Manual Fintail: 1962 Mercedes Heckflosse

The classic Mercedes-Benz Heckflosse – more affectionately known as a Fintail – paid restrained homage to the grotesque appendages hanging off the rears of American iron in the 1960s. In classic German fashion, the fins on a Mercedes are so subtle you might miss them if looking too fast. This 1962 Fintail is listed here on craigslist near Nashville for $4,900 and is equipped with a desirable manual transmission. Click here if the listing disappears. 

The seller does not elaborate on which model this is, which makes guesswork tough as the body design was similar between the W111 and W112 cars. I *think* it’s possible to distinguish the cars as the W110s were entry level and fitted with single round headlights; the six-cylinder W111s and W112s all had stacked headlamps like this car. The really hot ticket was the W112 with its M189 six-cylinder churning out a robust 160 b.h.p.

This example is equipped with a desirable manual transmission, which wasn’t at first available with the M189 – but the stick-shift would later return as an option. The Fintail seen here is clearly an unfinished project, with the bumpers removed and stored inside the car, along with empty slots where the tail lights used to reside. Depending on where the Fintail’s been stored, there could be water infiltration in the trunk floor. Hubcaps and the grill are also inside the car.

Here’s our only other picture, revealing torn upholstery and a stock steering wheel. The color combination is certainly attractive, but the ratty look suits it as well. Over the years, magazines like Classic Motorsports have campaigned a Heckflosse in vintage events and rallies, as these early Mercedes are supposed to be both durable and capable performers. This one needs to be a tad cheaper to be considered a steal, and I’d be happy to take this finned sedan home for $3,500.


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  1. Ensign Pulver

    My “first running” car in high school was a 64 220b in 1981. I bought for a buck from a neighbor who had sitting in his driveway with no brakes. The “b” had the double stack headlights but smaller taillights. The six cylinder, 4spd on the tree lasted longer than the body when the floor finally gave up. I’m still tempted to buy another but the difference between this at $3500 and a nice one at $10-12k is huge. This seems like a $1200 car.

  2. ghalperin ghalperin

    “grotesque appendages”, really?

  3. Wendell

    59 Caddy had the most beautiful fins ever…..

  4. Brakeservo

    Price asked is pure crackpipe!

  5. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Not sure why the 4-speed manual with the notoriously weak synchro on 4th is considered desirable. The 4 speed auto box was indestructible and I don’t believe the Hyrak ever made it past the ponton models.

    Too much money for a non running car and no sunroof.

    Waaaaaay tooo much money, I’ve had more than a few.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Way too much money, however if you read the ad it turns out it does have a sunroof.

  6. Michael

    This reminds me of my 220 sb, there is no wood trim around the windows. I had a blast in mine.

    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Surprised about sunroof, no pics.

      The rear taillight penetrations tell me this is an Sb. They had a larger taillight than the b. The b had more of a teardrop bubble shape the Sb had a rectangular assembly that had a common segmented lense.

      The taillights were probably the worst part to deal with when working. The lenses were molded to the outer frame and available only as an assembly. The internals had some type of plating for corrosion that once faded, lost connections. You could have a perfectly good looking assembly that wouldn’t pass a continuity check, and it was chassis ground.

      Phenolic usually trimmed the doors of the b models, wood in the Sb. Can’t speak to the gentleman who had phenolic, but will say when these were in a boneyard you could strip the doors of wood in a half hour. The wood tended to take a beating.

      The b’s didn’t have the diagonal grab on the door. This one, can’t tell if the doors have wood, at least I can’t.

      These came also with mechanical fuel injection as an option. Pretty much bulletproof as the design was simple. It was good for an additional 25 horses.

      If this has injection, it’s worth a second look, but I’d like to know more about the engine. Why was it parked, does it run?

      I have never seen a six cylinder with two headlights, only the 4 stacked ones. The front fenders are shorter on the single headlight versions.

      The Sb’s had stainless/chrome trim framing the rear fins starting from the rear door, wrapping around the fin to taillight. The b just had it on the back of the fin by the taillight. The spear to the door joining them was deleted.

  7. Bobsmyuncle

    Missing lights front and back missing door handles and trunk latch unknown mechanics and rust, and beaten interior.

    Sadly this car is unlikely to see the road again.

  8. Coventrycat

    Looks like a Beruit taxi, the Middle East’s Chevy Impala.

  9. Karguy James

    I have a 1968 200D model on Craigslist in Tampa in MUCH better condition, with clean interior, cold factory A/C and running in good shape for $3,500. He’s over priced for what it is and what it needs.

  10. mark

    Here’s a twin in my area……

  11. chad

    no 5 cyl diesel? Later yr?
    Now that would be a million mi motor…

  12. ccrvtt

    I had a friend who bought a ’61. It was so smooth it was hard to tell whether the engine was running. I remain mightily impressed.

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