Introduced in August of 1969 based on the W111 chassis, the 280SE 3.5 presented timeless styling and marked a resurgence of large-displacement Mercedes-Benz models with its impressive fuel-injected V8. Originally sold at Classic Buick-Pontiac in Palm Springs, California, this 1971 example spent time with its second owner in Colorado before returning to California and eventually coming back to Colorado where it is now being offered for auction.
This example comes finished in Light Ivory (670) and can be distinguished from other W111s as a 280SE 3.5 by its flatter front bonnet and lower radiator grille. This example rides on factory 14" wheels with color-matched hubcaps and older Michelin Defender tires. Slight blemishes have been addressed with small paint touch-ups, and a minor imperfection is noted along the passenger-side rear window molding. Detailed images are provided in the gallery.
The interior is appointed with Cognac (2402) leather accented with Burl Wood trim across the upper and lower dashboard, A-pillars, and upper windshield trim. Other equipment includes a floor shift, a Becker radio, power windows, and a power sunroof. The seller notes that the driver’s seat cushion has been restored and the dashboard wood was refurbished by Madera Concepts of California. The original Behr air conditioning unit fails to blow cold, although all other gauges and accessories are working properly.
The 280SE is powered by a 3.5-liter Bosch fuel-injected M116 V8, rated at 200 HP and 231 lb.-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a 4-speed automatic transmission. The seller notes that the most recent service includes an oil change, a muffler hanger replacement, and a window channel seal replacement. Detailed service records are provided for reference in the photo gallery.
This sale will include a clean title and extensive documentation.
The owner had done quite a lot of work on the air conditioning system, as we noted in previous comments, the owner charged this car with R12 annually. There definitely is a slow leak somewhere but he didn't feel it was pressing enough to pull the entire dashboard. When charged the Air Conditioning held for a long time. This info was relayed to us through the deceased owner's wife.
@FarlandClassic @FarlandClassic, my point was the following: 1) if getting the AC working correctly involves going into the dash, which it may, it is quite a job. I've done it. 2) I don't think any vehicle AC system just needs charging. More than likely, it has a leak somewhere, and that will need to be found and repaired.
The good news is that the AC in these cars wasn't particularly good in the first place, so it isn't exactly high on the list of things to convert and/or fix. And this appears to be a nice example in good colors. I'm sure the new owner will be very happy with it, even if a few things need sorted out.
Bid in the amount of $95,000
Additional content has been added to the gallery for this listing.
Welcome to the final day of bidding! We hope you all had happy holidays. Our head of sales pointed out we may want to show off the dealer-installed cruise control system that piggybacks off the turn signal (Photos to be added). It runs on the speedometer cable, using air bellows and a small chain. We will be around through the rest of the auction to answer any questions here, or via phone.
Bid in the amount of $85,000
Bid in the amount of $65,000
Always a classic and in many ways one of the best Benz ever produced. It would be nice to be nearby with a knowledgeable Benz mechanic, not many around any longer.
Bid in the amount of $45,000
We should have been more comprehensive in our last note about the A/C conversion. While it is certainly possible that an evaporator problem would necessitate removing it, it isn't that likely for a recently-operating system whose blower speeds are working, but is low on refrigerant and not cooling. There is a greater likelihood that evacuation, installing R134-compatible servicing valves and a new receiver/dryer will restore cooling. But we are not licensed A/C techs and suggest you discuss the issue with a local shop where you would have such work done if you won the car. Of course, mentally set aside some funds for the work when contemplating your bid. And thanks for the very knowledgeable information some of our experienced commenters have shared!
To convert a car to 134A DOES NOT require the evaporator to come out. In nearly all cases the job involves far less work than that. The A/c was working last year on R12; conversion should be relatively straightforward.
Bid in the amount of $24,999
A couple of comments: this appears to be a very nice and rather original car. In particular, the cognac interior looks to me like the leather that came in the car, or something extremely close to it, which is nice, because to get the proper 1970s leather to redo the interior on a 111 coupe or cabriolet is extremely difficult. Also, the Becker radio seems to be the one which was fitted to these cars. Those narrow-panel radios are hard to find. Also, it is the floor shift model with a sunroof, which makes it more desirable.
Getting the AC working may not be easy. If the evaporator has to come out, getting the dash out of a 111 is a prolonged ordeal, hard enough that in addition to the AC evap unit, you would also do the heater valves and levers as 'while you're in theres'.
The wood looks very nice, but when these cars were new, the finish was duller than what Madera applied here. This is only an issue if you plan to show the caar at a very picky concours, and the sellers are not representing this car as a concours example.
All in all, a very handsome example of a car which is beautiful, fully usable in modern traffic (as if you'd want to, right?) and less money than the cabriolet version of the same car, with a similar driving experience. From the era when Mercedes really were The World's Finest Motor Car, and never mind those English pretenders.
Bid in the amount of $21,777
Bid in the amount of $7,500
@FarlandClassic We're happy to invite all interested bidders to send a trusted expert to look the car over. Give us a call or send a message to schedule an appointment.
@Lagonda Based on paint meter readings and our 30 years of experience, we believe this 280SE 3.5 shows the original Light Ivory (code 670). Aside from very minor rock-chip touchups around the grille, this car shows the original paint. Records indicate there has never been paintwork on the car.
Is the paint original.
Bid in the amount of $1,000
Our shop is happy to present this 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 coupe in our showroom. This is an incredibly original example, with the trifecta of floor shift, original Behr air conditioning unit, and Becker Europa radio. In 1971, they made 628 examples of the Left-hand drive coupes. We'd love to show off the car in person or via Facetime throughout the auction this week. Message us if you have any questions or would like to learn more. Thanks!