Lot 11

2019   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2019

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet

SOLD $235,200


$275,000 - $350,000| Without Reserve





Car Highlights

Equipped with Desirable Floor Shift and Air-Conditioning
One of Just 1,232 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolets Built
Finished in Factory-Delivered Silver Grey Metallic
Recent Service Completed by Marque Experts
A Classic Hand-Built Expression of 1970s German Luxury

Technical Specs

3,499 CC SOHC V-8 Engine
Bosch D-Jetronic Electronic Fuel Injection
230 BHP at 5,800 RPM
4-Speed Automatic Transmission
4-Wheel Servo-Assisted Hydraulic Disc Brakes
4-Wheel Independent Suspension with Coil Springs

Saleroom Addendum

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During its remarkable history, Mercedes-Benz has routinely produced uniquely optioned, handmade automobiles. The V-8 powered W111-Series 280 SE was conceived as a personal car for customers who wanted the power and prestige of the 600 series without the formality of a chauffeur. It immediately appealed to young and well-heeled drivers seeking a bespoke car with performance and presence. The modern design combined a tailored upright grille, crisp fender lines, and low profile, creating a fresh, elegant design. The last car to be hand built at Mercedes-Benz, each was priced at an astonishing $13,000.

This example has benefited from extensive restoration work, including a respray in the original exterior color of Silver Grey Metallic (DB 180) and a re-trimmed black leather interior. The nicely finished body exhibits good panel fit, accented by chrome trim with fine luster. The attractive interior shows areas of light use, just as one might expect from a car offering irresistible open-air adventures. This 280 SE is equipped with a Becker radio and air-conditioning, and the well-appointed dashboard offers clear contrasting instrumentation, and finely detailed brightwork accenting the black leather finishes and lacquered wood trim. The fully lined black convertible canvas top is in excellent condition both inside and out, as is the tightly fitting top boot.

Under the hood, the detailed engine bay displays proper fittings and factory identification plates. The alloy V-8 engine, although not original to this car, features handsome castings, while the tidiness and care throughout its presentation confirm the attention to detail this car exhibited when new and continues to display through dedicated ownership.

The current owner, a fastidious collector of multiple classic European cars, has tended to the Mercedes with his typical care. In October 2017, Mercedes-Benz experts at Rudi & Company in British Columbia performed comprehensive maintenance totaling over $15,000. Invoices accompanying the sale show services that include removing the intake manifold and replacing injector seals and boots, servicing the air-conditioning system and recharging with R134A refrigerant, rebuilding the rear brake calipers, replacing rear axle seals, lubricating the heater controls and replacing heater valve seals, installing new speakers and correct radio brackets, and correcting miscellaneous electrical items. In November 2018, Mercedes Centrum replaced the steering gearbox.

This wonderful Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet is accompanied by an owner’s pamphlet containing a copy of the factory data card, owner’s manual, factory reference literature, Becker radio manual, and the 1968 Mercedes-Benz Dealer Directory. Finished in handsome colors and ready for enjoyable open touring, this hand-built example of luxury excellence is sure to please its next fortunate caretaker.