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    1965 Mercedes Benz 280 SE Convertible 3.5 Conversion

    Consignment #: 2547 Sign In to View Price


    Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale January 14th – 18th, 2015 at Russo and Steele’s 15th Annual Scottsdale Arizona Auction. Please contact us for more information.

    Introduced in 1970, the Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet was visually identical to the existing 280 SE Cabriolet with the exception of the engine. While the 2.8-liter ‘six’ was quite powerful, more spirited performance was available from the all-new 3.5-liter V-8. Referred to as the ‘engine of tomorrow’ by Mercedes, the company threw much of its technical prowess into making the new V-8 engine both smooth and powerful. Featuring Bosch electronic fuel injection and transistorized ignition, power output was a healthy 230 bhp, propelling the 280SE 3.5 from rest to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds. Only 1,232 of these cars, in convertible form, were sold between 1969 and 1971. Apart from Mercedes’ top-of-the-line 600 series, this car was the company’s flagship mode. Demand has always exceeded available supply and both the 280 SE and the V-8 powered 280 SE 3.5 remain undisputed 20th Century automotive icons.

    This original 1965 280 SE is a very special example, formerly owned by a Mercedes- Benz Body and Frame specialist. When he and his family lived in Germany, he took on restoration projects for clients as a part-time job/hobby. When he decided to move with his family to the USA in 1984, he was working on two Mercedes-Benz projects, including this beautiful 1965 280 SE Cabriolet, which received a total bare-metal, frame-off restoration in Hamburg, Germany from 1982 to 1984.

    Over two years and more than $80,000 Deutschmarks were invested in the restoration of this vehicle to full factory-original specifications, with every part originating from the Mercedes-Benz factory for strict authenticity. The cabriolet remained in its restorer’s loving care and he performed some minor maintenance, repairs, and updates as required over the following years. The car was kept in his climate-controlled garage in Henderson, Nevada, and he took the car out every week to visit different casinos and loved the fact that his Mercedes would be parked out in front, even ahead of the usual Bentleys and Ferraris there. He drove the car on multiple occasions to Los Angeles, including the weeding days of both of his sons. He really loved this car and was proud of the fact that no matter where he took the car, it became the topic of conversation.

    Powered by a retrofitted 3.5-liter, fuel-injected V-8 engine, the 280 SE is very well equipped as expected with factory air conditioning, leather upholstery, and power features including the antenna, locks, windows, and steering. During the exacting restoration process, the passenger compartment was trimmed in all new genuine leather from Mercedes-Benz, plus a new wooden dash panel, new wiring and electrical items, and more. All exterior items are OEM parts sourced from the Mercedes factory in Germany, including the chrome brightwork, lights, and sheet metal. Recently, the shock absorbers, rear springs, and tires were replaced. The convertible top remains in virtually perfect condition, including the rear window, and the vehicle retains the desirable original radio unit. A true labor of love, this expertly restored, preserved, and maintained 280 SE Cabriolet will certainly provide an outstanding open-air driving experience with smooth V-8 power.



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