Auctions and Brokerage
David Schoenthal, New York City, New York (acquired by 1998)Andrew Bach, Pound Ridge, New York (acquired in 2010)Current Owner (acquired from the estate of the above)
In 1962, Mercedes-Benz began to consolidate its model lineup into a unified platform, and for the W112 series it combined elements of the W111 “Fintail” series with the upscale 300 models that had preceded it. The W112 series, which included the 300 SE, was the definitive handcrafted Mercedes, featuring standard-equipped air suspension, automatic transmissions, and power steering, as well as remarkably elegant interiors appointed with the finest leather hides and burled-wood veneers.
The 300 SE also received a version of Daimler-Benz’s three-liter inline six-cylinder motor that had proven so successful in the 300 SL sports cars. As this exceptionally restored example attests, the 300 SE Cabriolet was perhaps the pinnacle of the manufacturer’s hand-built touring cars, offering unmatched elegance among contemporary luxury models.
This example, finished in its gorgeous original color combination of Dark Maroon (460G) over a Cognac leather interior, is one of fewer than 100 originally specified for the US in 1967. Although its early history is currently unknown, this example is reported by the consignor to have been purchased in 1998 by collector David Schoenthal of New York City, at which point it was still largely original and unused.
After 12 years of dutiful care, Schoenthal sold the Cabriolet, and it was soon purchased by Andrew Bach of Pound Ridge, New York, one of the East Coast’s most respected 300 SL restoration specialists. Renowned for his meticulous level of detail, Mr. Bach acquired the 300 SE as a personal car, and set about a five-year restoration. He completely restored every mechanical element of the car, disassembling and perfecting every nut and bolt, according to the consignor. The renowned Johann Merkhofer of Coachtrim LLC in Danbury, Connecticut, was retained to refresh the interior with proper new leather hides and carpets and was tasked with fitting the convertible top.
After Mr. Bach’s passing in 2015, the sensational Mercedes was acquired by the consignor, a connoisseur of exceptional vintage automobiles, who asserts that this is the finest 300 SE Cabriolet he has ever seen. The soft top is assured to fit beautifully, while period details such as the restored steering wheel and Becker radio attest to the car’s overwhelming authenticity. This 300 SE also retains its matching-numbers M189 engine.
Accompanied by a factory tool kit, the astounding Mercedes displayed 38,505 miles at time of cataloguing, believed by the consignor to be original, and still exhibits Mr. Bach’s exceptional level of craftsmanship. It is ideal for display at concours d’elegance and would beautifully complement any fine collection.