Lot 178: Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Convertible
At the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1969, Mercedes-Benz launched the superb 3.5 litre V8 engine to fill a gap in their range, and fitted it to the existing 300, renaming it the 300SEL 3.5. It was also available in both fixed head coupe and cabriolet two door body styles using the extremely handsome W111 type 280SE body shell. The new model was distinguishable from its six cylinder predecessors by a lower and wider radiator grille necessitated by the larger V8 motor, which fortuitously greatly improved the look of the frontal aspect. Otherwise, these 280SE 3.5 models were identical in appearance to the earlier cars with stacked twin headlights, rounded rather than the earlier finned rear wings, and two inches extra width compared to the 220 and 300 saloons of the early 1960's. Underneath there was all-independent suspension and disc brakes front and rear, while the fuel injected 3,499 engine, producing an impressive 200 bhp at 5,800 rpm and 211 lb/ft at 4,000 rpm, was mated to either manual or automatic transmission. Whichever was chosen, performance was impressive, the V8 propelling the 280SE 3.5 to a 120 mph plus top speed with 0-60 mph reached in under 10 seconds. This 1970 Mercedes 280 SE 3.5 cabriolet is finished in gleaming black coachwork with a striking complementary black interior and black soft top. The car is said to have been subject to a restoration just 12,000 miles ago, and we are informed by the vendor it was converted from a coupe in the USA by a Mercedes technician. At this time, the car was painted, and received new chrome, wood and interior trim. This 280 SE also benefits from an upgraded electric soft top, factory air-conditioning , electric windows, and an automatic gearbox and, according to the vendor has recently had circa £7,000 spent on a mechanical recomissioning by marque specialist Steve Redfearn. FYY573H appeared in a recent Classic Car magazine feature, where they stated that it is 'a few points down from concours' high praise indeed, and they give it a very high 8 out of 10 stars for value. An original convertible in this condition sells for circa £170k; bearing this in mind, this car is priced realistically, just above the value of a comparable coupe. Therefore it offers its new owner the looks and feel at a fraction of the cost of an original. A rare opportunity, and not to be missed.
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Coys, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX
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