This Mercedes-Benz offers classic style motoring with modern reliability and convenience. Furthermore, the 3.5-liter version of the 280SE coupe and convertible has the cachet of being one of the rarest Mercedes-Benz models of the past 30 years, with a production run of just 4,502.
Like many desirable cars, the 280SE 3.5 was created at a time of transition. It was based on the W111 platform, introduced in 1961, with
all-independent suspension and disc brakes on all wheels. The 280SE series was spared air suspension and received coil springs at all four corners. Into this proven and highly developed base was installed Mercedes-Benz’s new V8 engine, which developed a smooth and flexible 200 bhp (DIN) with a maximum 211 lb./ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm.
This engine was an important development for Mercedes-Benz and the descendants of this V8 were still in production well into the 1990s. On this car it delivers its power through a four-speed automatic transmission, the option preferred by most customers.
The handsome body style originated in 1961, but benefited from the many improvements in production techniques Mercedes introduced in the 1960s. This combination of classic styling, modern build values, and superb running gear makes the 280SE 3.5 an unusually interesting car, arguably the German equivalent of a coachbuilt Bentley.
With a top speed of 125 mph, 0 to 60 mph in 9.6 seconds and every creature comfort, this magnificent five-seat convertible is as desirable today as at its introduction. It offers high-speed comfort in the grand style, which may be why the model was a particular favorite of film stars.
This exceptional 3.5-liter convertible was restored in Germany to “95 point” condition and is described by the vendor as “very good” in every respect. The V8 engine was overhauled, the coachwork stripped, painted and lacquered, the interior retrimmed in the finest quality leather, the wood veneer polished, the transmission overhauled, the electrics refurbished, and even the chassis restored. The car is said now to look and drive like new, resplendent in dark metallic green with parchment hide upholstery and a new dark green top, a very attractive color combination.
German registered and accompanied by a fresh TüV certificate, this is a superb example of one of the most sought-after Grand Tourers of the period.