1971 Mercedes-Benz W111/112


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During its remarkable history, Mercedes-Benz has routinely produced uniquely optioned, handmade automobiles. The V-8 powered W111-Series 280 SE was conceived as a personal car for customers who wanted the power and prestige of the 600 series without the formality of a chauffeur. It immediately appealed to young and well-heeled drivers seeking a bespoke car with performance and presence. The modern design combined a tailored upright grille, crisp fender lines, and low profile, creating a fresh, elegant design. The last car to be hand built at Mercedes-Benz, each was priced at an astonishing $13,000.

This example has benefited from extensive restoration work, including a respray in the original exterior color of Silver Grey Metallic (DB 180) and a re-trimmed black leather interior. The nicely finished body exhibits good panel fit, accented by chrome trim with fine luster. The attractive interior shows areas of light use, just as one might expect from a car offering irresistible open-air adventures. This 280 SE is equipped with a Becker radio and air-conditioning, and the well-appointed dashboard offers clear contrasting instrumentation and finely detailed brightwork accenting the black leather finishes and lacquered wood trim. The fully lined black convertible canvas top is in excellent condition both inside and out, as is the tightly fitting top boot.

Under the hood, the detailed engine bay displays proper fittings and factory identification plates. The alloy V-8 engine, although not original to this car, features handsome castings, while the tidiness and care throughout its presentation confirm the attention to detail this car exhibited when new and continues to display through dedicated ownership.

The previous owner, a fastidious collector of multiple classic European cars, tended to the Mercedes with his typical care. In October 2017, Mercedes-Benz experts at Rudi & Company in British Columbia performed comprehensive maintenance totaling over $15,000. Invoices accompanying the sale show services that include removing the intake manifold and replacing injector seals and boots, servicing the air-conditioning system and recharging with R134A refrigerant, rebuilding the rear brake calipers, replacing rear axle seals, lubricating the heater controls and replacing heater valve seals, installing new speakers and correct radio brackets, and correcting miscellaneous electrical items. In November 2018, Mercedes Centrum replaced the steering gearbox. In 2019, while in current ownership, the 3.5 was sent to a Mercedes-Benz expert who adjusted the backrest on the rear seat, adjusted the idle and the cold start mechanism, and added a battery disconnect.

This wonderful Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet is accompanied by a spare tire, lug wrench, and car cover, as well as an owner’s pamphlet containing a copy of the factory data card, owner’s manual, factory reference literature, Becker radio manual, and the 1968 Mercedes-Benz Dealer Directory. Finished in handsome colors and ready for enjoyable open touring, this hand-built example of luxury excellence is sure to please its next fortunate caretaker.