1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE (3.5 litre, V8) Cabriolet
Estimate: £40,000 - £50,000
ca. US$64,422 - US$80,527
Price realised: £47,040
In the summer of 1965, Mercedes-Benz launched its new replacements for both W111 and W112 saloons, the W108 and W109 respectively. In a bizarre twist of fate, this car's design was based on the W111 coupé but widened and squared off, as the fin tail fashion was quickly eroding by the mid-1960's. However both W111/W112 models were modernised; the 220SE was superseded by the 250SE which featured the new 2496cc, M129 engine, producing 150 horsepower at 5500rpm which gave it a significant improvement in top speed. Visibly the changes only affected the new 14" rims with new hub cabs; this was to accommodate the larger disk brakes and the new rear axle. In November 1967, the 250SE was superseded by the new 280SE. The new M130 engine had 2778cc volume and output 160hp at 5500rpm. Top speed of 120mph was hardly affected; the acceleration though improved to 10.5 seconds. Inside, the car received wood veneer on the dashboard and other minor changes. The 300SE, based on early 1950's M189, was also retired. The modern 280SE could outperform the 300SE despite the smaller engine. A final model was added in August 1969, the 280SE 3.5 litre. It was fitted with the brand-new M116 3499cc, V8 engine with 200hp at 5800rpm and a top speed of 130mph. To accommodate the large engine, the car's front grill was widened and front bumpers were modified and it soon became an important car for collectors and a masterclass in understated elegance and simplicity of line. Even by today's standards, this car provides comfort, class and capable precision driving from the surprisingly spritely automatic gearbox that propels the car forwards. It was expertly converted from a genuine, German supplied, 3.5 litre coupé to its current convertible configuration to exacting standards by a qualified Mercedes-Benz technician. The paintwork, finished in black, is in excellent condition throughout and matches the black leather interior and black mohair soft-top. Subject to a restoration just 12,000 miles ago, it was painted and received new chromework, wood and interior trim. This extremely stylish example also benefits from an upgraded electric soft top, factory air-conditioning, electric windows and an automatic gearbox and has recently been mechanically re-commissioned to the tune of approximately £7,000 by marque specialist, Steve Redfearn, in London. FYY 573H also appeared in a recent Classic & Sportscar magazine feature, where they described it as being 'a few points down from concourse' represent high praise indeed. They give it a very high eight out of ten stars for value. It is also worth noting that an original convertible in this condition sells for circa £170,000 and bearing this in mind, this example is priced at a fraction of that cost. In the boot, a tool roll with a set of tools can be found and the car comes complete with an MoT test certificate valid until February, 2014. Style certainly appears effortless given the build quality and those elegant lines emanating back from the grill.
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