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Estate Sale Special: 1964 Mercedes-Benz 220 SE

Talk about classic lines, this 1964 Mercedes 220 SE makes a stunning visual statement, in particular with its hardtop roof design and classic C-pillar. Restored about ten years ago, this coupe still presents beautifully and has experienced 91K miles of use. Known by Mercedes as a W111 and offered between 1959 and 1968, this 1964 example is one of 14K 220 SE coupes that were assembled between 1961 and 1965. My initial thought is that it requires no attention but let’s look it over and see if that’s the case. Hailing from Brookings, Oregon, this big two-door hardtop is available, here on eBay for a current bid of  $13,500 with the reserve not yet met.

The w111s were in production from ’59 to ’68 while the coupe continued on through 1971. Clearly, the saloon (four-door sedan) was considerably more popular than the coupe or a cabriolet by a ratio of greater than ten to one. What better hue for a classic Mercedes than silver? This example is resplendent in its bearing and the finish has nice depth. The seller mentions some minor bubbling at the lower edge of the trunk lid but it does appear to be minor. The chrome and stainless trim is pretty fair though does show some dullness. One thing that I look for with M-B’s of this era is the integrity of their very prominent grille and this one looks unkissed.

One of my biggest pet peeves is interior automotive images where “stuff” is perched upon the seats. I don’t get it, I want to see the upholstery, in totality, and I imagine others do too. Anyway, the red leather seats look good, though the seller mentions that the color is peeling off (dye?). They’re a fine contrast, not only to the black carpet and door panels but to the white headliner and silver exterior too. The wood-trimmed dash possesses a nice lacquer shine and shows no indication of delamination. It is a typical ’60s Germanic environment – fantastic!

Behind that untouched M-B grille, is a 118 HP, 2.2 liter, in-line six-cylinder engine, working in tandem with a four-speed manual transmission. The seller tells us that it, “runs and drives great“. Other than the inclusion of some red heater hose, the underhood reveal appears original and unmodified.

This Mercedes 220 SE is almost 60 years of age but I’d suggest that its look is timeless – it was an attention-getter in ’64 and will be in ’24. Not a car one would want to use as an everyday driver, but it would make an excellent sunny day cruiser (it has a sunroof!). So, has anyone had ownership of a 220 SE or a W111, and if so, what was the experience like?


  1. Ray Romero

    I live in Gold Beach, Oregon, 30 minutes away from Brookings, Oregon. How can I get in touch with the seller of this car?

    Like 1
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Click on the “here on eBay” link and contact him via the eBay listing.


      Like 6
  2. wesl Member

    Having lived in Germany another lifetime ago, had a ’67 250 S. Great cars, but eventually need valve jobs. Know I’m getting older, but as I remember, those emblems on grill are mileage awards for the owner to show off how many times the odometer has turned over. Know mine had the 100,000 km emblem on it. Could be wrong, but I’d like to see closeup of them.

    Like 2
    • JCA Member

      The driver’s side badge is the flag of Italy and probably reads “Italia”. The passenger side badge I don’t recognize.

      Like 1
  3. Richard

    I had one of these, same year. Loved that car. Mine was quite worn out but I drove it many, many miles. The four speed was easy to drive. I finally gave it up when the radiator failed and I blew the head gasket. Really a lovely car, coach built and one of the prettiest Mercedes ever. The convertible version generally sells for more than $250k now. These coupes go for $40-$60k. Crazy money but the cars are superb. Watch out for rust!

    Like 2
  4. Chris Cornetto

    These are wonderful cars. I knew someone with one. I wish I had bought it from him, as he was the original owner.

    Like 1
  5. Glemon

    In my mind these are kind of the classic postwar Mercedes in my mind. Just so classy looking. There was one at an estate auction near me a few years ago and I really wish I had a chance to go to the auction. Usually see them in black.

    Like 0
  6. Greg

    If you know a good MB mechanic that you can trust to treat this gem with the love and respect she deserves then please buy her she’s worth it. I’ve owned one MB in my life. A 88 560 SEC and l had problems maintaining it for crooked mechanics and l’ve never owned another one but I would love to own this 220 coup so much class.

    Like 1
  7. Bullethead

    W111’s were built from 1959 to 1971, the last versions powered by Mercede’s 200hp 3.5 liter V8. We own a very nice ’70 3.5 coupe and once owned a ’67 250SE which was equally nice to drive, but short on power. This has even less, but at least with a manual gearbox you can stir it into a semblance of performance. Sunroof is always a plus, but the car looks a little tired. Restoration or restomod? I considered an LT1 swap into our 250… back when saying “SBC swap” wasn’t a cliché.

    Like 1
  8. Phil Bognar

    I grew up looking at my uncle’s Benz in his garage he owned since the 60s but hadn’t driven since the mid-70s. Packed with blankets and other things on top, I imagined it was a 220. Turns out it is a 190SL. My uncle unfortunately passed away this year, but he willed it to me. It needs a LOT of work, so I had it hauled to a shop that wants to sell it for me, and there it sits. Will Barnfinds let me put a post up about it?

    Like 0
  9. zuul

    i think this 220 lived in my neighborhood here in portland for a long time… i wondered what happened to it as i had not seen it in a while. it’s in really good shape for the condition it’s in… looks like it didn’t meet the reserve…

    Like 0
  10. Ray Romero

    Is this car still available? What was the reserve?

    Like 0

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