1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 ‘Flachkühler’ (W111) - Manual

*Video at the end of the listing*


  • Top of the range 200hp V8 engine 
  • Excellent resprayed paintwork
  • Manual gearbox and limited-slip differential
  • Matching numbers example
  • One of the 122 fitted with a manual gearbox

The Appeal

The 3.5 was at the top of Mercedes’ W111 range, with its 3,499cc V8 engine producing nearly 200hp it certainly performs well, even on today’s roads. 

This particular example benefits from having received a respray, which remains in great condition, and its interior is luxuriously appointed with plush leather seating and lashings of chrome on the dashboard. It’s a mid-century styling marvel. 

The car appears to have been very well looked after, with plenty of servicing having been completed. So it is now said to drive very well and there are no reported mechanical issues.

In all, this is a very desirable model, which performs superbly and remains supremely suave. It will certainly make the right kind of entrance wherever it goes. 

The History and Paperwork

  • Built and first registered in Italy in March 1970
  • Purchased by the current owner in November 2018
  • Only showing 71,666 recorded miles
  • Original Italian registration document on file
  • Invoices for parts and servicing
  • ASI historic vehicle document

The Interior

  • Excellent leather seats with few signs of wear
  • Stylish door cards in great condition 
  • Well stocked dashboard with walnut veneer

The interior of this 280 is an unapologetically luxurious place to be. Its well padded leather seats exhibit just the right signs of careful use and care, and they look to be supremely comfortable and supportive. 

Excellent carpets swathe the floors and appear to be very well preserved. Similarly, the stylishly designed for cards are free from damage and feature sweeping armrests. Above, the headlining is clean and secure, with no obvious stains or damage. 

The dashboard is leather clad and padded on its upper and lower edges, and features fine-grained veneer on the rest. It appears to be free from damage, fading and lacquer peel and presents very well. The contrasting highly polished chrome fittings are in similarly excellent condition and add a dash of mid-century flair to the cabin. 

A radio, square bezelled clock and ventilation controls adorn the dashboard, along with an instrument cluster complete with bold, clear gauges. The steering wheel features a chrome horn ring and padded centre. And for safety, three-point seatbelts are provided for passengers front and rear. 

To the rear, the spacious boot in lined with ribbed rubber matting and holds the full size spare wheel and jack. The luggage area is particularly clean and tidy, and can swallow a huge number of suitcases. 

The Exterior 

  • Excellent paintwork with a deep shine
  • Very little damage to the paint
  • In great condition underneath

Finished in fetching metallic paint, which suits this Mercedes very well and remains in excellent condition, having previously been resprayed. The only reported damage is a small bubble above the left headlamp and a crack on the rear left corner of the bootlid, and there is a scratch behind the left door. 

The panels look to be in good condition, with no reported damage or corrosion to the body. Similarly, the glass is said to be free from scratches and the rubber seals are good. The chrome is well polished and free from significant pitting, and the lamp lenses remain clear and bright.

The steel wheels retain their original colour matched hubcaps with chrome trim, which look very smart. They wear a set of Vredstein tyres, which retain good tread but are dated 2010. 

The Mechanics 

  • M116 3,499cc V8 engine produces 200hp
  • Suspension components replaced 
  • Limited-slip differential

With its top-of-the-range 3.5-litre V8 engine, this 280 SE was quite something on the roads of Europe in the 1960s. This engine produced a whopping 200hp, which was a huge amount of power for a saloon car in its day. 

Underneath, the running gear appears to be in good condition, with no reports of any corrosion or damage. Some parts have clearly been recently replaced, including springs, shock absorbers and the exhaust. 

We’re told that the car starts easily and runs smoothly, with no unusual smoke after startup and no untoward noises while starting or driving. There doesn’t appear to be any evidence of the engine oil and coolant mixing, and the engine bay itself appears to be very clean and tidy. 


This powerful ‘60s coupé performs supremely well and has evidently been well looked after in recent years. Its resprayed paintwork looks great and it will certainly be a joy to drive. 

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1970
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model 280
  • Colour Metallic Green
  • Odometer 71,855 Miles
  • Engine size 3499
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Biella
  • Location International
  • Country Italy
Bidding history
9 bids from 6 bidders
  • 130_sup•••• €45,000 06/02/23
  • 125p_lo•••• €42,000 06/02/23
  • xa-fu €41,000 06/02/23
  • 125p_lo•••• €40,000 06/02/23
  • 130_sup•••• €32,500 04/02/23
  • elizabe•••• €32,000 03/02/23
  • Captain•••• €31,000 03/02/23
  • bailey.•••• €30,000 02/02/23
  • Captain•••• €20,000 02/02/23

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