Mercedes celebrates a quarter century of 124 Series E Class Cabriolet image

A full 25 years have passed since the introduction of the 124-series E-Class Cabriolet and the model is still widely praised as among the best 4-seat drop-tops ever manufactured.

Even after a quarter century of life, the model still looks elegant, spacious, refined, and even entertaining to drive – and getting dibs on one is still a rather lengthy and costly affair. The 124-series sedan was introduced back in 1985, followed in 1986 by the wagon, and in 1987 by the coupe. Meanwhile, the cabriolet made its first public appearance officially during the days of the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1991, hitting the production line shortly after at the beginning of 1992. And it was a crucial model, since Mercedes hadn’t fabricated a cabriolet in two decades.

As it’s customary, the open top shared much of the underpinnings of the coupe model – and with ample modifications to the structure to make it one of stiffest cabriolets by the days’ standards – while refinement was achieved using a thick, heavy soft top. First off it was offered as the 300CE-24, packing a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder, 24-valve engine making a good 220 horsepower. A refresh in 1993 brought the E in front, added numerous design tweaks and new engines such as four-cylinder units and a 3.6-liter AMG monster. Production lasted until 1997 and has been followed by two generations of the CLK and the current E Class Cabriolet – with 40,295 units manufactured. Thanks to incredible build quality and careful owners, there are numerous examples still out there – and because of increased desirability they’re really not that cheap.