Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3,5 Cabriolet

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  • Stylish, original color scheme in silver metallic (DB 180) with original interior in blue leather and dark blue soft top
  • Extensively technically & optically overhauled, excellent condition
  • Engine extensively revised and "matching numbers"
  • First delivery USA, imported to Germany ten years ago

The Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3,5 Cabriolet

The elegant coupé and cabriolet of the W111 series was first introduced in 1961 as the 220 SEb Coupé. The simple yet impressive design penned by Friedrich Geiger and Paul Bracq marked a turning point in Mercedes styling away from the baroque opulence of the 1950s. There was a lot more handiwork in the small-series coupes and convertibles than in the W111 sedans. The series was continuously technically optimized. On the powertrain side, the 150-hp 2.5-liter engine of the 250 SE was introduced in 1965. Another new feature was the hydropneumatic compensating spring on the rear axle, which was fitted in place of the previous coil spring and kept the level of the body constant regardless of the load. In January 1968, it was succeeded by the 280 SE, which featured a newly developed 2.8-liter six-cylinder engine with 160 hp. In 1969, the 3.5-liter V8 engine with 200 hp made its debut as a completely new development. This was accompanied by a flatter engine hood and lower radiator grille, which led to the (unofficial) designation "flat radiator" as opposed to "high radiator". In this way, Mercedes demonstrated what was technically feasible at the time and substantiated its claim to be the designer and manufacturer of the "best automobile". Incidentally, this series was very popular with many celebrities and stars as a sophisticated coupé and cabriolet.


This Mercedes Benz 280 SE 3,5 Cabriolet was delivered and registered in the United States in July 1971. The Mercedes Benz delivery specification and equipment data card is available. The original color scheme in silver-metallic (at delivery according to the data card DB 180 silver-grey-metallic) with an interior in blue leather and a soft top in dark blue is classically elegant. The interior (DB code 245) is likely to be in original condition and very well preserved with a light patina. In 2013, the convertible was purchased in California (USA) in a restored and overhauled condition – evidenced by photos – and imported to Germany. Then the new owner had various further detailed body work carried out in Germany in 2016 for around 8,000 EUR (invoices available). Further work was invested in the car in 2021/2022 for visual and technical optimisation. In the course of the body overhaul, both rear wheel arches were extensively cut out and fitted with new metal plates. The rear center section has been completely replaced with an original Mercedes-Benz spare part. The front right sill had already been replaced in the USA. Otherwise the car was and is rust free.

The engine is original "matching numbers" and has been completely overhauled here in Germany. The intake manifold pressure sensor and the computer for the D-Jetronic were overhauled at Bosch. In addition, the front and rear axles with all bearing rubbers, the engine mounts and the brake system with all brake calipers, the exhaust system, the original Behr air conditioning system and the power steering gearbox have been repaired or overhauled at specialist workshops. A complete overview of the work carried out and the corresponding invoices for more than 25,000 EUR are available. Also the technical inspection approvals (TÜV), a German historic registration (H) and the former US-title. This Mercedes Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet convinces with an excellent overall condition and perfect details. Its elegant color combination and design ensure a sophisticated appearance always and everywhere. The high level of comfort also allows for reliable classic car enjoyment for the whole family, even for longer trips and journeys.

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Data & Facts

First Registration1971

Engine8 cylinder V engine

TransmissionAutomatic, 4-speed, middle gear

Weightapprox. 1.650kg

Quantity1,232 units as convertible with 3.5 liter V8 engine

Power3,459 cc, approx. 200 hp at 5,800 rpm (factory specifications)

BrakesDisc front/rear, hydraulic, brake booster

Top Speedapprox. 205 kph

Price310.000,00€ (§25a, VAT not to be shown)

DocumentsMercedes Benz data card, US title, various invoices for the repair work, German registration papers

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