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Lot 93
1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Sunroof Coupe

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CHASSIS NO: 11102612002806

• The final iteration of the venerable 111-Series Coupe
• Highly desirable sunroof option
• Recent comprehensive restoration, includes a book of receipts documenting the work performed
• Every available option, including air-conditioning, power windows and optional floor shift
• A copy of the factory build sheet accompanies the car


3,499 cc SOHC V-8 engine, Bosch mechanical fuel injection, 230 HP at 5,800 RPM, four-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs


In the early 1970s, Mercedes-Benz built what many people believe was the finest automobile in the world; with a price of $13,766 it was quite expensive for its day. For the buyers who wanted the perfect mixture of power and luxury, there was no finer choice than the 280SE 3.5 Coupe. The 2,778 cc “M13” engine introduced in 1967 gave rise to 280S and 280SE model designations. By 1969, it was recognized that the lack of a V-8 was a hindrance in the U.S. market, so a 3.5-litre powerplant, designated M116, was developed. Using a cast iron block for rigidity and better sound damping, it had crossflow wedge cylinder heads with rocker-operated valves driven by a single overhead camshaft per bank. Bosch transistorized the ignition, and electronic fuel injection was utilized. The British magazine AutoCar called it “a copybook example of how experience plus careful design can create a simple-to-make high output engine of considerable refinement.” Initially with 3,499 cc displacement, it was followed by a 4,520 cc “big-block” M117 version in 1971. Only 4,502 of these cars, in both coupé and cabriolet form, were sold between 1969 and 1971.

This stunning 280SE 3.5 is equipped with the highly desirable sunroof option. Additionally, it was ordered with every option available, including the desirable floor shifter, power windows, as well as the correct Becker Europa radio and Behr air-conditioning. The interior is trimmed in sumptuous burgundy leather, accented elegantly with zebra wood. The exterior is finished exquisitely in silver, perhaps the most suited color choice to emphasize the sophisticated styling of the classic Mercedes-Benz. The recent subject of a comprehensive, open-checkbook restoration conducted over a three-year period; this is arguably the finest 280SE Coupe in the world. The fit and finish of the body panels is excellent, and the body lines are crisp and clear, the chrome and stainless trim items are superb, and under the hood the engine bay is highly detailed.

These were the last of the hand-built Mercedes, and this fabulous example was delivered new to the United States, where it was carefully driven and well-maintained throughout its life. Careful inspection reveals that it has always been a well-cared for and solid vehicle prior to its restoration, a testament to that original build quality. Many astute collectors feel that 280SE 3.5 coupes are among the best looking and most collectible cars of the era. These extremely comfortable tourers offer their owners the optimum amount of performance and comfort and are considered highly usable classics. A book of receipts documenting the work performed on this car as well as a copy of the factory build sheet accompany the car. The epitome of style and elegance, this exceptional, highly optioned, flawlessly restored Mercedes-Benz 208SE 3.5 coupe with sunroof offers a rare chance to acquire one of the very best cars of its kind.

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