3,499cc SOHC V8 Engine
Bosch Fuel Injection
200bhp at 5,800rpm
4-Speed Floor-Shift Automatic Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
*Top-of-the-line, hand-built Mercedes-Benz of supreme quality
*Fitted with floor-shift and air conditioning, delivered new to the US
*Elegant and original color scheme of Grey Blue over Blue leather
*Offered with Mercedes-Benz Classic Certificates and records
THE MERCEDES-BENZ 280SE 3.5
"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 280SE 3.5.
The 3.5-liter version of the 280SE typifies the resurgence of larger-engined Mercedes-Benz models that began in the late 1960s. The ultra-luxurious 280SE Coupe, Cabriolet and 300SEL saloon models were chosen by Mercedes-Benz to launch its magnificent new 3.5-liter V8 engine in 1969. An over-square design featuring a cast-iron block and aluminum cylinder heads, each equipped with a single overhead camshaft, this all-new, state-of-the-art power unit produced a torquey 200bhp, courtesy of Bosch electronic fuel injection and transistorized ignition. Thus equipped, the 280SE 3.5 was good for cruising speeds up near 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" body-shell, the Coupe and Cabriolet kept the coachwork that had debuted back in 1959 on the 220SE and, as befitted top-of-the-range luxury models, came equipped with automatic transmissions, air conditioning, power windows and stereo radio as standard. The 280SE 3.5 was to be the final model to feature this much-admired body style, and today these last-of-the-line top quality classics are highly sought after by discerning collectors.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
Completed at the Mercedes-Benz's Stuttgart factory in the first half of 1971, this extraordinary 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet was prepared for the US market and finished in DB906 Grey Blue Metallic over a DB245 Blue leather interior and dark blue convertible top. The car was equipped with the desirable floor mounted shift lever, a Becker Europa radio, air conditioning, dual rear view mirrors, limited slip differential, folding armrest and white wall tires.
The early history of this 280SE is not recorded, but it appears to have remained in the United States its whole life. In Louisiana in the 1990s, the Cabriolet would later make its way west to Scottsdale, Arizona. It appears at some point, likely in the early 1990s, the car was subject to a repaint in the original colors, however the interior has been lovingly preserved. The current owner acquired the car in May of 2002 with 67,449 miles on it—a figure the old Arizona title claims to be actual, but no supporting documentation proves that assertion. Driven fewer than 40 additional miles in the last score of years, the long-term static display would necessitate some attention to the noise making bits under the hood and beyond before cruising down Worth Ave, Rodeo Dr, Fifth Ave, or upon whichever other tony street this luxury-by-even-today's-standards ride is worthy of gracing it tires.
These high-quality, stylish V8 powerhouses are the last of the classic, hand-built cars to come out of the Mercedes workshops in Stuttgart. They offer timeless styling and extreme luxury in a very usable package, accounting for why they are so highly prized today.