Auctions and Brokerage
This 220 SEb Cabriolet from 1964 is a late-production W111 model, handsomely finished in silver with burgundy MB Tex upholstery and a black canvas convertible top. In addition to the model’s characteristic rich wood-grain interior trim, the Cabriolet is equipped with a desirable Becker Europa radio and is enhanced with power-assisted steering. The 220 SEb Cabriolet was recently acquired by the consignor, who is a noted and prolific classic-car collector; and as offered, it is very nicely presented with good paint and brightwork, with the car clearly benefitting from attentive care and use. The consignor reports that the 220 SEb runs beautifully and that it can be summarized best as a very presentable and enjoyable classic open Mercedes-Benz complete with books, an original owner’s manual, a jack, and tools. Accordingly, with its legendary Mercedes-Benz production quality and standards of construction, coupled with superior luxury and its fit running order, this handsome 220 SEb Cabriolet stands perfectly ready for continued enjoyment by a lucky new owner.
The 220 SE
During the late 1950s, Mercedes-Benz initiated design and development of the eventual replacement for the upscale W128 Ponton 220 S and 220 SE Coupe and Cabriolet slated for eventual retirement in late 1960. Introduced in August 1959 and styled under the inspired direction of Paul Bracq, the new models were internally designated W111 and based on the full-length architecture of the 220 SEb Sedan to deliver exceptionally comfortable accommodations for four or five occupants. While the 220 SEb Coupe and later Cabriolet variant did share the engine and chassis components of the 220 SEb four-door Sedan in typical Mercedes-Benz practice, the two-door models in fact did not utilize any of the Sedan’s body parts despite their strong familial resemblance.
The new 220 SEb Coupe made an auspicious public debut on February 24, 1961, at the opening of the Daimler-Benz Museum in Untertürkheim, and the 220 SEb Cabriolet followed the Coupe with an August 1961 introduction. Both the Coupe and Cabriolet were fitted with Mercedes- Benz’s four-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment. Priced to match their elegant countenances, the 220 SEb Coupe and Cabriolet projected a clear statement about their owners, whether on the glamorous Riviera, sweeping confidently at speed across the Continent, or plying densely packed city streets. Luxuriously appointed and trimmed with the finest materials available, the 220 SEb Coupes and Sedans were largely hand-built and served as Mercedes-Benz’s full-size image leaders until 1965, with the basic body style continuing to live on in more-powerful 250 SE and later 280 SE forms.