The 1961 Mercedes-Benz W 111 Cabriolet is one of the most popular classic cars that bears the three-pointed star.
The cabriolet was produced with the same underpinnings as its coupe and saloon siblings, but added a certain romanticism that came along with not having a roof.
It was built on the “tail fin” platform, which allowed the vehicle to have crumple zones at both ends – along with a rigid passenger cell that enhanced safety.
The cabriolet was also 50mm lower than the “standard” model it was based on, and coupled with the vehicle’s remarkable length and large boot, it turned out to be the ideal grand touring car.
The design of these cars were loved just as much back then as they are today, which led to the coupe and cabriolet styles being produced for 11 years.
The W 111 cabriolet was the pinnacle of luxury in its time, and this was visible on both the inside and out.
An interior highlight came from the wood veneer that curved around the instrument cluster so that no joints or edges were visible.
Alongside the full-leather interior and sporty gear selector, this justified the car’s position as a luxury cruiser.
Below the hood then sat a 2.2-litre, six-cylinder, M 127 engine that delivered 88kW of power.
This was mated to a four-speed manual transmission in the earlier models, or an optional four-speed automatic transmission from 1963 onwards.
The two-door W 111s were also the first Mercedes-Benz vehicles fitted with front disc brakes as standard, which only emphasised the prestige.
In 1962, due to the success of these models, a W 112 derivative was produced.
This variant received an uprated engine, unique exterior design additions, and a more expensive price tag.
In November 1969, the coupe and cabriolet experienced another facelift, which added a range-topping 3.5-litre engine to the line-up.
This engine livened up the car and let it sprint from 0-100km/h in 8.9 seconds -and on to a top speed of 215km/h.
Production of the W 111 and W 112 coupe and cabriolets ended in July 1971.
In the end, Mercedes-Benz produced a total of 28,918 coupes and 7,013 cabriolets.