1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet
The 3.5-liter version of the 280SE typifies the resurgence of larger-engined Mercedes-Benz models that began in the late 1960s. The ultra-luxurious 280SE Coupe, Cabriolet and 300SEL saloon models were chosen by Mercedes-Benz to launch its magnificent new 3.5-liter V8 engine in 1969. An over-square design featuring a cast-iron block and aluminum cylinder heads, each equipped with a single overhead camshaft, this all-new, state-of-the-art power unit produced a torquey 200bhp, courtesy of Bosch electronic fuel injection and transistorized ignition. Thus equipped, the 280SE 3.5 was good for cruising speeds up near 125mph, with 60mph reachable in 9.5 seconds, a substantial improvement on the six-cylinder version’s figures.
Completed at the Mercedes-Benz’s Stuttgart factory in the latter part of 1970, this extraordinary 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet was prepared for the US market, and finished in DB396 Medium Blue over a blue leather interior and blue convertible top. The car was equipped with the desirable floor mounted shift lever, a Becker radio, air conditioning, folding armrest and white wall tires.
This elegant Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet is believed to have resided on the East Coast since new, and kept mostly as a “special occasions” collector’s car, as the mileage of less than 58,000 attests to. By the early 2000s, the Mercedes-Benz was owned by enthusiast Warren Greene of Atlanta, Georgia. Soon after acquiring the car, Mr. Greene decided to have the Mercedes-Benz cosmetically restored, treating it to a re-paint in it’s current white, new interior and many other details. The 280SE 3.5 had at that time accumulated just over 50,000 miles since new so was a very original and solid example to refurbish.
The Mercedes-Benz remained in Mr. Greene’s collection until 2010, when purchased by Mr. Gene Taggart of South Carolina. While in Mr. Taggart’s ownership, the car was treated to a comprehensive service and tune-up, as well as a refurbishment of the air conditioning system. This work was performed by the renowned, Hilton Head, South Carolina based classic Mercedes-Benz specialists at Modern Classic Motors.
Today this beautifully presented, top-of-the-range V8 Mercedes Cabriolet presents exceptionally well in a period-correct white over blue interior. It is a rare model as well; only about 800 examples of the luxurious 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet were specified for the US market. The car’s comprehensive history file includes copies of the Mercedes-Benz factory build records and receipts from service and maintenance work. A tool roll is neatly situated in the trunk.
These high-quality, stylish V8 powerhouses are the last of the classic, hand-built cars to come out of the Mercedes workshops in Stuttgart. They offer timeless styling and extreme luxury in a very usable package, accounting for why they are so highly prized today. With fewer than 58,000 miles from new, this beautiful Cabriolet is a great way to experience the legend of the opulent and powerful 280SE 3.5, a model carrying the distinction of being one of the marque’s most highly prized models of its generation.
200bhp at 5,800rpm
4-Speed Automatic Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
*Offered with copies of factory build sheets and restoration receipts
Delivered with the following options:
401 – Single seats
420 – Automatic Transmission, floor shift
461 – Instruments in English
491- USA version
503 – Side view mirror, left
513 – Becker radio
524 – Paint coat preservation
531 – Automatic antenna
570 – Folding armrest
586 – Air conditioner / Automatic windows
595 – Heated insulated glass
641 – White wall tires
669 – Mode of packing: VE I
744 – soft-top fabric, dark blue
Mileage: Less than 58,000 miles from new
Exterior Color: White/blue top
Interior Color: blue
Body Style: Convertible
Engine: 3,499cc SOHC V8 Engine, Bosch Fuel Injection
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Drive Type: RWD
Fuel Type: Gasoline