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For just two model years, Mercedes-Benz imported its V-8 version of its celebrated W111-generation coupe to American shores. Named the 280 SE 3.5, these final 111-series cars were capable of a top speed approaching 130 mph. With a price more than double that of a contemporary Cadillac coupe, the luxurious and exclusive 280 SE 3.5 was favored by captains of industry and celebrities alike.
The 280 SE 3.5 offered here was first owned by pioneering television star Ed Sullivan, whose venerable Sunday night variety show introduced the Beatles to America in 1964. In 1978, Mr. Sullivan’s family gave the car to March Schwartz of Beverly Hills, who kept it for over 35 years. Following the consignor’s purchase of the 3.5 in 2015, he retained Legendary Classic Center of Costa Mesa, California, to perform a comprehensive refurbishment.
Refinished in its original Tunis Beige (DB 462) exterior and complemented by a new Parchment leather interior, this 280 SE 3.5 retains its original “Sullivan Productions” warranty plate and is equipped with the desirable floor-shift option. On a recent test drive by a Gooding & Company specialist, the coupe exhibited good road manners, brisk acceleration, and the solid feel for which Mercedes-Benz cars of its era are renowned. With its polished presentation and early ownership by a television legend, this beautiful Mercedes-Benz 3.5 Coupe is a truly significant find.