One thing that amazes me about the W124 cabriolet is how expensive it was when it was new. In 1995, when you drove into the lot at your local Mercedes-Benz you didn’t have a ton of choices. You only had the C, E, S and SL compared to the 16 different models now in 2016. If you made your way to the E-Class lineup, you had the E300D, E320 and E420 in sedan form. (Sadly the E500 was axed after 1994). If you needed to haul some stuff, there was the E320 wagon. If two doors were more your speed, you could either go E320 coupe or cabriolet. Now you think the prices would all be somewhat comparable since hey, they are still all E320s, right? Well, not so much. The standard E320 sedan came in at $43,500 while the coupe was $63,000. Now the cabriolet, you ready for this? The MSRP price was $79,000. Just for kicks, the 1995 SL500 was under $90,000. So why did the cabriolet run almost twice as much as the sedan? Cost.
To make this car perfect, it’s not just as easy as chopping the roof off and adding a soft top in the trunk. Over 1000 parts had to be changed or modified from the coupe to be at the standard Mercedes wanted. The A-pillars were welded together with metal inside the pillars to form a stronger unit in the area that is prone to buckling. To combat vibrations, there are a system of dampeners in the front and rear of the car as well as the roof frame. In addition to all that, fitting an automatic top was no easy task as the roof mechanism has 27 linkage parts and 34 joints. Mercedes manged to make a perfect top and still left you with a generous amount of room in the trunk. All of the designing, all of this engineering and all of these materials combined with labor made this car so expensive. Clearly, Mercedes has figured out a way to keep costs down now because a 2016 E-Class coupe is only $2,400 more than the sedan and the cabriolet is only $8,000 more than the coupe.