1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 CabrioletSOLD

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet

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To be offered at auction without reserve at RM Sotheby's Monterey event, August 13-15, 2015. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/.

Chassis No.
111.027.12.002871

Estimate:
$375,000 - $475,000

OFFERED WITHOUT RESERVE

230 bhp, 3,499 cc OHV V-8 engine with Bosch electronic fuel injection, four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length control arms and an anti-sway bar, independent rear suspension with a low-pivot swing axle and trailing arms, and four-wheel power-hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 108.3 in.


Two-year, show-quality restoration by Road Scholars in breathtaking dark blue over tobacco
Powered by its original matching-numbers 3.5-liter V-8 engine
Rare and desirable floor-shift automatic model
Features desirable factory air conditioning and a Becker radio
Includes a proper set of tools, a jack, and a correct owner's manual
Enjoyed over the past 30 years by just two long-term owners

To heads of state, the jet set, and the generally well-to-do, Mercedes-Benz has been the go-to manufacturer for decades. Ownership of a Mercedes-Benz symbolizes not only power and wealth but also success and a taste for the finer things in life, in terms of both German engineering and design.

In 1959, Mercedes-Benz had begun to replace its then-curvaceous pontoon styling, seen on the W128 chassis, with the more angular Heckflosse or finback sedan on the W111/W112 chassis. Aside from its cutting-edge design, this new car also boasted new, top-of-the-line safety features, including the first-ever crumple zones and rollover integrity, to protect the occupants from injury in the event of a collision.

Production of the W128-chassis 220 SE Coupes and Cabriolets concluded in 1961, and Mercedes introduced replacement models on the W111 chassis. Styling was changed slightly from the coupes, as the rear fenders were rounded off more gracefully than those featured on the sedans. The company would continue to build these lovely personal luxury cars for 10 years with little additional change in styling.

In 1969, Mercedes-Benz was looking to remain competitive with rivals in the U.S. market and thus fitted both coupes and cabriolets on the W111 chassis with a 3.5-liter V-8. This new engine, internally designated M116, was developed using a cast-iron block for rigidity, economy, and better sound damping, and it featured cross-flow wedge cylinder heads with rocker-operated valves, which were driven by a single overhead camshaft per bank. The cams were chain-driven for a long life. Bosch transistorized the ignition, and electronic fuel injection was utilized.

These were not only some of the fastest Mercedes-Benz cabriolets in their day but also the rarest and most expensive. Production for the 280 SE 3.5 began in August 1969 and continued to July 1971. In that time, Mercedes-Benz produced 3,270 Coupes and 1,232 Cabriolets in total.

Prior to being acquired by its current custodian, this particular 1971 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet enjoyed long-term enthusiast ownership for the last 30 years. It was owned by an East Coast collector for the past two decades, and before that, it was located on the West Coast with a collector for 10 years. This example is presented in wonderful condition, fresh from a recent no-expense-spared restoration to show quality by Road Scholars, of North Carolina. During the restoration, the engine was removed, the car was stripped to bare metal, and it received new paintwork, chrome, a new exhaust, and a new convertible top. The interior was completely reupholstered, and the car was fully detailed throughout, including the undercarriage and the engine bay. Finished in dark blue over a tobacco leather interior and currently showing 56,224 miles on its odometer, it exudes the stately elegance for which Mercedes-Benz models of this era are known. Additionally, it is important to note that the car retains a proper set of tools, a jack, and an owner's manual.

When new, the 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet was considered by many to be the finest automobile in the world. Today, that belief remains true for many Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts. Its design is truly timeless and exhibits class and character all its own. Perfect for any automotive event, be it a cruise down the California coast, a drive to the Casino Monte Carlo in Monaco, or a cross-continent road trip, the 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet is an automobile with few peers. This example would be the perfect acquisition for the individual looking for a sophisticated automobile that will never go out of style.

Reference Number 364360

as of 8/19/2015

Overview
Car 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
VIN 111.027.12.002871 
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