Lot 22

2013   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2013

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet

SOLD $151,250


$140,000 - $160,000


Car Highlights

Beautifully Preserved Original 3.5
Unusual Factory Color Combination
Single Family Ownership for Nearly 30 Years
A Remarkably Versatile Classic Mercedes-Benz

Technical Specs

3,499 CC SOHC V-8 Engine
Bosch D-Jetronic Electronic Fuel Injection
230 BHP at 6,000 RPM
4-Speed Automatic Transmission
4-Wheel Servo-Assisted Disc Brakes
Independent Coil-Spring Front and Rear Suspension
Register to Bid

Presented here is a particularly striking 3.5 convertible; its white (DB 050) livery is seldom seen on the open 280 SEs. The interior is finished in Code 243 red leather, rounding out this 3.5’s sporting look.

In July 1984, a prominent Oklahoma family purchased the 280 SE from Frank Bolen, the owner of a local Mercedes-Benz dealership. Always driven sparingly, and only on special occasions, the 3.5 has remained with the same family ever since, showing just under 28,000 miles on its odometer at the time of cataloguing, which are believed to be original. The consignor states that routine maintenance has been performed on the car as needed, but no major restorative work has ever been necessary. This 3.5 was built with factory-installed BEHR air-conditioning, center armrests, and the seldom-seen padded center- front seat adapter, which turns the cabriolet into an occasional six-passenger model.

Today, the 280 SE presents in very well- preserved, original condition; its red leather top boot is present and the trunk is clean and tidy. The leather, carpet, chrome, and wood in the interior show only the slightest patina, suggesting decades of especially careful use. Likewise, the engine compartment has a particularly undisturbed look, retaining the valve adjustment decal on the right-hand rocker cover and even the plastic distributor shroud that is so often discarded during service work.

Seldom found in such complete and undisturbed condition, this 3.5 Cabriolet, with its rare color combination and showing such low mileage, is a true rarity.

The 280 SE 3.5 coupes and cabriolets are the last of the hand-built Mercedes-Benz cars and have been accordingly recognized by their addition to many top collections. Capable in modern traffic, beautifully designed and built, and rare by almost any standard, the 3.5s have all the elements of a modern classic.