Continuing on the steady upward trend in sales and production that had started with the end of World War II and the post-war Mercedes models like the 300SL Gullwing and the early 190SL models, the 1960’s era would be an important one for the Mercedes Benz brand. This rapid growth could be attributed not least of all to exports, despite the high demand in the German market. In fact, after the war the Board of Management gave the exports market priority over domestic sales, which would lead to foreign sales cracking the billion mark for the first time in 1959. At a time when the automotive industry was seeing sharp fluctuations in sales, Mercedes stood strong.
If you’re thinking about buying 1960’s Mercedes classics, let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular models from this era.
One of the most sought-after and recognizable models in Mercedes history, the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing and Roadster would wrap up production in 1962. If you’re looking for a 300SL, you’ll be pleased to learn that most of these models have been lovingly cared for over the years, although you will still want to conduct a thorough inspection prior to purchase.
Ending production in 1963, the 190SL was marketed as the “Little Brother” to the 300SL and would be replaced with the 230SL, which offered better performance and luxury. For those looking for a reliable classic Mercedes to use as an everyday or occasional driver, with more than 25,800 units produced, the 190SL is a great option.
During the 1960’s, Mercedes would focus on premium products like the S-Class. The launch of the 230SL in 1963 would serve this purpose. All models would boast an inline-six cylinder engine with fuel injection, rear-wheel drive, and independent rear suspension. Offered as both a Coupe and Roadster, the sleek, angular look of these classics would lead to the “Pagoda” nickname. Similar to the 190SL it replaced, the 230SL makes a great everyday or occasional driver for those who want to own a 1960’s classic Mercedes.
The 250SL would be released in 1967 and would also mark the introduction of a 2+2 body, which would become known as the “California Coupe.” During this time disc brakes would become standard as well. Due to their performance and reliability, the 250SL is a very usable classic. Buyers should, however, be on the lookout for rust in these particular models.
Launched in 1968, the 280SL is perhaps the most desired of this particular series, thanks to their more luxurious appointments and the commonly used automatic transmission. Power steering, power assisted brakes, radios and air conditioning were added benefits.
Launched at the start of the 1960’s in 1961, the Mercedes 220SEb would be the last of the hand-built Mercedes classics. Considered an instant success, the lineup would see very few changes throughout the entire production. If you’re looking to buy a 220SEb, 250SE or 280SE, be on the lookout for Coupe models that have been converted into Cabriolets, as this ploy has been used to capture buyers looking for convertible models.
Released in 1965 to replace the 220SEb, the Mercedes 250SE would be nearly identical to its predecessor but would have different wheel covers and larger rims. During production of the 250SE, more color options would be released, including a wide range of genuine leather options.
Launched toward the end of the 1960’s in 1967 and ending production in 1971, the 280SE would be the last of this particular lineup. Boasting 180hp with an inline-six fuel-injected engine, the 280SE would see approximately 5,187 units produced. The 280SE 3.5 model, however, would be launched in 1970 and would only further enhance performance offerings with a powerful V8 engine. Collectors often believe this model is the most attractive since it offered all the advancements of the line.
To learn more about the classic Mercedes of the 1960’s, the Beverly Hills Car Club encourages you to contact a member of their California classic car dealership team today. In the meantime, be sure to browse their online inventory to view available 1960’s Mercedes classic models they currently have available. They look forward to hearing from you soon!