1971 Mercedes-Benz /8280 SE 3.5 'Sunroof' Coupe
Year of manufacture1971
$80,000 - $100,000
For many, the 280 SE 3.5 coupe represents the last of the truly hand-built Mercedes-Benz. The ultimate form of the W111 models, each car started with a standard chassis which was then turned over to the specialized craftsmen, each meticulously completing their function within the build – furnishing the car with luxurious wood and leather interiors for the bankers, lawyers, and Hollywood stars who would queue up to own one.
Though weighing over 3,600 lbs., each car was equipped with Mercedes-Benz’s all-new 3.5-liter V-8 engine, which ensured ample power output of 230 bhp. With a top speed of 130 mph, and the ability to reach 60 mph from a dead stop in under 10 seconds, the 280 SE 3.5 coupe certainly was not lacking in energy. Fully independent coil-spring suspension and four-wheel disc brakes meant that ride and handling with the long-wheelbase chassis were thoroughly modern; but unlike a car of the 21st century, the look was completely distinctive and unmistakably Mercedes-Benz, or “fabulously handsome,” as Road & Track called it. With a luxurious interior of leather, burred walnut, and plenty of accessories, every lucky owner took to the road in comfort and style. Over the ensuing three years, from 1969 to 1971, only 3,270 of the 280 SE 3.5 coupes were built, even fewer sporting the highly desirable sunroof.
This 280 SE 3.5 sunroof coupe was ordered in the distinctive combination of Moss Green over Parchment leather seats with Dark Brown carpeting, but it has since been restored to the classic combination of silver over a full black interior. Some of the selected options include rear tinted and heated window, individual front seats, sliding roof, power steering, Ivory colored steering wheel, floor-shift automatic transmission, seat belts, headrests, and electric windows. Today the car is in nice driving condition and all the interior wood recently restored and a new Becker Europa radio installed. An extensive service totaling over $28,000 was performed in 2018 ensuring this 280 SE 3.5 is ready for its next owner to enjoy.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/0120.