1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet For Sale In London (RHD)
- An original factory built 1 of just 68 RHD
- Last of the line ‘Sindelfingen’ hand-built cars
- Fitted with the highly desirable, floor change automatic gearbox
- Formerly registered in Hong Kong
- Fitted with inertia seat belts and Retro Sound radio with iPod connection
- Long term ownership spanning two decades
An opportunity to acquire one of the last hand-built and rare, top of the line Mercedes-Benz V8 Cabriolets
Finished in the timeless colour combination of Arctic White coachwork with Nero Black hide, matching carpets and mohair soft top. This particular example is 1 of 68 factory-built right-hand drive cars and fitted with the highly desirable floor change gearbox. According to the chassis records the car was delivered new to Malta where it was first registered to Admiralty house on the island and resided there until 1974 when it returned back to the United Kingdom. Having been acquired by its current owner in some 24 years ago, the Big Benz was shipped off to British Hong Kong where the car was registered, when Britain agreed to transfer the colony to the Chinese in 1997 the car was shipped back to the UK where over the past two decades this very special car has been used as holiday car and kept in state of on the button readiness. During this ownership the car has been meticulously maintained, the most recent works to be completed consist of complete trimming of the seats, door cards, the top role of the dash all in the correct leather. New carpets and fitment of inertia seat belts with classic webbing and chrome fittings, additionally all the woodwork has been re-veneered and a modern retro looking DAB radio with blue tooth connection has also been fitted at huge expense with all works carried out by international renowned craftsman.
“I used to refer to Mercedes Benz as the Worlds best, which got me into trouble with those who were born with a silver lady on their radiator caps. The latest Mercedes had eluded me for far too long, but the other day Erik Johnson of Mercedes Benz (GB) telephoned to suggest that I should try the new 280SE 3.5 cabriolets. I did the trip from Brussels to Monaco in one day, actually starting as late as 11 pm. It felt strange speeding down the Autoroute at 110mph with no noise coming from the engine or road and the air conditioning keeping the temperature inside the car perfect. On reaching Monte, one impression of the Silver Shadow was dominant. I was fresh, relaxed and not in the least tired-a remarkable tribute to car after having driven 700 miles. The drive from Monaco across the Alps to Turin is a punishing test for any cars handling. but the big 3.5 came through with flying colours. The car really inspires confidence not only because it behaves safely but also because I know it has been properly put together and won’t let me down. On the question of safety, I will just say that if ever I am unfortunate enough to have an accident, the 280se 3.5 is one of the few cars I would like to have it in!!” Willy Bond MBE, leading motoring journalist and editor of Motor Sport magazine from 1936 1991 . after having road tested a Mercedes Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet for over 2000 fast miles under conditions varying from the Autoroute and pave of France to Alpine hairpins.
Introduced in late 1969 as a prestige model to supplant the somewhat underpowered six-cylinder 280SE, the V8-powered, W111-Series 280SE 3.5 in both coupe and convertible form was of immediate appeal to wealthy customers who were accustomed to having the best quality and workmanship available in an automobile, but didn’t need or desire the next step up, the over-the-top 600.
The hand-built body of the new model was slightly restyled, with a cleaner and flatter nose and radiator shell, but was still quite conservative. Beneath the wide hood there now rested a Bosch fuel-injected, 200bhp overhead-cam V8 with 211 foot-pounds of torque designed to deliver excellent performance. One reviewer referred to it as having a “hot-rod”- like persona with a lovely exhaust snarl – while meeting ever-more strict emissions laws in the US, the company’s most vital market.
The compact but sturdy engine was capable of moving this big 4/5-seater to 100 kilometres per hour in under 10 seconds and offered a top speed in excess of 200km/h, a substantial improvement on the six-cylinder version’s figures. Large vacuum-assisted disc brakes at each corner allowed the driver to slow with ease, and handling was described as very comfortable, thanks to its coil-sprung independent suspension.
The craftsmen at Sindelfingen produced just 4,502 of this 3.5 V8 were built worldwide of which 3,270 were coupes and 1,232 where cabriolets with 802 cabriolets alone built for the USA market leaving the balance of 430 cars divided between the rest of the world. This example is just 1 of 68 RHD cars making it one of the rarest in this iconic series. Both the open and closed versions of the 3.5 were fitted with just about every luxury amenity a buyer could ask for. The few choices remaining pertained to paint and interior trim colours and which model of Becker stereo system was desired. It all added up to an impressively costly automobile. Significantly, the 280SE 3.5 was to be the final model to feature this long-established and much-admired body style, and today these last-of-the-line classics are highly sought after by discerning Mercedes-Benz collectors.
Almost indistinguishable from the 280SE, because of the new 3.5-litre V8 engine it is in a completely different class. This is a wonderful opportunity to acquire one of the elegant styles cabriolets with impeccable provenance to match.
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