Offered for sale is an absolutely stunning, very original, rust-free, mechanically strong, numbers matching 1961 Mercedes-Benz 220SE Cabriolet finished in beautifully understated and factory correct Welßgrau (White Grey, Color Code: DB 158) over its original red leather interior.
Widely regarded as one of the most elegant and select cars to ever come out of the assembly werks at Sindelfingen, the W128 Coupes and Cabriolets were the last cars to be built on a stationary assembly platform, making them the last completely hand-assembled Mercedes production cars. With only 1,112 cabriolets produced, they were exclusive and significantly expensive for their time, nearly double the cost of their sedan counterparts and even pricier than Cadillac’s top-of-the-line model of the day. This is largely due to the fact that no expense was spared in their construction and finishes, utilizing the most lavish wood trim treatment of any Mercedes, multiple hides of supple leather and extensive chrome trim that was made of solid brass, hand-fitted to each car and then removed for plating. Boasting an improved overhead cam 6 cylinder engine with Bosch mechanical fuel injection, the late W128 cabriolets offered 134hp and provided the driver with an incredibly smooth, comfortable motoring experience. In design, engineering and build quality the W128 220SE Cabriolet is arguably the finest touring car ever produced.
This beautiful example was driven sparingly by its two owners and then put into garaged storage in the early 1990s, where it remained until this summer when we were fortunate enough to have come across it. Upon receiving the car, our mechanic (a trained German Mercedes master mechanic) went through the car and got everything working correctly, including (but not limited to) an overhaul of the brakes, clutch, Bosch fuel injection and exhaust, all necessary after having been stored for so long. It’s his assertion that the visible wear to the telling mechanical components indicate that the 30k miles showing on the odometer could very well be correct and original.
The car has a completely rust-free body and undercarriage but the original finish and chrome had deteriorated over the years and needed freshening. As such, the car has a new, high quality paint job in its original factory correct Welßgrau, a refined, stately and wonderfully era specific color that wonderfully accentuates the car’s gorgeous lines. All new rubber was installed and re-chromed trim and bumpers have been fitted to the straight and solid body.
The car retains all of its original leather and carpets and the interior presents beautifully, showing only minimal patina to hint at its 50+ years. The seats are supple and free of significant wear, tears or loose stitching and the dash and interior panels are in excellent original condition. The luxurious Rosewood trim is well preserved, maintaining incredible luster and free of cracking, fading or chipping and it houses functioning gauges, buttons and switches as well as a rare original radio. The ivory steering wheel is in excellent condition, free of cracking or chips, and all of the interior chrome is in good original shape. Lastly, the soft top has been replaced using the correct German material, covered by a leather boot cover when in the down position.
Upon turning the key and firing the ignition the engine comes to life eagerly, idling effortlessly and pulling strongly and smoothly through each of the gears. The car brakes as straight as it drives and the ride quality it excellent, indicative of the renowned engineering upon which Mercedes built its name. The car is a joy to drive, whether tooling around town or cruising down the highway, and wherever it goes it never fails to garner attention from other drivers and pedestrians. The engine compartment and undercarriage are original and rust-free, both exhibiting the gentle use and care to which the car has been subjected since leaving the factory. We were unable to free up a lift to take good undercarriage pictures before listing the car, but we can forward those to interested parties later in the week. That said, I must again stress that the undercarriage is original, correct and rust-free.
This is an excellent opportunity to acquire a gorgeous, rare, wonderfully original, rust-free and mechanically sound 220SE Cabriolet. Having realized steady appreciation and collector car auction sales results as high as $200k, W128 cabriolets have firmly established their rightful place in the investment quality market and this car will undoubtedly be at home with its next owner, be it serious collector or weekend enthusiast.