The Mercedes-Benz W111 series replaced the large pontoon models in 1959 and provided the technical basis for the Mercedes models until the end of the 1960s. The new series offered a level of passive safety never seen before and was one of the first vehicles ever to feature a stable passenger cell and defined crumple zones.
On February 24, 1961, Mercedes-Benz presented the coupé version of the W111 series with the 220 SEb/C at the opening of the Mercedes-Benz Museum. In contrast to the saloon, the rear fin of the coupé was now much less pronounced and the car had a somewhat lower and more elegant body. The 220 SEb/C was also the first Daimler-Benz model to be equipped with disc brakes on the front axle as standard.
With the large, luxurious coupés and convertibles the amount of manual labor was about 4 times higher than on the saloons, and apart from the 600, which was being phased out, it was the last Daimler-Benz model where so much was still made by hand. In addition to the high quality of workmanship, however, this also led to very high costs, which is why a 1970 280 SE 3.5 Automatic Cabriolet, for example, was considerably more expensive at DM 37,351.50 than a 280 SL Pagoda for DM 26,640.
In September 1969, the W111 Coupés and Cabriolets series was crowned with the completely newly developed 3.5 l V8 engine with 200 PS (147 kW) – a significantly more powerful version than the previous 280 SE and 300 SE variants.
In addition to its power, the new V8 was particularly distinguished by its smooth running. It enabled the new top model to achieve driving performance at sports car level. Stylistically, the new models were slightly revised, for example, the radiator grille was about seven centimeters lower and wider and the bonnet was flattened towards the front. This characteristic feature gave the car the popular name “low grille”, which is still used today. Another change concerned the bumpers, which were now fitted with rubber strips. Externally, the eight-cylinder models could not be distinguished from the well-maintained six-cylinder models, which were now also delivered with the “low grille”.
Particularly as an elegant convertible, there is hardly any comparable vehicle that offers as much as the 280 SE 3.5 litre convertible at such a high level. First of all, it is a very rare and exclusive Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet, largely built by hand, which has only been produced 1,232 times. Then it is a fast and reliable touring car that can be driven in traffic without any problems even today. And it is one of the few cabriolets with five seats. The steering column shifter even gives the opportunity to register it for 6 passengers.
This car offered by us was ordered in 1969 by a Bielefeld entrepreneur from the local Mercedes-Benz dealer Kirstein & Sauer and then registered on April 15, 1970.
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