1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Automatic


  • Complete car ready for restoration
  • Apparently completely original
  • Low mileage
  • Only 70 on the road in the UK

The Appeal

Known as the ‘Golden Age’ for Mercedes, the 60s and early 70s produced some iconic cars for Mercedes and this is certainly one of them. Not made in huge numbers at the time and so are rare today and even more rare in RHD. This one needs some love and attention to return it to its former glory, but it is all there and waiting to be rescued. In the right hands, this project could represent a very fruitful investment.

This car may be showing signs of its 54 year life, but Mercedes were built to last and this one is testimony to that fact. It appears to be structurally sound and therefore an excellent basis to restore this beauty and enjoy that legendary Germanic engineering for yourself.

The History and Paperwork

  • Currently on Sorn
  • Valid V5c
  • Only covered 500 miles since 2014

Presently on a Sorn, this delightful Mercedes is a complete car that is in need of restoration. There is a modest file of invoices and previous MOT certificates and these show the minimal mileage it has covered, in fact, it appears to have had a mere 500 added since 2014. The last MOT expired in May 2018 which displays the same mileage as today. One item of particular interest in the file is the 1968 Mercedes catalogue which is of historical importance on its own.

The Interior

  • Complete original interior
  • Seating in good overall condition
  • Wooden facia
  • Original steering wheel
The interior of this rare Merc appears to be complete, although much of it will need some attention. The seats are in rather good condition considering the age of the car there is a small tear on the back-rest of the passenger seat. The seats are in good useable condition. the rear seat has only a very small rip but overall seats are in good condition. The dash is an area that deserves time and effort to bring it back to a satisfactory condition. The dash tops of this era of Mercedes are particularly prone to sun damage and this one is no exception as the timber portion between the dash and the windscreen has deteriorated somewhat. 

The facia itself has faired better but the later stereo cassette player does look a little out of place. Most of the wear has occurred adjacent to the ignition switch where a set of keys has obviously rubbed through the surface of the dash, again, a little unavoidable on Mercedes of this type and era. There have been a few extra switches and a USB outlet added under the dash and the resulting wiring is a little messy which isn’t helped by the under-dash trim being loose and in poor condition. The headlining appears intact albeit a little stained. boot comes with rubber floor mat which is present in car, boot is not supposed to have a carpet.

The Exterior

  • Factory wheels with original embellishers
  • Original wing mirrors
  • Clear original headlights
  • The vendor informs us the driver side Floor panel and boot left and right panels need replacement\welding.

Just as with the interior, the exterior of this 280 needs work. It is almost complete, barring the odd bit of trim, the three-pointed star from the front and the panels are most likely original. However, the paintwork has been suffering from the elements and also some damage has been inflicted here and there which has allowed corrosion to set in. Some of the panel edges look a little untidy as they are suffering from the lacquer separating from the base layer, but the roof has received possibly the most obvious surface damage.

 All the lighting is still fitted and the headlamps seem clear and their chrome surrounds are in good condition as are the rear clusters. The vehicle has not been raised to examine the underside closely but from the pictures obtained at ground level, some areas of corrosion can be seen. The factory steel wheels are still fitted and are complete with their colour-coded embellishers.

The Mechanics

  • 2778cc straight six engine with no oil leaks and is bone dry 
  • 4-speed automatic transmission
  • Some evidence of component purchase
  • Visually intact engine
  • Brakes callipers refurbished by Big Red
  • The engine and 4-speed transmission have not been tested

The engine bay is filled with the straight six 2.8-litre engine which looks complete and intact. All the ancillaries are in place including the mechanical injection system. The engine itself along with the surrounding engine bay is a little dirty and there seems to be some evidence of corrosion on some of the components and in the nooks and crannies of the compartment but this to be expected. The engine and 4-speed transmission have not been tested so we can’t comment on the running condition and with that in mind it is only possible to comment on the visual condition of the rest of the mechanical areas and to report that everything is complete. That said, the engine appears to be free of any major leaks of oil, coolant or fuel. 

During the presence of the photographer i drove the car from storage to outside and moved around in the presence of car and the classic photographer.


Time will take its toll on any car and there are many that will disappear completely way before reaching a 50 year milestone. Of course, this car needs more than a simple freshen up, but It represents the halcyon days of German car production and possesses such grace and quality that it deserves to be brought back to its former glory. From a purely financial standpoint, the car may need some investment of time and effort, but that effort would no doubt be rewarded with an increased value as one of the very few RHD 280SEs left for the world to enjoy. 

If ‘How Many Left’ are to be believed there are only 70 of these cars licenced in the UK at the moment and that’s without knowing how many of those are RHD. That alone should be justification for taking this beauty of an automobile on.


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Auction FAQs
Vehicle specification
  • Year 1969
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model SE Series 280 SE
  • Colour Beige
  • Odometer 42,178 Miles
  • Engine size 2778
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Dublin
  • Country Ireland
Bidding history
3 bids
  • Sina j €4,750 19/06/24
  • Tamir €4,650 19/06/24
  • peterta•••• €4,500 19/06/24
Message C&C Auction Team

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