Offered for sale is a truly magnificent and rare 4-speed manual transmission example of a 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Cabriolet, recently refinished in its unique original color combination of Dark Red (DB 542) over a Dark Blue (220) leather interior. The quintessential big cabriolet of the 1960s, the W111 “Heckflosse” (fin-tail) cabriolets set and maintain the benchmark for luxury four seat convertibles. In my opinion, the excess of the later Rolls-Royce Corniche makes W111s much more desirable and I can’t think of another car that is all at once so graciously tasteful while opulently exclusive. Coupled with relatively low production numbers, that fact has made W111 Cabriolets significant investment grade collector cars, yet ones with solid enough engineering and drivability to routinely enjoy on the road. My uncle drove a W111 Cabriolet every day for the better part of thirty years and it always performed famously, both in terms of mechanicals and public perception. They are – as they’ve always been – utterly timeless.
This stunning example was sold new via the European Delivery Program to a doctor based in New York. He picked the car up in Germany and took his family on a summer vacation around Europe, having the first 600 mile service performed in Rome before having the car shipped back to his home in Auburn, NY. He drove it there in good weather months for the better part of a decade before retiring to Florida. At that point he sold the car to an associate, another doctor from Maine who had a summer residence in the same area. Although titled in Maine, the second owner left the car at his home in Florida, where he used it in season until he too opted to retire and make Florida his permanent residence. He drove it there as it was until the mid 1990s, at which point he had the car comprehensively restored. At that time the undercarriage was professionally replaced (to factory spec) and the mechanicals addressed. According to him, since that time the car has only had routine maintenance, until a few years back when he had the interior replaced, the chrome done and the exterior refinished, all to an exceedingly high level.
The results of his efforts are absolutely beautiful. The Dark Red paint is practically flawless, retaining exceptional depth and luster and marred only by the most negligible of imperfections, none of which appear in any of the pictures. The body is perfectly straight and sound with excellent panel fits and gaps, all of the rubber and glass is fantastic and the chrome retains its luster and is free of pitting. The car’s color matched wheels are wrapped in white-wall tires with plenty of remaining tread and the gorgeous offsetting dark blue soft top is literally perfect. The same can be said for the car’s interior. The Dark Blue leather seats, interior panels and carpeting are all virtually flawless, the dash itself is free of any cracks and the wood inlay is glossy and gorgeous. The dash retains its original Becker radio and the glovebox holds the original manual, stamped service booklet and original data cards.
Mechanically the car is excellent. The numbers matching engine fires at the first turn of the key, idles consistently and pulls strongly and smoothly through each of the rare 4-speed transmission’s gears. The manual transmission is a huge bonus, as the automatic versions are geared somewhat sluggishly, while the 4-speed makes this comparatively large car feel almost sporty. It drives and brakes straight, handles beautifully and is a joy to drive, whether cruising down the highway (comfortably at 80+ mph, I might add), tooling around town or winding through back country roads. It’s really the first generation of cars that Mercedes made that can truly and consistently keep up with modern traffic, and I wouldn’t hesitate to drive this car anywhere as it is today.
This is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a beautiful, turn-key, appreciating classic, finished in rare original colors with the right transmission and quality of restoration – a car that can be shown, driven on weekends or even used daily. It’s not a 100 point show car – and it’s priced accordingly – but it is exceptionally nice as these cars go, showing the care and attention detail it has received from its doting owners, something I’m sure its next owner will gladly continue.