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1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Convertible

Story and History

1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Convertible
1 of only 68 RHD

The then 'new generation' of upscale Mercedes-Benz S-Class models debuted in 1968, continuing the refined tradition of handcrafted engineering.

At Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant, historically only top of the line examples were made, like the 300 SL Gullwing, 300 SL Roadster and many wartime Mercedes-Benz prior to them too, like the 770K. Our lovely 280 SE 3.5 Convertible was also produced here!

Highlighting the time and effort to hand make these cars, it took 16 hours to prepare the padded folding hood on our car! The chassis featured advanced design and structural reinforcements for better rigidity and safety, and it would become one of the last hand-built Mercedes-Benz models ever made.

Our example, being one of only 68 RHD, is excruciatingly rare and features electric windows, sundym glass, full hide interior, power steering, power brakes, the original Becker stereo & radio, and highly desirable floor-shift automatic gearbox - far nicer than the column controlled shift more common at the time.

The effort Mercedes put into making this engine, is testimony to how she runs today, perfect in all conditions. Indeed the last owner drove her down from Yorkshire without hesitation, and of course his journey was without hiccup. I met him in Mayfair and drove through town in the heaviest traffic, again without a hiccup.

This reliability stands to reason really for the engineers in Mercedes created a new power unit which enjoyed an over-square combustion chamber, providing more of the useful torque and ability to spin freely up to the redline of 6.500rpm. They also chose aluminium alloy cylinder heads and Bosch electronic fuel injection, as well as transistorised ignition so she was 'top of the pops' technology giving more than ample mid range torque, making for super overtaking performance.

The engine was one of the smoothest units available combined with similarly smooth gears too - against other cars in the period they were very impressive, hence the enormous cost when new.

She has been maintained thoroughly throughout her life, documented very well back through her history with service invoices, various MOTs and tax discs.

In late 1986 some superficial damage had been made to one of her front wings, the insurers - Bradstock, Blunt & Thompson Ltd - swiftly awoke from their slumber in an attempt to save every menial penny possible on the repairs. Happily however, at the time a discerning chap by the name of David King owned her and he did not sing from the insurers hymn sheet, quite the opposite infact…

The dispute between Mr King and his insurers over who to use for the repairs resulted in King accepting to pay the difference and his preferred coachmaker of choice being utalised.

However he didn't stop there instead charging Nigel Cooper Restorations with undertaking a recommissioning of all the coachwork on the car whilst R.J. Miles restored all the mechanical components.

R.J. Miles continued to look after the car until 1996, always a good sign that those who carried out the restoration handled her regular maintenance too.

In 2012 Nigel Cooper saw the car again for a bare metal respray & although there is not an invoice in the file backing this up she quite clearly received a new hood & interior as well as all the brightwork being done at this time.

Servicing has continued in the interim and indeed she was checked over, serviced and MoT'd just prior to her journey down to London.

Being one of the rarest of the coach built Mercedes-Benz Cabriolets, many astute collectors feel the 280 SE 3.5 is one of the best looking and most collectible cars of the era. A very usable classic car, in absolutely mint condition.


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Previously Sold
Engine Size
3.5 V8
Transmission Type
4 Speed Automatic
Miles Recorded
Chassis Number

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