It’s all about the message an image has to express. When you are Mercedes-Benz, and your purpose is to conquer the upper layer of the automobile market safely, you simply do what has to be done. During the last quarter of the previous century, the “three-box” or “three-volume” body design had already become a must-have asset for any luxury automobile manufacturers. Its suggestion is simple to understand: three is more than two, and luxury is always about “more.”
In addition, an extended length allows the designer to refine the shape and the general proportions of the vehicle. But no fastback style in the case of a sober design, please! We can say the “three-volume” design was a kind of smart looking suit in the “dress code” of the automobile world. It still is, by the way.
The Mercedes-Benz W114 was designed by Paul Bracq. It is amazing how he managed to turn the very traditional shape of the previous Mercedes “heckflosse” sedans into something clearly modern without generating a styling rupture. That kind of change should be called a radical evolution. The coupé version of the W114 carried on the solemn attitude of the sedan, even if it led to a lack of dynamic touch.
Paul Bracq left for BMW in 1970, but his successor Bruno Sacco kept this kind of approach when he designed the coupé version of the Mercedes-Benz W123 sedan. Again, a very polite “three-volume” thing.
Trying to find out how a Mercedes-Benz W114 or W123 fastback coupés might look, we acted rather outrageously. In fact, behind the front part of the W114, we added a Toyota Celica, and here comes the Stuttgart-kind of fastback coupé. Regarding the W123, the roof of a Mazda 929 Coupé did the trick. The gallery above has all the pictures you need to fully understand what happened here.