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1969→1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet

1969→1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet

In September 1969, clearly more powerful versions of the 280 SE 3.5 Coupé and Cabriolet were introduced. The completely newly developed 3.5-litre V8 engine with an output of 147 kW excelled in particularly smooth running characteristics and gave the car a sports-car-like performance. The new models had been stylistically refined to a certain extent, like the versions with 2.8-litre six-cylinder engines which continued to be on sale: the radiator mask was lower and wider, with a correspondingly flatter front end of the engine hood. Due to this characteristic feature, the face-lifted Coupés and Cabriolets were often referred to as the “flat radiator” models by insiders. As on the Saloons, the bumpers of the Coupés and Cabriolets were now fitted with rubber strips. In purely visual terms, the eight-cylinder models did not differ from the face-lifted six-cylinder versions.

Story by Daimler AG

In Detail

tags w111, 280se
submitted by Official Galleries
type Series Production Car
production years 1969 – 1971
built at Germany
engine V8
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
valvetrain SOHC, 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feed Bosch D-Jetronic Injection
displacement 3499 cc / 213.52 in³
bore 92 mm / 3.6 in
stroke 86.5 mm / 3.4 in
compression 9.5:1
power 146.9 kw / 197 bhp @ 5800 rpm
specific output 56.3 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 119.39 bhp per tonne
torque 286.1 nm / 211 ft lbs @ 4000 rpm
driven wheels RWD
front tires 185 V 14
rear tires 185 V 14
front brakes Discs
rear brakes Drums
steering Recirculating Ball
f suspension Double Wishbones w/Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspension Swing Axle w/Coil Springs
curb weight 1650 kg / 3638 lbs
wheelbase 2750 mm / 108.3 in
front track 1482 mm / 58.3 in
rear track 1485 mm / 58.5 in
length 4905 mm / 193.1 in
width 1845 mm / 72.6 in
height 1420 mm / 55.9 in
transmission 4-Speed Automatic
final drive 3.69:1
0 – 100 kph ~9.4 seconds
fuel capacity 82 litres or 21.65 gal.

Auction Sales History


1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet 111027.12.003241 – sold for $313,500 Lovely factory color-combination of Light Beige over Dark Brown Leather. Desirable 3.5 V8 with factory floor-shift automatic transmission. Beautifully presented inside and out Mercedes-Benz’ last hand built automobile. Offered with copies of the Mercedes-Benz factory build sheets.
Auction Source: 2015 Quail Lodge Auction by Bonhams
1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 – sold for $330,000 Two private California owners from new; only 55,000 actual miles. Desirable console shift, Behr air conditioning, and Becker radio. Superb, rare original color combination. Fresh engine-out cosmetic restoration, including new paint and top. Show-detailed presentation, including the undercarriage. Includes owner’s books, jack, and tools.
Auction Source: RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2015
1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet – sold for $429,000 Two-year, show-quality restoration by Road Scholars in breathtaking dark blue over tobacco. Powered by its original matching-numbers 3.5-liter V-8 engine. Rare and desirable floor-shift automatic model. Features desirable factory air conditioning and a Becker radio. Includes a proper set of tools, a jack, and a correct owner’s manual. Enjoyed over the past 30 years by just two long-term owners.
Auction Source: RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2015
1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet – sold for $280,500 Superbly Presented Mercedes-Benz Icon. Luxurious Hand-Built Leather, Wood, and Wool Interior. Powerful 3.5-Liter SOHC V-8 and Desirable 4-Speed Automatic. Collector-Owned; Properly Maintained Two-Owner Example. One of Mercedes-Benz’s Final Hand-Built Models.
Auction Source: The 2015 Amelia Island Auction by Gooding & Company
1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet – sold for $429,000 A beautifully presented low-mileage example. Matching numbers and believed original throughout. Powered by the most desirable 3.5-liter V-8 engine.
Auction Source: 2014 Monterey by RM Auctions
1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet 111027.12.004323 – sold for $264,000 Matching numbers example. Desirable 3.5 V8 with floor-shift and air conditioning. Factory livery in Tunis Beige over Cognac. One of the last great classics from Mercedes-Benz. Offered with factory records, books and tools.
Auction Source: 2014 Quail Lodge Auction by Bonhams

