1971 Mercedes-Benz W111/112
Year of manufacture1971
1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5-Litre Convertible
Chassis no. 11102712003608
Engine no. 11698012003053
"If you feel obligated to ask about the price you not only will never understand the car, you have branded yourself incapable of ever appreciating its virtues even if someone gave you one." Car & Driver on the Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5.
The fact that Car & Driver felt compelled to remark on the 280 SE's price is understandable when one considers that at $13,500 in 1970 it was not only $3,500 more than that of the equivalent Mercedes-Benz sedan but also more than double that of a Cadillac Deville Coupe!
The ultra-luxurious 280 SE Coupé/Cabriolet (and 300 SEL saloon) had been chosen by Mercedes-Benz to launch its magnificent new 3.5-litre V8 engine in 1969. An over-square design featuring a cast-iron block and aluminium-alloy cylinder heads, each equipped with a single overhead camshaft, this all-new, state-of-the-art power unit produced 200bhp courtesy of Bosch electronic fuel injection and transistorised ignition. Thus equipped, the Coupé/Cabriolet was good for 125mph with 60mph reachable in 9.5 seconds, a substantial improvement on the six-cylinder version's figures. Although the equivalent SEL saloon used the 'New Generation' bodyshell, the Coupé and Cabriolet kept the elegant coachwork that had debuted back in 1959 on the 220 SE and, as befitted top-of-the-range luxury models, came equipped with automatic transmission, air conditioning, power windows and stereo radio as standard. Significantly, the 280 SE 3.5 was to be the final model to feature this long-established and much admired body style, and today these last-of-the-line classics are highly sought after by discerning Mercedes-Benz collectors.
This matching-numbers Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Convertible was manufactured in January 1971 and delivered new to the USA (dating letter on file). The car's early history is unknown but it benefited from nearly 20 years of long-term ownership prior to being imported into Europe and restored over the last two years. There are invoices on file reflecting a substantial investment in parts, paintwork, trimming and labour; the total must come to well over 50,000. The car also comes with a State of Florida Certificate of Title (issued 1998) and a current UK registration document.
The stylish 280 SE has long been regarded as a classic of post-war automobile design, possessing a timeless elegance that turns heads and gathers appreciative glances to a degree unmatched by its modern-day counterparts. Above all else, the 280 SE identifies its owner as a true connoisseur.