1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Coupe
Following the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Europe’s car industry was decimated. In Germany both Daimler and Benz went back to producing cars post-war, however, times were tough. A merger between Daimler and Benz would ensure that both companies survived and following a technical co-operation agreement in 1924, the companies formally merged on the 1st July 1926. Mercedes-Benz was born!
Subsequently, Mercedes-Benz went on to build some of the greatest cars of all time. The cars from Stuttgart bearing the three-pointed star all had one thing in common . . . they were renowned for their technical innovation, build quality, luxury and performance.
In 1951 Mercedes-Benz introduced the Type W187 220 Series cars, which was the first model to be powered by a six-cylinder engine post World War II. This model was a great success and built in relatively big numbers. In the 1950’s Mercedes-Benz produced one of the greatest cars of all time – the iconic 300SL Gullwing and 300SL Roadster. Whilst fabulous sporting cars, they were very expensive and generally sold to the rich and famous. The Type W186 and Type W189 300 series four door luxury tourers were built alongside the Type W198 300SL Gullwing and Roadster and they were indeed fabulous cars in their own right, though still very expensive. Mercedes-Benz wanted to build full sized luxury cars that were ‘more affordable’ than the Type W186 and Type W189 300 series cars, so the Ponton range of cars (Type W120/W121/W105/W180/W128) filled that void nicely.
In 1959 Mercedes-Benz introduced the Type W111 as a successor to the very successful Ponton. The Type W111 was built as a sedan, coupe and convertible with many different engine configurations. The sedans were sold in big numbers all over the world, however, as has been the tradition with Mercedes-Benz the two door and convertible cars were built in far smaller numbers and carried a significant price premium. The majority of the Type W111 models were powered by a six-cylinder engine of varying capacity, ranging from 2195cc (220 series) through to 2778cc (280 series). In 1969 Mercedes-Benz introduced a new 3499cc V8 engine which they fitted to the Type W111 coupes and cabriolets.
In total, Mercedes-Benz built 28,918 Type W111/Type W112 coupes. One of the rarest models was 280 SE, which was powered by a 6 cylinder 2,778cc engine. In total, 3,797 280 SE’s were built, of which only 150 were factory right hand drive. It is understood that only 56 cars were delivered new in Australia.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a beautiful and rare Australian delivered, factory right hand drive 1969 Mercedes 280 SE Coupe.
The car retains its original book set and the service book confirms this is a ‘matching numbers’ car. The option code plate confirms this car remains in its STUNNING original colour, ‘bronze brown metallic’ (colour code 461). It also confirms that the car was originally equipped with Behr air conditioning (option code 306), has power steering with floor shift automatic transmission (option code 426) and this is an Australian delivered car (option code 625).
This particular example was delivered new to AR Green in Launceston, Tasmania on 1st May 1969 and was first registered as WGM 444.
It’s understood Green kept the car until either late 1981 or early 1982. By that time the car had travelled around 41,000 miles according to its service book. The car then found its way to Melbourne and it was registered in Victoria as BGQ 913. The car was used sparingly before changing hands again in 1984. The service book confirms the mileage around the time of sale at 83,958 genuine miles. It remained in Melbourne and with its then owner through until 1997. At some stage during this ownership the registration was changed into DJH 470. The car was then sold through Shannons in February 2005 and at that time the odometer showed 116,459 miles. In 2013 the car changed hands again and it found its way to Sydney where it was registered on club registration as 60856H. A prepurchase inspection was done and the invoice for that notes the mileage as 131,686 miles. The current owner acquired the car in mid 2019, where it joined an eclectic and significant collection of cars.
There is an extensive history file with this car. There are receipts dating back to 1983 and the service book has been religiously and meticulously stamped from the day the car was delivered to its first owner back in 1969. The receipts confirm the engine was rebuilt in December 1997 by R&M Boys Pty Ltd at 85,312 miles. The gearbox was replaced in October 2000 with a reconditioned second hand unit. From August – October 2006 the car was given a refresh. The interior was restored by Australian Leather Restorations and a number of other miscellaneous jobs done to improve the overall presentation of the car. Most notably the front grill and headlight surrounds were rechromed.
Today this car presents beautifully. The Paul Bracq designed Type W111 coupes are elegant and timeless ‘works of art’. However, colour maketh the car and a ‘bronze brown metallic’ Mercedes-Benz 280 SE Coupe is about as good as it gets in our opinion! The paint work is bright and it has a deep gloss finish. From say a meter it looks exceptional, however, on a closer inspection there are a few scratches, defects and small stone chips which have been touched up. The glass, chrome and the lights/lenses are all in good condition. The panel gaps are excellent and everything opens and closes exactly as they should on a very well cared for classic Mercedes-Benz.
The interior of a 1960’s Benz is businesslike but like the exterior, also very elegant. You slide in behind the steering wheel and can’t help but be impressed with you surroundings. Everything just feels ‘right’. The seemingly delicate white steering wheel contrasts the timberwork perfectly. The upholstery, carpets, head lining and timberwork are all in very good condition and essentially ‘like new’. The internal door handles and grab handles look to be original and are showing some wear. The instruments and controls are all ‘crisp & clean’ and in working order. Whilst the air conditioning is working, the air is not as cold as it should be, so it most likely needs a regas. The car has lap seat belts fitted front and rear.
The engine bay is very clean and well presented. The boot looks to be original and remains neat and tidy. There is a boot mat, spare wheel and jack.
Driving a Mercedes 280 SE is an experience. Turn the key and the engine fires up straight away. This lovely old Mercedes-Benz has the desirable four speed floor shift automatic transmission, so select ‘drive’ and away you go. Out on the open road you quickly forget you are driving a 52 year old car. Everything is so refined. The car just goes about its business in a very businesslike yet very relaxed manner. The ride is smooth and the car just glides along the road without any fuss. The power steering is perfectly balanced – it’s not too light and it’s not too heavy. You turn the steering wheel and the car just follows in the direction you want it to go. Similarly, apply the brakes and the car pulls up in a very considered manner. It is ‘all class’!
The engine feels strong, the gearbox changes gears smoothly and you feel very comfortable in the car. Despite its age this car has no issue keeping up with modern day traffic and would have no problem driving from Brisbane to Sydney.
Today the odometer reads c37,000, which the service book confirms as c137,000 genuine miles.
The car has sat in a static collection for some time. Whilst its starts easily and drives well it would benefit from a service.
The car is now ready for a new owner who, we are sure, will enjoy driving this car.
- Australian delivered, factory right hand drive example.
- Matching numbers.
- Full books, including a stamped service book from day one.
- Finished in the most STUNNING and original colour scheme of ‘bronze brown metallic’ (colour code 461) with a cream interior.
- Factory Behr air conditioning (option code 306) & power steering with floor shift automatic transmission (option code 426).
- Travelled only c137,000 miles from new.
- A beautifully presented and driving example.
- Mercedes-Benz 280SE Coupe
- c137,000 miles