28 April 2001,
Price realised USD 35,250
USD 35,000 - USD 45,000
1971 MERCEDES-BENZ 280SE 3.5 CABRIOLET
Chassis No. 1102712002628
Silver with black top and black leather interior
Engine: V8, 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 enthusiasts that there would be no 'flagship' luxury convertible to carry the three-pointed emblem other than the two-seater SLs. But this worry soon evaporated when the 220SE arrived in September 1961, a full five-seater convertible powered by a 120hp straight six. The body style was conservative and eliminated the fins of earlier 220SEs. This model gradually progressed in power and luxury until it became the 300SE 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 aluminum 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 are 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 example has been repainted in attractive silver with red and white pinstriping that is in highly presentable condition with just one or two minor blemishes. The chromework is described as being in good order with some mottling apparent on the door top surrounds and rear license plate holder. The interior appears to have been retrimmed because the seats are in very good condition and the interior woodwork is best described as in fair condition. The indicated mileage shows 84,000. A period Blaupunkt cassette/radio is fitted and there is air conditioning. The electric windows all operate satisfactorily. There is some slight surface corrosion on the floor pans and sills where the underseal has come away. The engine bay is described as being fair with some minor surface corrosion visible in places. The trunk area is clean and the car has a spare wheel, jack, wrench and car cover. On a recent test drive the 3.5 litre V8 ran and drove well with good oil pressure. Overall the car looks highly presentable and, although not a show example, it could be described as a well cared for, wholesome classic. The big engined 280SEs are considerably more desireable than the six cylinder versions and we are happy to recommend this model.
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