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In 1961, Mercedes-Benz launched the W111-Series coupes and cabriolets as sophisticated variations of the fintail sedans. Both coupe and convertible previewed the future, as the sedans lost their fins in 1965. Powered by the 2,195 cc six-cylinder engine in the 220 SE and the 2,996 cc six-cylinder in the 300 SE, the 1969 debut of the 3.5-liter V-8 took the platform to an entirely new level. This final revision of the W111 enabled the cars to reach more than 125 mph in comfort.
This beautiful 3.5 Coupe was originally sold overseas and has been maintained and refined in recent years by a respected northern California collector. A refinish in slate gray, handsomely accented with a black hardtop, are ideal colors for the Paul Bracq-penned body. The European market headlamps, gleaming brightwork, and ideal ride height further compliment the design. Inside, the dark red leather seats have been carefully preserved and received new inner cushions under current ownership. The white steering wheel, and beautifully refinished wood veneers elegantly accent the interior space, and extensive invoices document the work. The Coupe exhibits smooth acceleration, shifting and braking, as the owner has enjoyed the 280 SE on numerous picturesque drives throughout California.
Showing 97,000 miles on its odometer, this handsome W111 is accompanied by a manual set and tool roll. Capable in modern traffic, thanks to its V-8 power and nimble handling, the 3.5 coupes and cabriolets are lauded today as some of the most satisfying modern classics, and this example is certainly one to drive and enjoy as it celebrates its 50th year.