The 220 SEb Convertible and Coupé were luxurious derivatives of the 220 SEb saloon that had debuted at the Frankfurt Show in 1959. This new 220 family moved Mercedes-Benz's styling into the modern era; longer than their predecessors, these elegant newcomers featured a wider radiator shell, wrap-around windscreen, enlarged rear window and vertically positioned twin headlamps. Two-door Coupé and Convertible models appeared in 1960 and 1961 respectively, minus the saloon's already dated-looking tail fins. The pair were better appointed too, being equipped as standard with a rev counter, leather upholstery and four-speed automatic transmission with floor-mounted gear change. The all-independent suspension was given more sporting characteristics, while the 134bhp fuel-injected version of the 220 SE's overhead-cam six was standard, giving this well-proportioned car a top speed nudging 110mph. Matching this enhanced performance was the replacement of the saloon's fade-prone drum brakes with superior Girling discs.
This 220 SEb Convertible has been fastidiously maintained throughout its life, enjoying only one owner from new until 2006. The car benefits from a no-expense-spared total restoration, completed in 2000, which has stood the test of time well because, most importantly, it was not in poor condition to begin with. Restoration work included a full engine rebuild with crankshaft, pistons and con-rod balancing by Gosnays Engineering; unleaded/LPG conversion; re-polishing of the original wood fittings; new convertible mohair hood and lining (plus other upholstery items) faithfully reproducing the original and including a new wooden rear spar (custom made in America); re-plating of brightwork; bare metal re-spray (engine, suspension, interior and hood removed) in original Mercedes silver blue metallic, including first two coats with epoxy mastic cured resin and extensive use of lead loading; all door, glass and other rubber seals renewed; new windscreen; new brakes and gas suspension. The cream leather interior remains original, retaining its original Becker radio (with iPod interface). Maintenance post restoration was carried out in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations by marque specialists Rodger Edwards Motors of Wembley, Middlesex, and the car comes with the associated service history.
This elegant 1960s four-seat convertible boasts disc brakes, power steering, fuel injection, automatic transmission and a stainless-steel exhaust system, and can be driven without any allowances being made for its age as well as affording the additional benefit of low-cost classic car insurance. Forming part of an exclusive UK private collection since 2008, the car is offered with restoration invoices, an owner's handbook and a V5C document.