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The Mercedes Benz S-Class
In 1965, the “New Generation” of upscale Mercedes-Benz models (S-Class) debuted with the 2.5-liter carbureted 250 S and fuel- injected 250 SE. These carefully refined five- passenger automobiles continued an enviable tradition of handcrafted quality, vault-like solidity, and superior engineering, while their formal styling by prolific French designer Paul Bracq has withstood the test of time. In 1968, Mercedes-Benz streamlined its models by dropping both the 250 SE and V-8 300 SE and positioning the 2.8-liter, six-cylinder 280 SE at the top of the S-Class model range.
Delivering a solid 160 hp output and improved fuel economy with its revised Bosch fuel-injection system, the 280 SE, whether in cabriolet or coupe body styles, was emblematic of luxury driving. Today, their excellent driving qualities, conservative panache, and mechanical sophistication combine to attract collectors and marque enthusiasts.
Already quite rare as one of just 1,432 examples of the 280 SE Cabriolet produced, this original US-delivery 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE Cabriolet is even more so, as one of only 200 particularly desirable “low-grille” six-cylinder 280 SE Cabriolets manufactured. In addition to the lowering of the radiator grille, it was widened, providing a distinctive frontal appearance. While early history remains unknown, this 280 SE Cabriolet has indeed been collector-owned and fastidiously maintained by several well-known Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts. During 2008, it received a bare-metal repaint in handsome Moss Green Metallic (DB 843) and, shortly thereafter, the 280 SE received an interior re-trim in green leather hides and the rich wood-veneer interior trim pieces were refinished.
Recently, the 280 SE received a full mechanical service performed by well-known marque specialist Ken McCay of The Boston Sportscar Company. In addition, the bumpers were re-chromed and various aspects of the vehicle’s cosmetics were refreshed during late 2013 by Autosport Designs. Handsome throughout and very nicely complemented by green carpeting and a black cloth convertible top, the 280 SE is very well equipped with factory-fitted Behr air-conditioning that blows cold, a four-speed automatic gearbox, a Becker radio, and power- operated window lifts. The consignor reports that on a recent extended drive over 100-plus miles, the vehicle performed flawlessly. Offered from the stewardship of a noted marque enthusiast, this 280 SE Cabriolet is complete with original books, records, and ownership history. Striking, it is simply exceptional and ready for immediate enjoyment. In addition to its many wonderful attributes, this very rare 1970 280 SE Cabriolet carries enduring importance as one of the final limited-production, hand-built Mercedes-Benz automobiles produced.