A W111 Helping To Chill And Put Life In Perspective: Thomas And His MB 250SE
During these strange times that we are all going through, I am always happy to know that you can find an escape from this with the pleasure of driving or just working on your car to achieve a more positive life!
In this opportunity, I have the pleasure to finally interview Thomas and his W111 coupe. A great person that I met through this world of cars. From Thomas, there is always a yes answer for a drive, an event, or just a coffee. He was one of my first guests at my exhibition “Cars as a work of art”, I had the perfect place for his Benz in mind since I went to the location for the first time.
Personally, I have a special place in my favorites for the W111 in general. I think it is a very special car, and above all that comes from the hands of one of my favorite car designers Paul Braq. In any of its versions, I think it is a car with a lot of character and personality. I think one of my favorite details is the interior and every detail that makes its three versions different.
Something I love every time I do an interview is to receive those answers in which you can feel the passion and enthusiasm for their cars, I think that is invaluable! Here are some of the questions I asked Thomas about his 250SE:
Thomas, tell me about yourself.
I’m 45 years old, born in Bremen but I grew up in a small village in Niederschsaen. I’m a lawyer by training but earning my money as an entrepreneur; I’m a vintage care petrol head and enthusiastic private pilot.
Tell me how your passion for cars and especially for Mercedes began?
I have always loved Mercedes Benz vintage cars. The first car that I bought from the first money that I earned at a summer job in a production facility, was a very nice W123 200D in “Taubenblau”, very well kept, no rust, low mileage. I was very happy about the car. Obviously not a sports car, but I liked the relaxing feeling of cruising in that car. Unfortunately, I crashed it during wintertime. The next car was a white W123 220D with Fuchs Barock-Felgen. It was in pretty bad condition but I loved it nonetheless. I have later also owned a “/8” and a W201 “Baby Benz”.
At some point, I saw a Mercedes Benz advert in a magazine for a new S-Class and they featured the W111 Coupe along with it. That must have been 1996 or so. Since then I have always wanted to have that car. In 2010 I saw a nice opportunity, didn’t hesitate very long and bought it. I was super proud and spent a lot of time driving around and listening to music from the late ’60s like David Bowie’s Space Oddity.
The car looks in great shape, did you bought it restored?
It was in overall not too bad shape but some things had to be done. The leather interior was good, the engine was ok and it had small spots of rust. So I decided to take care of the rust and at the same get it repainted. I got the engine fixed and that was it for then. In the coming years, I got more and more details done, like the bumpers, etc.
I remember you told me that the original color was different, what was the reason that you change it?
Yes, I decided to change the color. I know it’s not original. The original color was dark red, which is okay-ish… And the combination of color code 180 (silver grey metallic) together with black leather and wood was just too good not to do it!
What detail of its design do you think makes this Benz special?
I love the Grandezza of the car, the straight modern lines as seen from the side, and the roof that looks as if it is floating on top of the car. What I also find remarkable is how many people on the street wave to me, say hi to me. Nobody shows envy, they all just like the car.
What do you enjoy the most about the Benz?
I love to just cruise around, in the city or the countryside. The car also often has helped me to chill or to get my “life into perspective”. For example, during the first corona weeks, I often drove around at night on the deserted Berlin streets listening to Miles Davis. Despite the uncertainty of the situation, it was a memorable moment for me.
What other cars you would like to have in your collection?
My absolute favorite MB cars are the W126 560 SE and the R129. For the time being, I also love my W124 that I use as a daily driver. It is smoky silver 230, in very good shape. I equipped it with an original Becker radio and the great “Gullideckel” Fuchs-Felgen. An absolute boring but awesome car.
Any anecdotes you would like to share about your car?
When I moved to Berlin I had to change my registration to Berlin. I remembered that Manfred Krug as a cool lawyer in the German series “Liebling Kreuzberg” from the 90s had a W111 (as convertible not as coupe though). I am also a lawyer by training (to some extent because of Liebling Kreuzberg) and I was lucky that the number plate of Lawyer Liebling (B F 6447) was available. Now I am driving around with that number plate.
On Sunday, June 19th, we celebrated the first Carphiles event of this year. In a typical Berlin industrial backyard in the Xberg area where our friends from @conciergecoffee are located! I selected 19 iconic cars to stage and appreciate them in different ways. Here we were both car lovers and non-car lovers which in a different way is my way to draw the attention of those who don’t have an interest in cars, especially these design icons.
I think that in almost all my photos I can show my great love, passion, and respect for architecture and cars. That’s why I could say that this shooting is one of the best I’ve ever done in the almost 7 years I’ve been specializing in cars. This time I was in one of the most prominent buildings of Swiss Brutalist architecture, combined with one of the great icons of the 80s, the Testarossa.
Everything comes to an end in some way, such as air-cooled engines or more recently the end of one of Europe’s most emblematic and modern airports of the 1970s: Berlin Tegel TXL.