Hint: it has to do with the nickname of one of these cars, which is what ties them to the others.
Answer update: This generation of Mercedes coupe was commonly called “Der Deutsche Thunderbird” (The German Thunderbird) in Germany.
I don’t know the real answer, but they are each part of the tastiest threesome you are likely to ever see parked curbside. Wow!
All owned by someone with darn fine taste in cars?
The first one is nicknamed “Merc.” The third one is a MERCury Cougar, which is a Ford Mustang — the second one — underneath.
In California, and perhaps other states, the four-letter abbreviation for Mercedes-Benz used by law enforcement is MERZ. Many mistakenly write “MERC” instead. That has been known to get off a traffic or parking ticket, as some judges insist on total accuracy.
Others regard it as only a minor oversight and if your ticket is otherwise accurate with the color and car description correct, and with the officer’s description of YOU the driver (often they take notes on the back of the officer’s copy, of physical attributes not found on your driver’s license…I did that all the time), those judges might get upset and levy a larger fine. They technically could also charge contempt of court or perjury, since you’re sworn in and lying in court. I’ve seen that, too. Probably best not to try.
Is there a James Bond tie-in with the Mercedes? Surely one of the bad guys or one of the sultry ladies pulled up to an exclusive club in one of them.
The Cougar was featured in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and I recently re-watched Thunderball when he got a harrowing high-speed ride in a powder blue Mustang much like this one. So James Bond, Final Answer. 🙂
There was a Mercedes 220 featured in Her Majesty’s Secret Service…but it was the four-door sedan, not the hardtop coupe.
My guess is that all three were featured in the Matchbox 1-75 range during the 1960s…but I can’t think of the nickname that would tie them together.
There was a 280s sedan featured prominently in Octopussy
They’re all pony cars?
Is that Mercedes’ attempt at the pony car market? It has a long hood and a reasonably short deck I suppose. And it only has 2 doors, unlike many Mercedes.
Or, maybe it’s that you had to ‘pony up’ a lot of cash back in the day to buy one?
Ok, I’ve got nothin’…
Maybe JPC’s right with the whole Bond thing, although I thought James Bond was more of an Aston Martin kinda guy. ;o)
I don’t know the answer.
All three are considered beautiful cars, though personally the Benz does little for me.
Even wearing those (less than ideal, in my opinion) colors, the Mustang is the standout.
Back in the day, the owner of the Riviera or the Benz (hard to believe now, but I bet their prices were quite close) would look perfectly fine in the Mustang–as would his maid or child or wife or uncle.
65-66 Mustangs looked perfectly at home in Switzerland or the Riviera, as much as southern California or Peoria.
The car that comes closest today, IMO, with such wide appeal, is the VW GTI.
So, what is the answer?
This generation of Mercedes coupe was commonly called “Der Deutsche Thunderbird” (The German Thunderbird) in Germany.
Der Donnervogel! It has a nice ring to it.
My goodness, after reading your answer, I looked again..
I mistook the Cougar for a…mid-60s Riviera!
That’s why I thought these were all cars that would be driven by affluent people, or the leading men or women in a 1960s movie. These were all ‘cool cars’ in the 1960s.
I suppose that would still hold. But the Riviera was a luxury car then, the Cougar was ersatz luxury (though IMO, it was the first of the ‘personal luxury cars’, paving the way for the GM’s colonnade coupes, the Cordoba, and the 77 T-Bird)
I definitely agree, that light blue is probably my least favorite color on Mustangs. That one rides kind of high in the back, too. Still, it’s an early Stang convertible in nice looking condition, why be picky? I love the color on the Mercedes, and the black Cougar convertible looks really sweet!
Isn’t that Tropical Turquoise? – one of the first of the new Mustangs to hit northern IN was ordered by one of my HS work colleagues in that color and I loved it then and now. My cousin bought a new 67 in what was then called Frost Turquoise, IIRC.
I think you are right on the color. I owned a ’67 Mustang coupe for a long time and it was the same color, but it was then called Frost Turquoise. That color was not available on Mustangs in 1966 for some reason. I bought mine as a 4 year old car in like new condition. I immediately ditched the hubcaps and whitewalls for chrome wheels and black walls to make it more “manly” in spite of the color. Funny thing, though, my petite wife drove it more than I for the first 4 years.
Right you are – not available in 66. When my cousin bought her 67 she factory ordered the car in that color, in part due to my urging. She loved it when it arrived. For some reason she did not order whitewalls so it had full wheel covers with blackwalls – strangely enough we liked it that way. Her mistake was getting the 200 six (with automatic). Her brother totaled it within a few months. The replacement was another factory ordered car: a bright red Javelin with black vinyl top and interior, loaded with whitewalls and many other options, and… AMC’s 289.
An even less “manly” color was dusk rose (pink). A few moms in my neighborhood bought these from the Ford dealer a block away from our house. Paint code S was dusk rose (special order).
I thought that the DKW 1000 SP was “The German Thunderbird”.
By the time the W111 coupe came along for 1961, the two-door ’55-’57 Thunderbird was pretty obsolete. This coupe was much more analog to the four-passenger Thunderbird.
it’s possible some referred to the 1000 SP as that, but I remember the German press using it in reference to the Mercedes coupe.
They all came with dual carburetors. And in case those were defective,
you were stranded for at least 4 weeks.
They are all hardtops?
Oops the Mustang and the Cougar are convertibles not two door hardtops. My eyes are not what they used to be. I’ll give it another try:
They are all from the 1960s
They are all two doors.
They have bucket seats.
They are all 2+2s
They are icons from that period.
They were sporty.
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