1971 Mercedes Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet – Factory Prototype

Copley Motorcars

Copley Motorcars is offering this Mercedes Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet – Factory Prototype for sale. 


1971 Mercedes Benz 280SE 3.5 cabriolet

050 White with red leather

Serial Number 11102510002797

– factory pre-production prototype

– used to homologate the 3.5 V8 cabriolet

– floor shift automatic transmission

– factory original colors

This very special 280SE 3.5 cabriolet was built in May of 1969 and began life with a low-grille and the M130 2.8 litre 6 cylinder engine. With the 3.5 cabriolet model soon to go into production, a test vehicle was needed to homologate the model and receive certification from the German TUEV – Technischer Ueberwachungs Verein.

This 050 White cabriolet was just such a 280SE cabriolet and then outfitted with the 200hp 3.5 litre V8 engine. A letter is on file from Mercedes Benz confirming the authenticity of this important 3.5 cabriolet. The 050 White 3.5 cabrio would go on to be sold by the Mercedes Benz factory in August of 1970 to one of their dealers in Holland, and then make its way to the states in 1985. Spending just a short time in Pennsylvania, the 3.5 would be in an enthusiast’s collection in suburban Boston from 1986 – 1999. During that time, significant restorative work was performed with marque specialist, Hatch & Sons Automotive.

Later in 1999 the 3.5 would be sold into the collection where Copley Motorcars offers it from today, with continuing work performed both with Hatch & Sons early on, and then with Jim Cosgrove’s OldTimer Restoration Center. Nearly 400,000 of all variants – sedans, coupes, and cabriolets – were built on the W111 chassis from 1959 – 1971, with a mere 1,282 280SE 3.5 V8 cabriolets produced.

The 3.5 cabriolet the ideal model to close the chapter on the now iconic W111 chassis and considered the very last of the “hand builts.” Showing and driving beautifully today in its original colors of 050 White with red leather, red rugs, black convertible top and ivory steering wheel, and of course fitted with our beloved tri-color Coco Mats, this 050 3.5 cabriolet a most special example and a true part of Mercedes Benz history.

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Copley Motorcars was established by Stu Carpenter in 1995. Working for other luxury and sportscar dealers in Boston since 1986, Stu has gained a longterm-experience in offering exceptional products at a fair price making the acquisition of a classic and luxury car as easy and as enjoyable as possible. The team at Copley Motorcars has a particular affinity for vintage Mercedes Benz, Ferrari and Land Rover Defender but also other blue chips such as 289 Cobra, BMW Z8 and Porsche 959. Since the market for these cars is a worldwide one, Copley Motorcars ships worldwide and can easily assist with the logistical arrangements. December 2019 marked Copley’s 24th year of buying and selling sports and classics. Their showroom is located in the center of Needham, about 15 miles west of the City of Boston. Copley has an interesting, some would say eclectic, mix of classic cars always on offer and find something to love about each and every one. And because Copley Motorcars is a smallish “boutique” type dealer, their classic cars don’t necessarily run out the door. A new arrival could be there for a day, a week or even six months. That said, all of their classics are different one to the next and are being looked at throughout the USA and the world. If you see a car you like and want to buy it, please contact copleycars@gmail.com. If you see a car and want to think about it, terrific too. But please, please, please assume that someone else is looking at the very same classic you are interested in so, if it gets sold, they do their very best to find another for you.