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Car Tales: As Great As George Best, The Mercedes-Benz 300SE Cabriolet

“I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered,” famously quipped George Best, the legendary Manchester United soccer player. In a moment of clear introspection the late, great Best also uttered, “If I had to choose between dribbling past five players and scoring from 40 yards at Anfield or shagging Miss World, it’d be a hard choice.”
1967 Mercedes-Benz 300SE Cabriolet for sale
“Thankfully, I’ve done both.”

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‘But, lest we give way here to frippery, there was a more serious side to the boy genius soccer star from Northern Ireland: ‘Pele called me the greatest footballer in the world. That is the ultimate salute to my life.’
Mercedes-Benz 300SE Cabriolet side view
‘Often photographed in the driving-seat of his Jaguar XKE Roadster, George Best was also the proud possessor of that ultimate symbol of luxury and sophistication in the classic car world, a Mercedes-Benz 300SE Cabriolet.
‘Although Best never owned this one, at Beverly Hills Car Club right now we have such a vehicle, an extremely presentable and rare 1967 Mercedes-Benz 300SE Cabriolet, one of just 708 built, in its original color code#717G Papyrus White with a black interior.
‘This 2-door comes equipped with automatic transmission, air conditioning, power windows, wood trim, soft top and includes the boot, jack, spare tire, owner’s manual, service booklet, and over $18,000 in service records that stretch back to the 1980s. This is an excellent original California car that was with the same owner for many years and is mechanically sound.
‘Hidden beneath the beautiful exterior of every Mercedes is the most advanced automobile engineering to be found anywhere in the world. The 300SE Convertible is a case in point. Symbolizing luxury, power and the ultimate in sophistication, it is a car that has few equals for elegance and styling… and for technical perfection it is in a class of its own.
Mercedes-Benz 300SE Cabriolet rear
‘A thoroughbred in appearance, a tiger in performance, the Mercedes-Benz 300SE Convertible stands alone. Like every Mercedes-Benz it possesses an air of distinction and quality that reflects the unique personality of its fortunate owner.’ So decreed Mercedes-Benz in its official marketing copy of the car. And it would be hard to disagree.
Mercedes-Benz 300SE Cabriolet steering wheel
‘First introduced in 1962, the 300SE Convertible had a design that was as elegant as it is timeless. Just looking at it, it is the kind of car that you can imagine yourself in right now, whooshing hood down southwards on the French N7, the Route des Vacances, from Paris to Nice and a sultry, sensual night beneath the palm and pine-trees.
‘Today 300SE Convertibles are incredibly sought after. Initially available as a four-door Saloon only, Mercedes-Benz’s high end range-topper could be had as a two-door coupé or convertible from March 1962 onwards. A decidedly handsome design, the 300SE Cabriolet enjoyed effortless performance; for its time it was extremely sporty: 0-60mph took only 9.7 seconds.
‘Standard features on the 300SE included air conditioning, electric windows and a radio, which at the time were not common features on a car. It was also powered by a 2,996cc straight-six engine that initially developed 164bhp, which was later tuned up to 170bhp after 1964. Together with a four-speed manual or automatic gearbox, the 300SE offered a most relaxed experience with its hydro-pneumatic suspension.
‘These deluxe cars were fitted with the 3.0 liter fuel-injected M189 big-block six-cylinder engine, at the time of the model’s introduction the company’s largest. They were finished with a higher level of wood and leather trim than the predecessor, and had standard luxury features such as power steering, automatic transmission, and pneumatic self-leveling suspension.
Mercedes-Benz 300SE Cabriolet engine
‘The sedan was based on the Mercedes-Benz W111 fintail sedan chassis and coachwork. Somewhat confusingly it shared its more restrained and elegant bodywork, designed by the inimitable stylish Frenchman Paul Bracq, with the Mercedes-Benz W111 220SE coupe/convertible.
‘It was never a cheap car. Launched at approximately the same time as the Jaguar XKE, you could have bought two of the British sports cars for the price of a single 300SE.
‘Although George Best earned little in comparison to today’s soccer heroes, he was still flush enough with cash to have purchased a 300SE cabriolet – in Manchester he owned his very own clothing boutique. But as he admitted, “I used to go missing a lot…Miss Canada, Miss United Kingdom, Miss World.”
‘Yet beneath the risque humor of this King of the Pitch, there was a man who never forgot what he was really all about.
“I want to be remembered for my football and the pleasure I gave people,” said the superstar of soccer.
-Alex Manos, Owner
Mercedes-Benz 300SE Cabriolet Buyer Alex Manos (1)

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