Open Roads, December | Lot 155

1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Coupé



CHF101,200 | Sold

Switzerland | Geneva, Switzerland

1 - 8 December 2021

Chassis No.
Swiss Carte Grise
  • One of only 2,430 coupés produced for 1970 with the desirable 3.5-liter V-8 engine
  • Equipped with rare, four-speed, manual transmission
  • Believed to have been owned by his excellency André Gadaud, French ambassador to Spain and Switzerland
  • Nicely equipped with Behr air conditioner, Becker Grand Prix radio, rear speaker, and a sunroof

The chassis-code W111 series of saloons, coupés, and convertibles stands as one of Mercedes-Benz’s finest creations. Hand built to incredible standards, these cars exude quality from every screw, veneer, and strip of leather.

In 1969, Mercedes-Benz began offering a fuel-injected 3.5-litre V-8 engine, code M116, as an option on W111 models. It produced a claimed 200 horsepower and had a high price of entry that prevented many from ticking this box on the order form, making it sought-after amongst casual enthusiasts and marque aficionados alike.

Just 2,430 coupés rolled off the assembly line equipped with the M116 engine for the 1970 model year. Even fewer featured the four-speed manual transmission found in this car, making the specification highly desirable. According to documents on file, the 280 SE 3.5 Coupé offered here was brought into France by Royal Elysees S.A., exclusive French importer of Daimler-Benz products. The accompanying service booklet further shows the vehicle was delivered to Mr. Philippe Agnus through a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Boulogne sur Seine on 18 June 1970. It left the factory finished in Bronzebraun with a Dark Maroon roof over beige leather, a wonderful combination still present today. Further adding to this example’s appeal, it was equipped from the factory with a rear glass heater, a rear loudspeaker package, Becker Grand Prix radio, a Behr air-conditioner system, a limited-slip differential, and a sunroof.

In 1993 it is believed that this Mercedes-Benz entered the care of his excellency André Gadaud, who had previously been France’s consul general in New York. He would later become the French ambassador to Spain in Madrid and subsequently French ambassador to Switzerland in Bern. The car remained in his ownership until he returned to France, where it would eventually be acquired by its most recent owner in 2016. An invoice dated June 2021 details maintenance performed on the car, which included changing the oil, oil filter, and brake fluid, and balancing the tyres.

An all-time great Mercedes-Benz, the 280 SE 3.5 Coupé is truly a masterpiece of engineering, which will be cherished by enthusiasts for decades to come. Examples with a manual transmission don’t often surface, making this a wonderful opportunity to acquire a rare and timeless classic.

Blog posts

Suggested lots