1964 Mercedes Benz 220SEb Cabriolet – rare factory RHD Cabriolet
The date of the introduction of the W111 Series Mercedes 220 SE Coupe was carefully chosen. It was not as usual an international automobile show, this time it was the opening of the Daimler-Benz Museum in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim on Feb. 24th, 1961 and the celebration of the company’s 75th anniversary. With its pillar-less side glass, a hallmark of almost all coupes coming out of Stuttgart in future, and wraparound front and rear windows, the car was a statement of exquisite taste and should remain in production till 1971.
The cabriolet was launched a little later at the Frankfurt International Automobile Show in September 1961.
The chassis had to be strengthened on the sides due to the coupe’s pillar-less design. Both sedan and coupe had roughly the same length, but the coupe was 5 cm (2 in) wider and 8.5 cm (3.3 in) lower. Next to chassis and engine, the only other parts that were shared with the sedan were the head lights and the radiator grille. Powered by a silky smooth 2.2 litre six cylinder engine the car was capable of over 100mph and keeps up with modern traffic with ease.
The luggage area was huge for a coupe and the interior generous for a two-door vehicle. Seats were thick, wide and covered with leather. From the beginning the coupe had an aura of class and dignity and for the first time it was possible to travel in a Mercedes coupe with four passengers in comfort. The interior of the car was a feast for the eyes (and the nose). Not only the seats were covered with top quality leather, also the door trim, the dashboard cover, the rear shelf and even the inside of the glove compartment used the same material. The dashboard fascia, the instrument housing and the loudspeaker cover were made of wood. Like in the Ponton coupe models one could choose between walnut, macassar or burl walnut veneer. The instrument-layout was a departure from the sedan version, it was copied from the 300SL roadster, with speedometer and odometer to the left and right and secondary instruments for oil-pressure, fuel and water in the centre.
The cabriolet had been developed in the tradition of Daimler-Benz to offer a special and elegant open top two-door version of their six-cylinder executive cars. Although they were produced alongside the sedans, many parts had been manually assembled, so that one can say these cars were the last semi-hand built cars of Daimler-Benz, taken the 600 aside. They offered a quality unmatched by its rivals and even successors.
The 220SE was only built between 1961-1965 making it one of the shortest productions of the W111 series. Only 2,729 cabriolets were built of which only 192 were RHD examples. By contrast some 23,885 280SL’s were built!
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale this rare factory RHD Mercedes Benz 220SEb Cabriolet which is finished in silver with cognac leather upholstery and a brown soft top.
The car is chassis number 111-023-22-059-562 with engine number 127-984-22-002408.
The car has the original logbook from first UK registration on 8th July, 1964, which records the car as a convertible delivered new to Duke Oliver Niblett from Surry in the UK. The car has its original ‘matching numbers’ engine as confirmed by the factory data card which accompanies the car.
The car had six owners between 1964 and 1976, when it was bought by Mr Barry Robins who lived in Wimbledon (London) in the UK. He drove the car until 1982, and then took it off the road to restore it. He entrusted the car to Steve Redfearn of Steve Redfearn Motor Company in Wimbledon, a Mercedes specialist, who overhauled the engine and restored the bodywork with many new panels, including all the wings. Redfearn had the car for some time, as Robins ran out of money and enthusiasm.
The car was seen by car collector Nigel Batchelor at Steve Redfearns in 2004. He subsequently purchased the car and set about finishing the restoration. Batchelor didn’t like the cars original colour of champagne beige and proceeded with a complete engine out respray (to silver) with application of re-chromed parts.
This took a year and Nigel finally had the car in December 2005.
From 2005 Nigel drove the car a reasonable amount, and aside from some niggling issues relating mainly to the years the car was off the road (mainly related to dirt getting into the fuel system from the dirty petrol tank and blocking filters) have mainly done routine maintenance. Significant replacement parts in that time have been: new fuel pump, alternator conversion, new fuel gauge, new front shockers, power steering hoses, water pump, battery, brake master cylinder and rear cylinders.
The history file with this car is substantial and the MOT’s (from 1969 to 1982 and from Dec 2005 to March 2013) confirm the mileage as follows. In 1969 it was 12,338 and in 1982 was 83,207. In December 2005 the mileage was 83,282 and has increased year by year as follows: Jan 2007 – 85,620, Jan 2008, – 86,049, March 2009 = 86,424, March 2010 – 87,686, March 2011 – 91,515, March 2012 – 92,210. March 2015 – 92,490. Today the odometer reads 94,037 miles.
The car was acquired by its current owner in 2012. Between 2012 and 2014 the car was completely re-trimmed. New leather was applied throughout (original spec and Mercedes colours – Cognac), new carpet fitted (again correct spec), a new triple layer hood fitted and beautifully finished with new timber work throughout. The work was all done by specialists in the UK. This included carpet in the boot and over mats in the correct spec material. In preparation for local touring locally in Australia the owner also had a modern air-conditioning unit fitted with matching timber. (A not insignificant exercise!). During this time he had the opportunity to view the car ‘from the inside’ without any seats/trim – it was in outstanding condition. Matching period seat belts are fitted front and rear and the car can seat 5 in comfort. Additionally, a quality Bluetooth stereo is discreetly fitted in the glove box.
The entire front of the car has recently been resprayed – wings, front guards, and bonnet. The quality of the work is excellent. A new windscreen was fitted too.
In addition to a thick history file the car has books including the original owner’s manual and two sets of keys.
Mechanically the car needs nothing and as you would expect from a Mercedes Benz it drives superbly.
This represents a unique opportunity to acquire a rare Mercedes Benz in outstanding condition with a very comprehensive history. This classic four seat convertible is ideal for long distance cruising in absolute comfort and style. Mercedes Benz style and elegance personified.
- Mercedes Benz 220SEb Cabriolet
- 94037 miles
- 2195 cc