1971 MERCEDES-BENZ 280 SE 3.5 CABRIOLET
Chassis No. 12003872
Gold metallic with cognac interior
Engine: V8 cylinder, 3.5 liter, 200hp at 5,800rpm, electronic fuel injection, transistorized ignition; Gearbox: column shift four-speed automatic; Suspension: front, independent coil springs, rear, joint independent swing axle, coil springs; Brakes: hydraulic discs all around. Left hand drive.
When Mercedes-Benz discontinued the 300 Cabriolet and roadster in 1957, there was worry among Mercedes fans that there would be no "flagship" luxury convertible to carry the three-pointed emblem other than the two-seater SLs. But this worry was soon evaporated when the 220SE arrived in September 1961, a full five-seater convertible powered by a 120hp straight six. This body style was conservative and eliminated the fins of earlier 220SEs. This model gradually progressed in power and luxury until it became the 330SE in 1965 with an automatic gearbox as standard. But the ultimate luxury Mercedes was not created until 1969 when the 230SE 3.5 coupe and convertible were introduced. This model had an iron block aluminium head V8 used in the forthcoming 350SL. Mercedes did not bother to change the "280SE" designation though the new engine was indeed a 3.5 liter V8. The 280SE 3.5 Mercedes is highly prized among Mercedes enthusiasts for its high level of luxury-the wood and the leather work being reminiscent of earlier hand-made cars. The performance is also quite remarkable for a four-to-five-seater car, with a 0-60 mph time of under 10 seconds and a top speed of 125mph. Only 1,232 genuine convertibles, such as the car presented here, were produced between 1969 and 1971.
This smart Mercedes-Benz cabriolet joined the Gallup collection in March 1986, and was purchased from the original owner who lived in the San Francisco bay area. At the time of purchase the car has covered around 70,000 miles and there is a complete service record from new up until around this time. Mr. Gallup has used the car very sparingly in the past thirteen years and the current mileage is around 81,500. Around five years ago the car was was repainted in its original color and the paintwork is still highly presentable today. The original interior is in fine condition with only slight wear in the drivers seat. The interior burled wood is an attractive light tone. In recent years the bumpers were rechromed, and original chromework on the doors is in good condition. The car is equipped with factory installed air conditioning, all power doors and windows. Both the engine bay and trunk are extremly clean and well maintained, the latter contains the spare wheel, jack, first aid kit and top boot.
This model is quite rare and much sought after by discerning collectors. With two careful owners from new we strongly recommend this original and sound example.