Forgotten Mercedes Fintail Will Be a Future Favorite
Mercedes-Benz experienced a wave of success between 1959-1965 when they unveiled their avant-garde “fintail” design language by Karl Wilfert. Before this radical design departure, Mercedes-Benz had been viewed as rather conservative––even with the 300SL Gullwing & roadster.
The wraparound windshield and rear glass was more emblematic of contemporary American design inspired by the Jet and Space Ages of the period. For Mercedes, this formula would prove to be just as successful in the fatherland, selling over 300,000 units globally during the model’s life cycle.
The car was available in a host of different powerplants including a twin-carb 2.2L six-cylinder, a fuel-injected 3.0L six-cylinder, and even a four-cylinder in petrol and diesel options. At the time, the BOSCH fuel-injected system proved to be too costly to repair and soon most fuel-injected W112s leaving the assembly line would come with carburetors instead.
Today, many of these cars are still driven by their original owners (especially some of the diesel models). While trim pieces can be scarce and some mechanical parts over engineered, they are still a fun and retro reminder of Mercedes’ culture inspired design period.
A quick look at the Hagerty valuation tool and you’ll find that “fintail” values have stabilized the past few years. This is normally a great indicator of a looming interest spike. While the “fintail” is a niche interest car, the W109 was produced in larger numbers, making earlier fintail sedans and special order models desirable.
Cars kept in pristine condition dance around the $30,000 range while “well-loved” models are turned into reliable drivers (est. $10,000–18,000) or even hot rods (a contemporary 6.3L AMG Bi-Turbo seems appropriate to us).
Images Source: emercedesbenz.com