Lot 120

Motor City 2016

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE Cabriolet


$132,000 USD | Sold

United States | Plymouth, Michigan



Chassis No.
  • Desirable cabriolet version of the highly collectible W111
  • Equally attractive but more affordable version of the 280 SE
  • Excellent for long-distance tours and MBCA events

180 bhp, 2,778 cc SOHC inline six-cylinder engine with Bosch mechanical fuel injection, four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with double wishbones, coil springs, and stabilizer bar; independent rear suspension with swing axles, radius arms, and coil springs; and four-wheel power-assisted hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 108.3 in.

Mercedes-Benz’s elegant Paul Bracq-designed W111 made its debut in 1959 and was produced, in its many variations, through 1971. Among the most desirable variations were the two-door models—the 280 SE Cabriolet and Coupe—which were expensive, virtually hand-built automobiles in the great tradition of German craftsmanship. The acres of wood trim throughout the interior were all genuine solid hardwood, accented by the gentle use of brightwork; the leather upholstery was thick and comfortable; and both the ride quality and handling were (and continue to be) superb. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these cars rapidly became favorites of international socialites and celebrities, and they were frequently seen cruising in all of the world’s most posh destinations.

While it is the later, very limited-production 280 SE 3.5 that attracts all the attention today, the standard 280 SE was still a competent highway tourer and no less beautifully constructed and engineered.

The example offered here has been well-enjoyed by several owners and records a comfortable 40,850 miles. It has benefited from regular maintenance over the years, including a careful exterior repaint and reupholstering of the front seats and console, both in the original factory colors, about eight years ago by the current seller. The car is equipped with period radio and air conditioning options, the soft-top is in good condition, and the interior, engine compartment, and trunk are neat and tidy. Included are a number of service receipts from the past three owners as well as a set of tools, the original spare wheel, and a set of spare floor mats in the trunk.

This car should provide a great return in enjoyment from a reasonable investment, with reliable performance on long-distance tours, and pride in participation at enthusiast gatherings and concours d’elegance events sponsored by the local section of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America.