Auctions and Brokerage
Exceptionally Presented with Only 3,500 Original MilesPrivate Collector, Tokyo, Japan (acquired new from distributor Western Automobile Company of Tokyo, Japan)Private Collector, Japan (acquired from the above)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Rarely do we have the opportunity to observe an automobile of the quality and originality represented by this stunning 280 SE 3.5. Superb in every facet, it is one of the last hand-built coupes that Mercedes-Benz made.
Mercedes-Benz launched the W111 series of coupes and cabriolets in 1961 in response to Americans’ desire for Stuttgart to inject new life into the pedigree. By August 1969, the marque had evolved in both luxury and performance with the debut of the 280 SE 3.5, which included exquisite wood trim, sumptuous leather seats, and subtle brightwork, as demonstrated in this example. The lavish interior was married to a new fuel-injected V-8 power plant, dubbed the M116. The front grille and hood line, which were reconfigured to accommodate the new engine, became known as the low-grille version, and the bumpers front and rear were redesigned. With 3,499 cc displacement, 200 bhp and a top speed of 130 mph, the 280 SE 3.5 took Mercedes-Benz to new levels of performance, styling, and luxury.
This Mercedes 280 SE 3.5 was ordered in 1970 by the Western Automobile Company of Tokyo, Japan, under a special assembly order code for the Japanese market as a left-hand-drive model. The coupe was completed on February 9, 1971, as the 1,662nd order to be processed and one of the last 280 SE 3.5 automobiles built. The client took possession of the car and stored it for many years as a treasured objet d’art, apparently driving it rarely – today the car shows just over 3,100 miles on the odometer – and ensuring that it was kept serviced. The 280 SE eventually was acquired by another party in Japan who did not register the car but also maintained it in pristine condition.
Earlier this year, the Mercedes was acquired by the consignor for his esteemed California collection. This stunning 280 SE 3.5 in its original Papyrus White (DB 717) and Midnight Blue Glasurit (DB 904) paint, with factory blue leather interior, comes with all the original delivery equipment, tools, documents, and copies of build sheets and records. All service checks are up to date, with the air-conditioning recharged and new period-correct tires installed. The wood dash remains lustrous and the original interior is in superb condition on this irreplaceable coupe.
A true time capsule example, this lovely, impressively original Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 deserves to be preserved for future generations as a standard-bearer of the era and the excellence of the marque.