1970 Mercedes-Benz W111/112280 SE 3.5 Coupe
Year of manufacture1970
To Be OFFERED AT AUCTIONEstimate:
$90,000 - $100,000
- Ultimate development of the W111 model
- Beautifully finished in Medium Blue Metallic with Bamboo leather
- Highly desirable factory sunroof example
- Accompanied by copy of Mercedes-Benz data card
For many, the 280 SE 3.5 coupe represents the last of the truly hand-built Mercedes-Benzes. The ultimate form of the W111 models, each car started with a standard chassis before being built by hand by craftsmen—finished 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 lb, each car was equipped with Mercedes-Benz’s all-new 3.5-liter V-8 engine, which ensured a 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 completely Mercedes-Benz, or “fabulously handsome,” as Road & Track described it. With a luxurious interior of leather, burled walnut, and plenty of accessories, every lucky owner took to the road in comfort and style.
Of the 3,200 coupes produced, it’s believed roughly 800 were exported to the United States—all with a full complement of power accessories. The 280 SE 3.5 offered here, built in 1970, is a fine example of one of those icons, finished in its original exterior color of Medium Blue Metallic (396) over a Bamboo leather interior with Brown carpets. It should be noted that the car has benefitted from a respray and the interior has been retrimmed, with attention paid in both departments to the respective original paint and leather shades. Per the copy of its data tag, the car left the Mercedes-Benz factory with individual front seats, sliding roof, radio antenna, floor-shift automatic transmission, and a first-aid box. The interior is further equipped with a VDO dash clock, Becker Europa radio, and air-conditioning. It should be noted that the radio will require repair and the car will require new speakers. Pirelli P4000 Super Touring tires provide a comfortable ride, accented nicely by the color-matched factory wheel covers. A remarkable example remaining very much in the way it left the factory many years ago, this 280 SE even retains its original engine.
This 1970s Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Coupe is a special example of a rare coupe that is both elegant and practical—the recognized recipe for near-term enjoyment and long-term value.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/fl20.