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet – sold for $335,500 An exceptional, original, unrestored car. Only 56,000 actual miles. Complete books and tools, and an extensive file of receipts and literature. Certainly among the best examples available anywhere. The ultimate “usable Classic”.
Auction Source: Amelia Island 2014 by RM Auctions
1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet – sold for $297,000 The most powerful and expensive Mercedes convertible of its era. Factory air conditioning, power windows, and radio. A low-mileage example; single ownership for 25 years. Recipient of a ground-up restoration.
Auction Source: 2014 Arizona by RM Auctions

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet – sold for $220,000 Extremely Rare and Desirable Model. Last of the Hand-Assembled Luxury Cars from Mercedes-Benz. V-8 Performance with Full-Power Features. Offered in an Attractive Color Combination. Rare Floor-Shift Variant.
Auction Source: The Scottsdale Auctions by Gooding & Company


1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet – sold for $220,000 One-year-only 3.5-liter Cabriolet. Factory Behr air conditioning and Becker Mexico radio. Fully serviced, recently refreshed, and impeccably maintained.
Auction Source: 2013 Monterey Auction by RM Auctions

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet – sold for $236,500 Well-Preserved Restoration to Concours Standards. One of Only 1,232 3.5 Cabriolets Built. Desirably Optioned with Floor Shift and Air-Conditioning. 2011 Best in Class Award Winner. A Hand-Built Modern Classic.
Auction Source: Gooding & Company’s 10th Anniversary 2013 Pebble Beach Auction


1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet – sold for $220,000 Known Ownership from New. Beautifully Preserved Original Interior. Sympathetic Restoration in Original Silver Livery. Built with Floor Shift and Rare Limited-Slip Differential. Low-Mileage Example.
Auction Source: The 2013 Scottsdale Auctions by Gooding & Company
1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet – sold for $151,250 Beautifully Preserved Original 3.5. Unusual Factory Color Combination. Single Family Ownership for Nearly 30 Years. A Remarkably Versatile Classic Mercedes-Benz.
Auction Source: The 2013 Scottsdale Auctions by Gooding & Company
1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet

The 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet offered here is an excellent example both aesthetically and mechanically. Having spent many years within the private collection of noted Mercedes-Benz collector Stuart Roffman, it received exemplary care. In 2004, it was given a bare-metal refinish in its original color of Signal Red; the following year a correct leather interior was installed, and the car was mechanically serviced, with all work performed by Mercedes-Benz expert Jim Cosgrove of Old Timer Restorations.

Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Auction by RM

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet

The 1971 Mercedes 280SE 3.5 offered here is a very clean example with a four-speed column shift automatic transmission and air conditioning. With 9,470 miles indicated, the overall condition is very good. The chrome work is showing only slight signs of age. Its brick-red leather interior is exceptionally well maintained, and the burgundy carpeting is just as clean – a nice contrast to the silver finish and black top. The car has also benefitted from recent mechanical service.

Auction Source: 2011 Amelia Island Auction by RM Auctions

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet

The 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet pictured here is a lovely example of this very sought-after model. Presented in white with its original soft top and a handsome brown leather interior, it is also fitted with electric windows and still retains its rare original steel wheels, complete with stainless steel painted wheel rims. The car has covered 58,500 miles from new and is in very good overall condition with a fresh MoT.

Auction Source: 2010 Automobiles of London by RM Auctions

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Convertible

Reported to drive capably and shift smoothly, this distinguished 280 SE 3.5 still features all of its original body panels and its stock Becker Europa radio. It is equipped with power windows and Behr air conditioning, and has recently had its brakes and suspension evaluated and serviced as needed. Wonderfully restored and cared for by marque experts with decades of collective experience, this highly desirable Mercedes-Benz Convertible is a pristine example of the marque’s last great 5-passenger luxury convertible of the post-war period.
Auction Source: 2010 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction


1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Convertible

Much of the early life of this vehicle was spent in the southern United States. It has had only four owners since new. In the late 1970s, the car was purchased by its second owner.

Auction Source: Gooding & Company 2010 Amelia Island Auction

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Convertible

The beautiful 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet presented here in white with a dark blue top and interior has always been very well maintained and cared for. Notably, it was recently treated to a full mechanical service that included refurbishing the AC sys

Auction Source: 2009 RM Auctions Sports & Classics of Monterey