1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe
Chassis no. 111.026.12.002057
When it premiered at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1965, the new Mercedes-Benz model line-up replaced the Heckflosse or “Fintail” W111/112 models and consisted of three W108-Series models: the 250S, 250SE, and 300SE, as well as a single W109, the 300SEL. While the styling of these new models was indeed updated, their engines by and large carried over from the previous generation but were carefully refined. They initially used the respected single overhead-cam inline ‘six’ in several sizes, culminating in the 3.0-liter unit, with the numerical model names varying by engine size. However, by the late 1960s, the lack of a V8 was a hindrance in the all-important U.S. market, so a new, leading-edge 3.5-liter V-8 powerplant was developed. Designed for maximum efficiency and durability, the new 3.5-liter V8 was almost universally praised by the press. In coupe and cabriolet form, the 280SE or W108 was the launch platform for the new engine in 1969.
Production began in 1969 and continued through July of 1971 with only 3,270 coupes and 1,232 cabriolets built to Mercedes’ hand-built, exacting standards. In addition to rich woodgrain accents and flawless upholstery, the comfortable but sporting cabin could be highly optioned with the amenities befitting of the model.
This striking 1970 3.5 coupe is a particularly compelling European-specification example with its bold headlamps and commanding presence. With a powered sunroof and cold AC system, the options on the car offer a wonderful driving experience. Window cranks rather than electrically operated windows was the only option left off the build sheet.
Recently restored to a very high standard, the car features a fully-rebuilt drivetrain, suspension, braking system, new electrical wiring, AC system, etc. The body was stripped and painted in the original Mocha Brown, where panel fit is excellent and up to the original standards of the day. The car runs on Mercedes alloy wheels shod with blackwall tires. The restored interior invites you with sumptuous materials including correct upholstery and fresh wood veneers and as you sit in the driver’s seat you see rebuilt gauges and Becker Europa radio.
The car is accompanied by the build-sheet, original owner’s manual and a comprehensive photo file of the restoration process.
Today, these end-of-the-line classics are among the most sought-after by Mercedes specific, and general classic car collectors for their usability on modern roads.