The RM Sotheby’s auction is probably your best bet to get a vintage Mercedes Benz 280 SE.
Auction: May 19, 2021 to May 27, 2021
Location: Auburn, Indiana, 46706
Stock #: 0521_r0079
Seller’s Description: To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION at RM Sothebys’ Open Roads, May event, 19 – 26 May 2021.
Guide price Estimate:
$110,000 – $130,000 USD
* Believed to be one of less than 3,500 made
* Benefits from refurbishment in 2016
* Dark Bronze Metallic over Cognac leather and Burl Wood accents
* 3.5-liter M116 V-8 engine with overhead camshafts and Bosch electronic fuel injection
* Four-speed automatic transmission; limited-slip differential
Please note that this lot is titled as a 1971.
The top-of-the-line 280 SE 3.5 Coupe features the first engine over 3.0 liters in a post-War Mercedes-Benz coupe; a fitting last hurrah for the W111 chassis in its final years of production from 1969-1971. Wrapped in a pillar-less Paul Bracq design that remains stunning to this day, the 280SE 3.5 was rated at 200 horsepower and 231 pound-feet of torque when new, with impressive features like its Bosch electronic fuel injection, a four-speed automatic transmission, limited-slip differential, and leather interior with wood accents. Car & Driver’s 1970 review found the 280SE 3.5 “astonishingly agile,” representative of Mercedes’ commitment to “excellence for its own sake.”
This Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 was sold new in Germany and remained there until it was reportedly imported to the United States in 1975. It left the factory finished in Bronze Metallic. The car is believed to have been refurbished before the current owner came into possession of it in 2014 , reportedly including a rebuild of the engine and drivetrain. It rides on 14-inch Bundt chrome wheels with unchromed center caps . The exterior features European-spec glass headlights with added driving lights and North American side markers.
In 2016, the car reportedly received a full restoration, including a new windshield and chrome . The body panels were said to have been taken down to bare metal before being repainted to Tobacco Brown . Inside, the cabin has also been refinished, with Cognac leather and Burl Wood accents . Standout features include a Becker Europa AM/FM push-button stereo with power antenna and Behr air-conditioning, believed to have been added by a German dealer when the car was with its second owner .
This 1971 280 SE 3.5 is offered with an owner’s manuals, tool kit, spare, jack, and a copy of the original data card. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at