1972 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE Coupe 3.5 V8

A highly original Red-Orange 280SE Coupé, equipped with the rare and powerful 3.5-litre V8 engine - GT cruising to Antibes doesn't get much more refined.The 3.5-litre version of the 280SE typifies the resurgence of larger-engined Mercedes-Benz models that began in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the progressive easing of fiscal constraints, which had dissuaded customers from buying cars with large capacity engines, encouraged the German manufacturer to offer bigger, more potent power units. Thus, the ultra-luxurious 280SE Coupé/Cabriolet and 300SEL saloon were the models chosen by Mercedes-Benz to launch its magnificent new 3.5-litre V8 engine in 1969. An over-square design featuring a cast-iron block and aluminium alloy cylinder heads, each equipped with a single overhead camshaft, this all-new, state-of-the-art power unit produced 200 bhp courtesy of Bosch electronic fuel-injection and transistorised ignition. Thus equipped, the Coupé/Cabriolet was good for 125 mph with 60 mph whispering by in 9.5 seconds, a substantial improvement on the six-cylinder version's figures. Although the equivalent SEL Saloon used the 'New Generation' bodyshell, the Coupé and Cabriolet kept the elegant coachwork that had debuted back in 1959 on the 220SE and, as befitted top-of-the-range luxury models, came equipped with automatic transmission, air conditioning, power windows and a stereo radio as standard. Significantly, the 280SE 3.5 was to be the final model to feature this long-established and much-admired body style, and today these last-of-the-line classics are highly sought after by discerning Mercedes-Benz collectors, particularly as only 245 were built in right-hand drive. The most prestigious of the 280SE Coupé and Cabriolet variants is the 3.5-litre V8 model made for just two years from 1969 to 1971, the majority of these in left-hand drive.This left-hand drive, automatic 280SE was delivered new to Malta finished in a striking shade of red/orange over cream leather, an unusual choice for a big coupé as they are normally found in silver or dark blue, but maybe its first owner just wanted something different. Whatever the colour choice, it would have been incredibly expensive at the time as Malta applied a new vehicle import tax of between 200-300%.The car arrived in the UK in 2015 and was fully serviced by SS Motors of Weybridge at a cost of some £7,000. We understand that the following year it spent some time at Mercedes-Benz World in their Brand Gallery. Today, the Mercedes presents well with largely original paint and an original interior and is described by our vendor as "A beautiful, honest, largely original motor car". The indicated mileage is 46,130 which sounds about right for a car that's spent over 40 years on a small island followed by a private collection.It was recently featured in a comparison test alongside a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow MPW by Classic and Sportscar (April, 2021) and the link is here. https://www.classicandsportscar.com/features/glamour-models-mercedes-benz-280se-35-coupe-vs-rolls-royce-silver-shadow-mpwOn offer from a prominent UK Collection, it's accompanied by its original Handbook and service records and the original Becker Monaco radio/stereo unit is still in situ.The 280SE Coupé has a discreet opulence and the smooth 3.5 V8 engine, mated to the creamy automatic Mercedes gearbox, enables powerful but peaceful progress. These smooth big coupés have a certain cachét and would be comfortable in St. Tropez, St. Moritz, St. John's Wood, and even St. Evenage.SpecificationMake: MERCEDES-BENZModel: 280SE 3.5 V8Year: 1972Chassis Number: 11102612002226Registration Number: DRS 253KTransmission: AutomaticEngine Number: 1169012001954 Odometer Reading: 46130 MilesMake: Interior Colour: Cream LeatherClick here for more details and images