Lucille Ball's

1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SE
V8 Cabriolet!

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Manufactured between 1961 and 1971, Mercedes' entirely hand-built W111 Cabriolets are among the most desirable automobiles to ever display the 3-pointed star.

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The 6-cylinder cars are solidly in 6-figure territory now, with a concours condition 250SE Cab valued at $130,000.00. The 3.5-liter, V8-powered cars usually demand at least twice that amount from well-heeled collectors.

This particular 250SE Cabriolet, one of a mere 954 such cars completed during the model's two-year production span, is special in more ways than one, as it presents a unique opportunity to join a very exclusive club at a greatly reduced price of admission.

A California car from new, it was reportedly originally owned by actress Lucille Ball. Sometime during the 1970s, the star of I love Lucy gave the Cab to her friend Tony Nancy, the famous drag racer known as "The Loner." Tony owned a shop on Ventura Boulevard in Van Nuys where he performed Pebble-Beach-quality upholstery services for folks like James Garner, Burt Reynolds, and Steve McQueen. A hot rodder through-and-through, Tony proceeded to install a 289 V8 engine in the big Benz and enjoyed the enormous horsepower boost until 2001, when the car was acquired by a private car museum in Granada Hills whose proprietor, a retired stunt pilot, was a friend of Mr. Nancy's.

The Cabriolet comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, and presents itself today -- half a century after it was was made -- in wonderful condition. Always adult owned, it's been used, but not abused and displays a mellow patina all around.

Nancy-installed, thickly padded, dark blue German canvas convertible top remains in excellent condition. Headliner is still the original one.

Painted once, in Medium Blue, the finish looks quite pleasing. It's not car-show perfect by any means, but perfectly suited for a car that's being driven.

Interior looks to be completely unmodified, with factory steering wheel, shift lever, and original VDO instrumentation all present. Tiger wood looks marvelously well-preserved.

All of the gauges are functional. Note original Blaupunkt radio and dealer-installed Kuhlmeister air conditioning (blower is working but the system could use a service/upgrade to R134a refrigerant).

Black seats feature a combination of MB tex and leather, are totally acceptable for a daily driver. You can enjoy this V-8 powered star cruiser immediately, just the way it presents itself.

One of the few true 5-seater luxury convertibles available in the late Sixties, Daimler's only true rival was the Rolls Royce Corniche. This example came optioned with the - rare for '67 - electric power windows.

The car features the splendid, two-level chrome bumpers that came to identify the big Benzes of the era. Note U.S.-spec overriders and taillights.
Let's check out the 250SE's trunk now.

Huge luggage compartment features the original, ribbed, rubber trunk mat, spare, tool roll, and tire jack.

Beneath the mat, the trunk floor looks to be free of corrosion.

The Mercedes features a solid undercarriage, as you'd expect it from a lifelong California car.
We've just had our friends at Kenz Muffler in Oxnard install a brand new exhaust system; with the stock M-B muffler, it provides the desired, mellow sound so typical of old-world luxo-cruisers.

The Benz starts easily; it runs and drives fabulously. Its potent Vee Eight engine, effectively doubling the original displacement, easily elevates the performance to the level of its super expensive sibling, the 280SE 3.5 V8 of 1970-71.
Check out the beautiful, dark blue tonneau cover that we've just recently fitted to the car. It's top down cruising all the way, baby!

Wherever it's parked, this fine vintage Cabriolet becomes the center of attention. It looks and sounds bone stock and factory original. Only you will know of the exciting secret that lives below its bonnet.

If you've longed to own one of the mighty Mercedes Cabriolets manufactured in small numbers between 1961 and 1971, here's a golden opportunity to acquire a storied example at a fabulously affordable price. You can and will enjoy the car just as it sits, or you might want to embark on a purely cosmetic restoration, down the line. Perhaps your taste swings more toward the original - in that case, it wouldn't be too hard to source another straight six. Once you've gotten a good dose of the big German's performance and ride, we suspect that you'll leave well enough alone, though.
Lucy would have liked it like that.

We sold this unusual Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet early in 2018.

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