1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5

Driving into Summer Online Auction May 2020 - RM Auctions
Thursday, 21 May - Friday, 29 May 2020
Sale Price
Lot Number
Cosmetic Restoration
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
Chassis No. 11102712004198. Light Ivory over burgundy leather. 3499-cc, 230-hp V-8, floor-shift automatic. Wheel covers, narrow whitewalls, Behr air conditioning, Becker Europa radio.

Evaluation: Cosmetic restoration | Bought new by Arizona Congressman John C. Pritzlaff, Jr. Single family ownership until 2016. Originally had a blue interior. The paint and chrome look show-ready, and the interior is excellent. Detailed engine bay and underbody. Clean, straight convertible top. Never fully restored, but it received everything it ever needed. Located
in California.

Bottom Line: Mercedes-Benz built, largely by hand, just over 1200 280 SE 3.5 cabriolets from late 1969 to mid-1971, and they are seriously coveted by collectors who value their style, quality, performance, and comfort. This might not be a 100-point show car, but it’s a very good one, and it sold in the middle of its estimate range at a perfectly fair price. It sold for the similar sum of $291,500 at Quail Lodge in 2016.

by Hagerty Editor
1 May 2020
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.