1963 Mercedes-Benz W111/112
Year of manufacture1963
Concours restored, manual 'floor shift' transmission
1963 Mercedes-Benz 220 SEb Cabriolet W111
Chassis no. 111-023-10-026971
Engine no. 127-984-10-002986
"The Mercedes 220 SE coupé is a very fine engineering achievement. Not only does it provide fast and economical transports for four and their luggage, but outstanding roadholding and riding qualities make this a car which is a pleasure to drive hard, and one in which it is safe and comfortable to do so. Furthermore, it has superb brakes and a high standard of mechanical refinement." Autocar.
Mercedes-Benz debuted four new models at the Frankfurt Show in 1959 - the 220 SEb among them - all of which shared the same basic unitary-construction bodyshell and all-round independent suspension. 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 stacked twin headlamps. The new 220 SEb retained the fuel-injected, single-overhead-camshaft engine of the previous 220 SE, though maximum power of the 2,195cc six was increased by five horsepower to 120bhp (DIN). Top speed was now 172km/h with 100km/h attainable in under 14 seconds.
Coupé and Cabriolet models appeared in 1960 and 1961 respectively, minus the already dated-looking tail fins of the saloon. More modern in style, the luxurious 220 SEb Coupé and Cabriolet were better appointed too, being equipped as standard with a rev counter, leather upholstery, and four-speed automatic transmission with floor-mounted gearchange lever. Girling servo-assisted front disc brakes were fitted from the start of production, a benefit not enjoyed by the saloon until 1962. By the time production ceased in October 1965, fewer than 17,000 220 SEb Coupé and Cabriolet models had been manufactured, of which only 2,729 were Cabriolets, and today these stylish and luxuriously equipped Grand Tourers are highly prized.
This superbly restored Mercedes-Benz 220 SEb Cabriolet was delivered new in Germany. A matching-numbers example equipped with the desirable manual 'floor shift' gearbox, the Mercedes was sold new to a member of the United States' armed forces, who, it is presumed, took the car to the USA.
The present owner discovered this 220 SEb Cabriolet while searching for rare spare parts for his Mercedes-Benz 300 Adenauer Cabriolet D. Visiting the classic car fair in Stuttgart in March 2015, he became enchanted by this Mercedes 220 SEb cabriolet, which he considered to be the most perfectly restored vehicle on show. Delivered new in Germany, retaining matching numbers, and restored to concours standard, it met all of the perfectionist owner's exacting criteria and duly became part of his private collection on 1st March 2016. Since then, some 1,000 kilometres have been covered, including a recent trip to the Coppa Classic Concours in Belgium where it won the award for 'Best Restored Car'. Finished in the attractive colour combination of Burgundy with tan interior, and guaranteed to turn heads wherever it goes, this quite exceptional soft-top 4-seat Mercedes is well-documented and offered with all its original books; M-B Datakart; a selection of restoration photographs; and Belgian registration documents.