1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 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 6 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.

The Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe and Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet were the two flagship models of the range back in the day and only 3270 coupes and 1232 cabriolets were built, the majority of which were left hand drive. We understand that only 245 factory right hand drive Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupes were built. The majority of these cars were sold new into the UK and only a small number found their way to Australia.

Today these cars are highly sought after by enthusiasts and collectors.

Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale an Australian delivered, factory right hand drive 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe.

There is the original vehicle delivery document on file which confirms that this car was delivered on the 10th August 1970 to its first owner a Mr H Payne from Maitland in NSW. It was registered as HP 004. The car retains its original ‘Yorkstar Motors Pty Ltd from 101 William Street Sydney’ delivery tag. The chassis and engine numbers, as noted on the delivery document, match with what is in the car today. The car was originally finished in papyrus white (DB717) with MB Tex red leather upholstery (242).

The data tag confirms the following options: air conditioning (306), automatic transmission, floor shift (420), outside rear view mirror on right (502) and version for Australia (625).

Little is known of the car’s subsequent early history, however, it is understood to have had a long term Sydney owner, a jeweller, through until the mid 2000’s. The car changed hands in 2007 and it passed to its next owner who lived in western Sydney at the foot of the Blue Mountains. Since at least the 1990’s the car carried the NSW registration plate XX940. The current owner acquired the car in 2011 and kept it in storage for a few years before embarking on a full restoration.

The car was stripped back to bare metal for a body restoration which was entrusted to The Vehicle Color Design Centre in Rydalmere, near Parramatta, west of Sydney. The interior was retrimmed by Car Interior Plus in Sydney and the mechanical works completed by MB Spares in Canberra. The restoration took many years and it has only recently been completed.

Today this lovely Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe presents and drives beautifully. The paint was completed some 5 years ago, however, it remains fresh with a high gloss and strong depth of colour. All of the exterior trim, including the chrome, badges, lenses and the glass are all in excellent condition. The only exception is the front right hand indicator lens which is chipped. The panel gaps are all excellent and the car is as clean and fresh underneath as it is on top. As you would expect, the doors shut with that typical Mercedes-Benz ‘thud’, though you have to be firm as the car has all new rubbers. The interior of this car is just spectacular. The upholstery and timber are both beautifully done and everything looks ‘as new’. The steering wheel, instruments and controls also present exceptionally well. Importantly, the instruments and gauges are all in working order. Open the bonnet and you reveal a fresh, clean and well presented engine bay. Inside the boot, everything is ‘as restored’ and there is a boot mat, spare wheel and jack.

Once you get inside the cabin you can’t help but pause and admire the quality of the workmanship. It would be easy to time warp back to the 10th August 1970 and into the shoes of Mr H Payne as he was taking delivery of his fabulous new car. Whilst it would be a great place to watch a movie it is of course about ‘the drive’. Turn the key and the engine starts easily. It is incredibly smooth, even when cold. This car has the desirable four speed floor shift automatic transmission, so select ‘drive’ and away you go. Given the presentation of this car you would expect it to drive exceptionally well. A late 1960’s / early 1970’s Mercedes-Benz is ‘all class’ but a freshly restored and fully sorted example is about as good as it gets. With the V8 under the bonnet you know you’ve got plenty of power on tap when you need it. But even when you push the car hard it just goes about its business in a very businesslike yet very relaxed manner. The ride is incredibly 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. The air conditioning blows ice cold air ensuring this car could quite easily be used as a daily driver or just a fabulous weekend cruiser.

This car was restored as a long term keeper and it shows. It belongs to a major collector and only a change in direction with his collection has resulted in this stunning Mercedes-Benz being offered for sale.

The Mercedes-Benz Type W111 coupes are timelessly elegant cars, however, a 280SE 3.5 Coupe with the V8 engine under the bonnet is the one to have. These cars engage all the senses and are an absolute delight to drive.


– An Australian delivered, factory right hand drive example.
– A beautifully restored car.
– A rolling long term restoration has just been completed.
– ‘Matching numbers’ as confirmed by the original vehicle delivery document.
– A contemporary and original colour combination of papyrus white (DB717) with MB Tex red leather upholstery (242).
– Factory Behr air conditioning.
– A stunning example.


  • -
  • Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe 
  • 1970
  • Coupe
  • Auto
  • 36667 miles
  • 3499cc


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