GRIFF'S AUCTION PICK
1966 MERCEDES BENZ 250SE CONVERTIBLE (W108)
Mercedes-Benz emerged from World War II as a carmaker in the early 1950s, with the expensive 300 Adenauer and the exclusive 300SL grand tourers finding a ready market in recovering European economies, however, by 1956 work was already underway on replacing these cars with a design focused on passenger comfort and safety. The basic cabin was widened and squared off, driver visibility improved and passenger safety enhanced with the addition of retractable seatbelts and crumple zones. With styling aimed squarely at pleasing North American customers, the bodywork was modern and featured characteristic tailfins that gave the models their nickname - the Fintail (Heckflosse).
This distinctive styling cue, originally intended to improve aerodynamic stability, died out within a few years as a fashion accessory. By the time the coupé and cabriolet W111/W112s were launched in 1959, the fins had lost their chrome trim and sharp appearance and the arrival of the W113 Pagoda in 1963 saw them further buried into the trunk's contour, and they finally disappeared on the W100 600 in September of that year. Although the fins' departure was the most visible change, the W111 had a lower body waistline increasing the window area and had a lower ride and wider doors. The result was a visibly new car with a more sleek appearance and an open and spacious interior.
Built to challenge all luxury car manufacturers in the sixties, these cars were hand built using the very best robust materials and were considered to be truly lavish and elite vehicles. With a production run of just two years, and with only 900 Cabriolets built, these are amongst the rarest examples of 1960's Mercedes-Benz top-down motoring.
Ordered by a customer in the US, who collected the vehicle in person from the factory, this rare, left-hand drive W111, 250SE four-seater cabriolet was later exported to New Zealand. Since then the car has had over $250,000nz lavished on an extensive, body-off, bare metal restoration, including all mechanicals, and reportedly drives as it would have done when new. An extensive restoration and receipt file accompanies the vehicle including photos and the original dealer invoice records from new.
The car is fitted with the four-speed manual option and power steering, and with the fuel-injected engine has a top speed of 118mph. A lovely colour combination of silver with red leather interior resonates with the car's original American destination. An elegant, stand-out vehicle that has undergone a no expense spared detailed restoration, this sixties S-Class would enhance any collection whilst still providing an unequalled open-top touring experience.
The NEC Classic Motor Show Sale takes place on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November 2015 at the NEC, Birmingham.
The NEC Classic Car Sale Auction Catalogue 2015 is £20 on the door and admits two people to the auction and viewing. Tickets for the Lancaster Insurance NEC Classic Motor Show will also be required and are available for purchase fromhttp://www.necclassicmotorshow.com
Viewing of the lots will be available all day on Friday 13th and on the mornings of the Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th of November 2015.
Bidding at the auction can be done either in person by attending the sale, by telephone, by leaving a commission bid or live, online viaProxibid. Full details of registration requirements and a buying guide can be found on the Silverstone Auctions website (http://www.silverstoneauctions.com/buying).
On each day, the automobilia, lifestyle and watches auctions start at 10:30am and the car auction starts at 1:30pm.
For further information please contact Silverstone Auctions on +44 (0)1926 691 141.