When Mercedes-Benz replaced the popular W111 220 series in 1966, the first S-Class range was born. Much of the mechanical specification remained as before, but a new, sleeker bodyshell with lower roof and waist lines and a larger glass area proved to be a far more modern design than the dated, finned wing appearance of its predecessor; supplementing the saloons there were, as always, both coupé and cabriolet derivatives.
All of these W108 models, however, shared similar all independent suspension, by wishbone/coil spring at the front together with a coil sprung swing axle at the rear; all round disc brakes and power assisted steering were also standard equipment. Power was initially provided by a choice of three overhead camshaft six cylinder engines: for the 250 S, the 2,496cc motor produced 130bhp via twin carburettors, with the 280 SE benefitting from Bosch fuel injection and an increase in output to 150bhp (rising in 1968 to 160bhp); transmission was invariably an automatic four-speed unit.
This original Mercedes Benz 280 SE cabriolet was delivered to France when new. It is one of the rare examples with a 4 speed manual gearbox and the desirable floor shift gear lever. Beautifully finished in maroon with black leather interior, this early high radiator cabriolet comes with French road papers and presents itself in very good condition throughout. One of only 1,390 examples produced by the factory, this is a rare and highly collectible car for the connoisseur.