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Mercedes-Benz W110

Mercedes-Benz W110 Published: 6th Feb 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Mercedes-Benz W110
Mercedes-Benz W110
Mercedes-Benz W110
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Almost over-engineered, this model shouts understated quality and class 60 years on and yet prices remain within many budgets

If ever a car cemented Mercedes’ reputation it was the W110, better known as Fintail or ‘Heckflosse’ in German-speak. Her was saloon that was devoid of flashiness and frippery and concentrated purely on dignity and integrity above all else. Almost bombproof, they make fine acquisitions imparting immense owner satisfaction.

What makes them so special

Popular as taxis the world over, the Fintail isn’t really a sports saloon, although the six-cylinder models perform lustily. Their forte lies in high speed cruising and comfort, up to six if you find a bench-seated car. Handling was good for its day and the car was a proven rally winner. What makes you feel so special when driving is a feeling of strength and safety; discs and split circuit braking were early advancements plus this Mercedes was one of the first cars to feature a built-in passenger safety cell. More importantly, they feel like a mobile brick outhouse…

Right choice

There’s a choice of saloons in petrol and diesel guises, the former best in six-pot form, the latter what you expect of an old-school oil burner. Basic 190s feature simple circular headlamps and austere trim, the Fintail looks best with its stacked four headlamp styling with a more welcoming cabin found on SEs. Apart from the 190-230 range, there’s also the wonderful 300SE which has a longer body, more chrome, standard self-levelling air suspension and the 300SL Roadster’s fuel-injected engine. There’s also the SEL (signifying Long) but it’s reckoned only around 20 reside in the UK. You can also technically add the SEb coupés and convertibles into the mix – you’ll find most cars with four-speed automatics.


Most are pretty affordable and £10,000 should net a presentable enough saloon and double this for the very best – the 300SE doesn’t command significantly greater values or appeal but the SEb coupés are worth twice the price of an equivalent saloon with the convertible worth that again, so you’ll be looking at the thick end of six figures for ones worth owning!

Significant dates

Launched in 1959, with UK for ’61 initially with sole 2.2-litre six-cylinder engine in three tunes; 95bhp,110hp and fuel injected 120bhp. Four-cylinder 1.9-litre cars identified by plain single headlamp frontal. 300SE Coupé and cabriolet 220SEb in 1962 with longer wheelbase 300SEL a year later but 300SE and 220SEb dropped in ’65, the same time the other units are up-gunned becoming the 200 and 230 models respectively.

Don’t get caught out…

  • Body rust can be ruinous. The good news is that main dealer can source what you need via Mercedes-Benz Classic although at a cost.
  • Most critical check are the floor, cross-members and box sections.
  • Check doors, wings etc although repair sections are also available as well as new items – it’s around £1500 for complete new front wings.
  • Engines have no real Achilles Heel other than normal wear although fuel-injection on some ‘sixes’ can be fickle and dear to put right.
  • The rest of the running gear holds few worries, even the air suspension. Most common suspension mods are quality dampers and poly bushing.

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