The Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe, produced from 1969 to 1971, is a classic luxury car that holds a special place in automotive history. This model is part of the W111/W112 series, which was introduced in the early 1960s as the successor to the Ponton series.
Here's a brief history and story behind the 1970 Mercedes 280SE 3.5 Coupe:
2. Design and Styling:
4. Luxury and Comfort:
5. Limited Production:
6. End of Production:
In summary, the 1970 Mercedes 280SE 3.5 Coupe is a classic luxury car that combined elegant design, powerful performance, and advanced features of its time. Its limited production and timeless appeal have contributed to its status as a sought-after classic in the automotive world.
The car has had only one previous registered owner, which was (Lord) Paul Vestey, and then the current owner followed since 1978. It has covered 128,466 miles, with a full engine rebuildat around 88,000 miles at Schmidts of London (with receipts).
The engine has recently had the plastic chain guides replaced in both the cylinder heads and the block as a precautionary measure to avoid a well-documented age-related issue, together with a new timing chain and water pump. When the restoration was started the engine was given a complete set of eight fuel injectors, fully rebuilt (not just cleaned) in the USA using alcohol-resistant internals -- unless the situation has recently changed, new D-Jetronic injectors supplied by Bosch were all manufactured in the 1970's so are not compatible with today's E5 and E10 petrol.
A full body and chassis restoration has been carried out over several years by a Gloucester garage run and staffed by an entirely Polish crew and I have been extremely pleased with the results of their work on this car, which is documented by around 1300 photographs. During and following the Covid lockdown work was stopped as I couldn't visit to oversee progress and deal with parts requirements due to my compromised immune system.
More recently the firm has unfortunately had to close following staff shortage problems due to increasing difficulty recruiting from Poland, so the car was sent to Cotswold Classic Cars Restorations near Cirencester for completion and reassembly. I subsequently decided that I would prefer to complete the final reassembly myself as I have had extensive experience of Mercedes W111 coupes since the 1960's, and the car was returned to me. I have since had to face the reality that I can no longer do what I used to be able to do owing to my age and the nature of my illness, so I am now reluctantly having to let it go.
I have attached an estimate from Cotswold Classic Cars Restorations sent to me shortly before I had decided to finish the work myself, which gives a figure of just under £5,000 (plus VAT) to complete the work and return the car to me with an MOT. The headlining has since been installed, as has the oil pipe referred to in the estimate, together with various other items. Refitting the electric sunroof was not included in the estimate as this was new territory for them.
The woodwork surrounding the windscreen has been stripped and prepared ready for application of the clear coat, and the carpets are yet to be made (although the originals are present as patterns). The black upholstery is all original, and although all the stitching is good the front seats would benefit from remedial attention to some heavy cracking in places - it would be a shame to replace it with new leather. All rubber door, window, boot, and sunroof seals are new, together with associated metal cored felt strips, although some remain to be fitted. Many other new parts are to be included with the car.
Although I would like to retain the registration number 99 GYE, I would be prepared to relinquish this for the sake of expediency.