Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Coupe
Designing a replacement for the two-door Pontons was initiated in 1957. This facilitated most of the chassis and drivetrain to be unified with the sedan. Thus, Mercedes-Benz concentrated its efforts on the outside styling. A few of the rudimentary models and prototypes suggested that Mercedes-Benz aspired to give the two-door car a similar front look to that of the Pagoda roadster. Nevertheless, engineer Paul Bracq's work was given preference in the end. Despite this, the rear design of the car remained, hence, called 'fintail' even though the chrome fin highlights were absent.
Production of the coupe started late in 1960 and it was presented to the public in February of the following year for the 75th anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz Museum. The premiere of its convertible version occurred a few months later at the Frankfurt Auto Show. This car had nearly the same features as the coupe model, its soft-top roof folded into a recess behind the rear seat and a leather "boot" covering it in the same hue as the seats. Just unlike the Ponton, it had only one version, the 220SE for both models, powered by the identical M127 2195 cc engine. Prices of the car in 1962 were 32,500 for the coupe and 36,000 NLG for the cabriolet. The list of optional accessories included a sliding sunroof for the coupe, automatic transmission, power steering, and individual rear seats.
In March 1962, Mercedes-Benz launched the nearly identical two-door 300SE. This vehicle was kept distinct from the 220SE, for marketing reasons, and boasted its own chassis number W112. It was envisaged that the car would be a successor to the W187 300S two-door series rather than the Ponton family. Aside from that, it had a chrome strip, air suspension and Daimler's premium 2996 cm3 M189 engine. The cost of the car was 45,000 and 48,500 for the hard and soft roof respectively.
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