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1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Photo Details
1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Photo
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1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE

To be offered at auction at auctions america's california event, july 17-18, 2015.estimate:$300,000 - $375,000 after Mercedes-Benz ended production of the stately 220 se coupes and cabriolets in 1960, their designers introduced new two-door coupe and cabriolet models based on the w111 chassis. These models were aimed at the high-end luxury market and proved to be very successful for Mercedes-Benz. The company would continue to build these luxury cars for 10 years, with minor styling changes along the way. Changes to the design may have been minor, but changes to the drivetrain certainly were not. Mercedes-Benz initially used the venerable overhead-cam straight-six in several sizes, all the way up to 2,996 cubic centimeters, and the cars' nomenclatures were 250 s, 250 se, and 300 se, depending on the engine. A 2,778 cubic centimeter m13 engine in 1967 gave rise to 280 s and 280 se model designations. By 1969, the decision was made to continue producing the coupes and cabriolets on the w111 chassis, but this time with a v-8 engine needed to keep pace with competitors in the u.s. Luxury market. A 3.5-liter powerplant, designated m116, was developed using a cast iron block for better rigidity, economy, and sound damping. A single chain-driven camshaft, designed for long-term reliability, drove its rocker-operated valves. Bosch transistorized the ignition, and electronic fuel injection was utilized. The british magazine autocar called it a copybook example of how experience plus careful design can create a simple-to-make, high-output engine of considerable refinement. American buyers just called it fast and fun. The new model was given the name 280 se 3.5, to distinguish it from its much different six-cylinder counterpart. Production of the 3.5 began in august 1969 and continued through july 1971. In 24 months, total production was 3,270 coupes and 1,232 cabriolets, making these not only one of the fastest and most interesting mercedes of their era, but also one of the rarest and most expensive. The cabriolet offered here is in exceptional condition and is finished in the attractive color combination of silver blue with dark blue interior. It has been the subject of a comprehensive restoration and is ready for its next owner to show or use in driving tours. Virtually every aspect of the car has been refurbished or replaced, from the varnished wood veneers on the dashboard to the dark blue convertible top. It was desirably equipped when new with the sportier floor-shifted automatic transmission, front bucket seats with folding armrests, a becker radio, and electric windows, all of which it retains today. All of the brightwork was re-plated during the restoration and shines well today. This is truly a splendid 3.5 cabriolet that would be the ideal entrant for a wide variety of automotive events, or could also be used as a fun weekend car.

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