Brian Joss –
Dream car of the 1960s meets star of the 2015 International Motor Show in Frankfurt: the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet which follows the tradition of the open-top S-Class (model series 111 and 112) from 1961 to 1971. Exclusive design and state-of-the-art technology in the S-Class characterise the concept behind both cabriolets, according to Ola Källenius, Board Member of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales.
“After 44 years we can again offer an open variant of the S‑Class,” he said.
The new S-Class Cabriolet is carrying the long and successful tradition of Mercedes-Benz luxury-segment cabriolets into the future. From the start of post-war production the top models from Mercedes-Benz were also available in the particularly exclusive variant as a cabriolet. These included the 170 S (W 136) from 1949, the 220 (W 187) from 1951 and the 300 S (W 188) from 1952.
After the “Ponton” cabriolets 220 S (W 180) and 220 SE (W 128) built from 1956 to 1960, in 1961 the 220 SE Cabriolet of the model series W 111 was launched, a particularly elegant, open-top four-seater, whose design is still considered timeless to this day. In this ten-year production period Mercedes-Benz offered five different models in these model series: the 220 SE, 250 SE, 300 SE (W 112), 280 SE and, as a late top model, the eight-cylinder 280 SE 3.5 – in total 7013 units of these five cabriolets were manufactured in Sindelfingen. The cabriolets from Mercedes-Benz are today amongst the most sought-after classic cars – and the prices have developed accordingly, a spokesman for the company said. Examples of this are the cabriolets from model series 111 whose values are cited by the renowned American Hagerty Insurance’s price guide. In its estimation a 280 SE 3.5 from the final year of construction, 1971, in condition 2 today has a value of around 290,000 US$ – ten years ago the figure was some $115000. But that is by no means the pinnacle: for instance, a specimen of this model in excellent condition was auctioned last August by RM Auctions for $429 000.
The last six-cylinder 280 SE model (1969) in the same condition is valued today by Hagerty at $75 000 – about $45 000 ten years ago. Early 220 SE models are around the same level, with a current value of $84 000.