front ends,as they were already present on the fintail. And stacked head lamps are only an adaptation of the original vertical headlamps to meet the US regulations which by then only acepted sealed beams.

The "wonderfull stack headlamps" style was not created by Mercedes, and was indeed of French inspiration. Not Paul Bracq, but Jean Daninos, first stack on the superb Facel Vega FV and HK 500 and then plain on the Facel II and Facelia. MB seems to have got is inspiration from there, before Paul Bracq joined MB.

The W111 Coupe is indeed very beautiful. I also like the cabriolet very much, but only with the top up. I don't like it as much as the pagoda with the top down...

Converting a W111 Coupe into a cab is feasible, but involves a lot of work as a lot of chassis elements are different, as was already mentioned earlier. Not doing it properly will end-up into serious rigidity issues.

Last edited by GGR; 01-12-2010 at 02:47 PM.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 12:31 PM
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Hey guys... have been very busy, but just wanted to get a few words in. The factory convertibles do indeed have reinforced floors. The first conversion I had was done with the strengthening accomplished with metal added to the rocker area. It felt a little loose to me. The second car used about a two inch square steel tube welded in connecting the front and rear unibodies. It felt more substantial and cornered without the sensation of flexing. I haven't had a chance to run down the guy who did the conversion, but I know he would provide great insight. I'll let you all know when I find him. Happy motoring!
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 01:29 PM
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Interesting guys... thanks for the wealth of knowledge. I don't want to venture too much OT so I'll post a new thread regarding Paul Bracq's designs, etc...
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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And I don't want to spoil your thread benzbar on the highly revered Mr Bracq, but one of his 4 pillars of design is the one thing that brings them all undone in my mind - too much glass! I love the BMW 635 he designed as well, but would love it more with a bit of a roof chop to decrese the amount of glass. I like the old school custom cars with 2/3 - 1/3 ratio of body to glass area.

Dave/JJ, thank goodness that not everyone in the world has the same tastes in things... that also applies to people, otherwise my wife would never had married an ugly b@stard like me!!

Looking forward to some info Peoria. I haven't made up my mind on anything yet, as I don't want to be driving a soggy bsicuit down the road - that is what my '56 Ford was like.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 04:58 PM
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It's all good Drew... everyone has different tastes and opinions on automobile designs, one man's vision of art may be another man's view of ruins... BUT one thing will never change, Bracq's timeless and classic designs stood the test of automotive time & history and the accolades that came year after year are well-deserved and carved in the records.

Happy Cruising!
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 05:06 PM
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I apologize in advance for the following blaspemy!

I've also driven a couple of chopped 111's and can confirm that some are done well and some aren't! Frankly I don't blame you for considering it, even though I consider the W111 Coupe a work of art. Fact is, the Cab is a work of art too and this is a car you're likely to be driving (only) when the weather's nice. Therefore why not have the top down?!

Easy enough to say, just buy a Cab but the 3.5 Cabs are well into six figures and at this point I'd be sort of afraid to drive one in traffic. OTOH, what's the worst that can happen to a chop?
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