The 250S and 250SE

The 250S and 250SE were the first 108-chassis vehicles produced by Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart. The car replaced the older “Fintail” W111 Mercedes. The front had very similar styling to the earlier 111 chassis – in fact, the headlights are identical between the two – but the engine displacement was increased, the instrument cluster redesigned with traditional round gauges, and the rear given a sleek rounded-off-fin makeover.

Without seeing the trunk badge, the 250S and 250SE are usually identifiable (a lot can change in the 40+ years since it left the factory) by their clean look; beehive or bullet turn indicators next to the grille for US models, no DOT side marker lights, only one side mirror, and inside, lack of front seat headrests, a simpler dash, usually no A/C, and manual windows. If they are still wearing their original 14″ steel wheels, they should have inner caps and outer chrome beauty rings, as opposed to the later one-piece hubcaps as seen on the newer models.

M180.920, showing York A/C compressor

Introduced in the mid-60s as Mercedes Benz’s entry-level car, the 250 came in two major versions – the 250S which was carbureted, and the 250SE, which used Bosch’s mechanical fuel injection system that was actually modified from the diesel engines. Both 250 models had a 2.5L cast-iron inline 6-cylinder engine.

The 250S
Chassis designation: 108.012
Engine type: M180.920
Built: 74,677
130 HP
0-100km/h in 13.0s
Dual carb 2.5L M180 with SOHC, front and rear disc brakes.

The 250SE
Chassis designation: 108.014
Engine type: M129.980
Built: 55,181
150 HP
0-100km/h in 12.0s
Mechanically fuel-injected 2.5L M129 with SOHC, front and rear disc brakes.

Otis Blank’s euro model 250. ©

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