Lot 089: Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe
Launched in 1965, the W108 series S-Class saloon was the-top-of-the-range Mercedes of the late 1960s and early '70s. Hailed by contemporary motoring journalists as the finest luxury car in the world, it was built to a standard that other manufacturers could only gasp at, setting a benchmark of engineering excellence that has not been surpassed to this day. Allied to this bank vault solidity was an aura of restrained Teutonic opulence that made it an instant hit with the diplomatic corps from Moscow to Mombasa.
Better still was the coupe version, a fantastically elegant pillarless design by Paul Bracq that was tailor-made for the artistic elite of the Swinging Sixties. The mix of chrome, wood and leather still oozes a cigars and champagne class that makes you feel like a film star every time you drive it. Initially available with a straight-six 2.8-litre engine (hence the 280 boot badge), this was soon deemed a little underpowered and for 1970 a 200bhp 3.5-litre V8 version was launched that gave it the go to match the show. Driving through a four-speed automatic gearbox, top speed was an impressive 130mph. Only in production for two years, the 3.5-litre Coupe is now rare and highly sought after with good ones very thin on the ground.
This 1971 car is certainly one of the good ones and was imported from Florida in 2005 where it had reputedly had just one owner from new. It has not yet been UK registered but all duties are paid and getting it registered should be no more than a formality. The car is in superb condition inside and out with fabulous bodywork and factory perfect shut-lines. The black leather interior is unmarked with magnificent Zebron woodwork. It is fitted with an original Becker Europa radio and Behr air conditioning system, just fully serviced and converted to UK gas specification.
The braking system has recently been fully overhauled with new brake discs all round and new handbrake shoes. The car is said to drive beautifully and is due to have a fresh MOT before the sale. This car is absolutely stunning and the build quality is unbelievable - just try opening and closing those doors; they don't make 'em like that any more...
Classic Car, Motorcycle & Automobilia|
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||-|
|Engine capacity (cc)||3500|
|Engine - cylinders|
|Number of doors|