Lot 206

Monterey 2018

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet


$280,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • Ultimate itineration of the classic Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet
  • Powered by the desirable 3.5-liter V-8 engine
  • Retains its matching-numbers engine
  • Includes tool set, owner’s manual, and copy of data card

For the buyers who were in the market for a convertible in 1971, there was no finer choice in the world than the 280 SE 3.5 cabriolet. It was the fastest, most lavish, and most expensive convertible offered by Mercedes-Benz, arguably the finest automobile manufacturer in the world at the time, making this a very special automobile indeed.

The 280 SE 3.5 appealed, then as now, to those who appreciate the finest things in life, and the car more than lived up to those expectations. The 280 SE 3.5 closely resembles the six-cylinder 280, but the similarities end there. The top-of-the-line model offered a reliable 233 bhp provided by the brand-new 3.5-liter M116 V-8. This propelled the car to 60 mph in under 10 seconds and could achieve a top speed of 130 mph. That was, and still is, highly respectable performance for a full-size luxury convertible weighing over 3,600 lbs. Inside the car, passengers are treated to the level of understated elegance that one would expect in a car of this caliber and financial investment. Burled walnut dashboards and sumptuous leather seating ensured that the passengers not only drove in style, but in utmost comfort.

Nineteen seventy-one was the only year that this model was imported into the U.S., with just 802 reported entering the U.S. Offered here is an original left-hand-drive automatic cabriolet. As a U.S.-delivery example, it was originally optioned with a driver’s side rear-view mirror, Becker radio with automatic antenna, and desirable Behr air conditioning. The data card on file confirms that it retains the original exterior color of Medium Blue Metallic (396) with a dark blue convertible top. The interior seats were redone in matching blue leather in 2008 and are in excellent condition.

A very special example of one of the most desirable luxury vehicles of the early ’70s, this 1971 280 SE 3.5 is the perfect acquisition for the individual looking for a sophisticated convertible that will never go out of style.