・Absolutely fabulous example of classic Mercedes-Benz W124 cabriolet
・Recent full respray and new front wings
・Known history from new
・Rare metallic Blue-Black with electric roof and full black leather upholstery
Seen by many as the greatest Mercedes-Benz ever made, the stalwart ‘W124’ Series was introduced in 1986 and quickly garnered an impressive reputation for fabulous build quality and over-engineering.
Starting life as a saloon, an estate model (S124) appeared soon after, followed in 1987 by the Coupé (C124) – a sleek, pillarless two-door that took Bruno Sacco’s already handsome designs to stylish new extremes.
But Mercedes-Benz wasn’t done yet, as it had one more ace up its sleeve. An ace that would take a further four years to appear but was worth the wait, as it was the prettiest of the ‘124’-Series models yet.
In September 1991, the company presented the 300 CE-24 Cabriolet at the Frankfurt Motor Show and production began in 1992.
It was based on the coupe and used the same doors, while underneath it shared the multi-link independent rear suspension and front wishbone layout that gave the rest of the 124 range such impressive comfort and handling.
The soft-top (internally known as but rarely referred to as the A124) needed extra body stiffening to account for the loss of its roof, so each Cabriolet needed a total of more than 130 kilograms of additional sheet metal to structurally compensate for the 28 kilograms lost from the Coupé roof, while the A-pillars were welded together with metal sections inside the pillars.
The fully retractable electric roof was an engineering work of art – weighing just 43kg and with 27 different linkages, the roof could fold away and be stored under a built-in rear deck via a series of 12 valves and 10 electronic switches. It was an amazing thing to watch.
In June 1993 with the rest of the range, the Cabriolet received a facelift and new engines, as well as being officially renamed as the E-Class. A new entry-level four-cylinder variant debuted – the 220 – along with a revised six-cylinder 320 with a 3.2-litre six. A wider, flatter grille and bigger bumpers were the main visual cues.
This example is an early facelift six-cylinder car, supplied to its first owner in August 1993 and the subject of a thorough overhaul and cosmetic restoration by the vendor over the past year. It’s an extremely lovely thing.
L131 GUU was purchased new in 1993 from Lancaster Mercedes of Colchester by a printing company - Alpha Print Ltd - for its owner and Managing Director. He later bought the car out of his company in 2002 and kept it until 2010, when he sold it to its next owner, who is a friend of the vendor.
The current owner bought it from his friend last year as a lockdown project and he has spent a large amount of time and money on it since, bringing it back to show condition.
The W124 comes with its original owners’ wallet containing the handbook, a supplement for the Cabriolet models, service book and warranty paperwork. The service book shows that car was serviced at 5k, 15k, 21k, 29k, 39k, 49k, 58k, 68k and 82k with corresponding stamps.
The second owner didn’t keep much paperwork, but it does have most of its old MOT certificates. There are also a series of bills for more recent work carried out under its current custodian.
It also comes with two spare keys and spare wheel nut key.
As part of its restoration during the past 12 months, the 124 has had a full respray and the quality of the paint finish is excellent – the unusual Mercedes Black-Blue metallic, which looks more grey than anything else, is absolutely stunning, with a deep lustre and barely any imperfections.
If we were being picky, a tiny mark on the nearside rear quarter was the only thing we could find, while the quality of the paint finish is exceptional.
During the overhaul it also got two new front wings (a common W124 rust trap) and had the rear subframe mounts stripped, welded and repainted, covering the main areas of concern with the model.
The black canvas roof is in excellent order and is the original fully glazed item, while the wheels are recently refurbished and shod with brand new Goodyear tyres.
The black leather upholstery is paired with charcoal-coloured carpets and walnut veneers.
It’s an inviting ambience and looks absolutely stunning, especially as the leather is all in superb condition with no notable rips, creases or tears.
The carpets are excellent and all of the controls and switches work, other than the electronic seatbelt feeders, which were one of the more unusual features of the Coupé and Cabriolet 124s.
The wood inserts looks smart, although there are some small cracks to the veneer around the window controls.
The roof is operated by a red button in the middle of the cabin after you manually unlatch two levers. It works perfectly and is a wonder to watch as it disappears into the car’s rear deck panel.
The vehicle also features a fantastic, retro style Blaupunkt stereo unit with DAB, handsfree telephone & built-in USB port for charging.
Under the bonnet you’ll find Mercedes-Benz’s 3.2-litre 24-valve straight six, which develops a more than adequate 217bhp. It’s fed to the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission, which is generally more desirable than a manual in a Mercedes of this era.
With 112,000 miles on the clock, it’s got plenty of life left in it and starts and runs beautifully. A short test drive left a good impression of a car that felt tight, smooth and well-sorted, changing through the gears as it should and maintaining good oil pressure and a steady engine temperature. The vehicle will come with an MOT dated to June 2022.
This is an absolutely wonderful example of one of the most stylish boulevard cruisers of the 1990s in impeccable condition.
It looks fabulous from all angles, is finished in one of the smartest colours and wants for almost nothing, while its known ownership adds pedigree. This is a car that has been loved and garaged all its life and in the hands of its current owner has been returned to its wonderful former glory.
The next owner will have one of the best W124 Cabriolets there is, a shrewd investment and a car to cherish well into the future. It’s a gorgeous example.
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