At the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1969, Mercedes-Benz launched the 3.5-litre V8 engine to fill a gap in their range, and fitted it to the existing 300, renaming it the 300 SEL 3.5. It was also available in both fixed head coupe and cabriolet two door body styles, which used the extremely handsome W111 type 280 SE body shell. The new model was distinguishable from its six cylinder predecessors by a lower and wider radiator grille necessary to accommodate the larger V8 motor, which fortuitously greatly improved the style of the frontal aspect.
Otherwise, these 280 SE 3.5 models were identical in appearance to the earlier cars, with exposed twin headlights, rounded (rather than the earlier finned) rear wings, and two inches extra width compared to the 220 and 300 saloons of the early 1960s. Underneath there was all-independent suspension and disc brakes front and rear, while the fuel injected 3,499 engine, producing an impressive 200bhp at 5,800rpm and 211 lb/ft at 4,000rpm. It could be was mated to either manual or automatic transmission; whichever was chosen, performance was impressive, the V8 propelling the 280 SE 3.5 to a top speed in excess of 120mph, with 0-60mph reached in under 10 seconds.
First registered on the 31st of December 1970, what we have on offer with us here today is an exceptionally rare example of the 280SE 3.5 litre, of which a total of 3797 were produced, of which only a mere 68 are believed to have been right hand drive!
Finished in Ivory over Black leather interior, this rare right hand drive example has been subject to an extensive engine rebuild by the renowned Mercedes-Benz specialist Steve Redfern and has been maintained by their workshop ever since. Also under the expert eye of the same man, the car has undergone an interior re-trim as well as minor renovation of the wooden elements where necessary.
Provided with the car is an extensive history file which includes 20 MoT’s as well as numerous bills and invoices totalling a staggering £90,000! – A true testament to the cars current condition.
A truly excellent car, this lot represents an exceptional opportunity to purchase an extremely rare RHD 280SE 3.5. Offered today at a realistic reserve.