1964 Mercedes Benz 220 SE Cabriolet
Post-WW2 Mercedes were made famous by their 300 Adenauers and grand tourers, but the unibody Pontons comprised the bulk of their sales. When the time came to replace the Ponton, Mercedes chose to focus on passenger comfort and safety. The resulting W111 was the first to debut the driver-visibility focused open greenhouse that would go on to become a signature of the company. Mercedes also pioneered front and rear crumple zones, technology that’s still used today.
In 1959 Mercedes debuted the 4 new W111 models at the Frankfurt Show all of which shared the same basic unitary-construction bodied shell and independent suspension. A tasteful European take on 50s Americana, the cars featured touches of chrome, subtle fins, and larger bodies than their predecessors. They featured a wider radiator shell, wrap-around windscreens side rear windows and vertically positioned headlamps. In 1961 the fins were ditched and cope and convertible models were introduced. The much more modern 220 SE Coupe and cabriolet were equipped with a rev-counter, leather upholstery, front disc brakes and four speed transmission.
This absolutely stunning car, specced in classic navy over cognac, recalls the romance of a bygone era. Wonderfully restored and in peak condition, it’s one of only £2,727 cars ever produced (a smaller production run than most modern sports cars). For such a long vehicle, it handles faultlessly, the 6-cylinder engine runs exceptionally well, and the suspension is simply cloud-like. All these years later, one can still experience the tangible results of Mercedes’ focus on passenger comfort. An extensive history file details the impeccable restoration and engine revision, making the car the perfect addition to any collection.