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  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet
  • 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet


1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet

Oliver's Garage

Lot No. 240

Auctioned on Saturday, June 24, 2017

Oliver's Garage

Estimate: $240,000 - $280,000

  • Floor-shift automatic transmission
  • Three-owner car; single ownership from 1971-2004
  • Comprehensive invoices going back to 2005
  • Tool roll and original owner’s manual
  • Factory air conditioning


In the early 1970s, Mercedes-Benz built what many people believe was the finest automobile in the world. For the buyers who wanted wind in their hair, there was no finer choice than the 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet, which, combined with the powerful 3.5-liter V-8, was the fastest, most lavish, and most expensive convertible that money could buy at a Mercedes-Benz dealership.

It was a car that appeals, then and now, to great enthusiasts and admirers of the automotive form. Passengers are treated to the level of understated elegance that one would expect in a car of this caliber and financial investment. Nineteen seventy-one was the only year that this model was imported into the United States; 802 are reported entering the U.S. in 1971.

Mercedes-Benz’s second V-8 was quite stout and just as with a small-block American V-8, the compact, fuel-injected, 3.5-litre powerplant would fit under the hood, where a straight six would have previously been the top offering. The new 280 SE Cabriolet looked like the six-cylinder 280, but it had big, reliable power propelling it into the 1970s and to 60 miles per hour in under 10 seconds, with 130 miles per hour top speed behind its 230 horsepower. This wasn’t muscle car territory, but it was highly respectable for a full-on luxury cabriolet weighing over 3,600 pounds.

It was challenging to match the new Mercedes-Benz mix of technology and quality. Fully-independent coil-spring suspension and four-wheel disc brakes meant that ride and handling with the long-wheelbase chassis were thoroughly modern; but unlike a car of the 21st century, the look was completely distinctive and completely Mercedes-Benz, or “fabulously handsome,” as Road & Track called it.

This 280 SE 3.5 is reported as a three-owner car with single ownership from 1971 to 2004 that has been restored in its original color of Papyrus White over black leather with a black soft-top. The accompanying data card shows the car to have been fitted with optional Behr air conditioning and a floor-shift automatic transmission from new. The luxurious interior displays wood trim elements, a Becker Europa stereo radio and the large seating accommodations are welcome, no matter the length of the drive. Tastefully sized whitewall Dunlop SE tires provide a perfect accent to this handsome presentation.

Comprehensive service invoices go back to 2005 and there is also a service book included. Tools are also included and further documentation consists of the original owner’s manual and various books.

This Mercedes-Benz model was at home at the most-highly respected addresses when new and is embraced in similar locales to this day.


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