1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SEL 3.5

Rétromobile 2020 - Bonhams
Thursday, 6 February 2020
Not sold at a high bid of
Lot Number
Unrestored Original
Auction House
Chassis No. 10805810006511. Silver over red. 3.5-liter, 200-hp V-8. 4-speed manual. Wheel covers, air conditioning, cassette stereo, and wood dash.

Evaluation: Unrestored original | Ex-Luciano Pavarotti. He kept it in Modena, where it has remained through subsequent ownership. Dull but presentable chrome and brightwork. Severely scratched window frames. Scratched wheel covers. Good, likely original paint. Clean underneath. Tidy interior with clean wood and good upholstery. The manual gearbox is noteworthy and the celebrity ownership adds some cachet. Given how nicely it has been preserved, it’s probably too good to restore.

Bottom Line:  There’s celebrity cachet to this car, but in the car world, Luciano Pavarotti is no Steve McQueen. The rare combination of limo body and manual transmission probably attracts more bidder interest than the connection with everybody’s favorite tenor. It could have gone to a new home at the reported high bid. 1970 Fiat Dino

by Hagerty Insider
1 February 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.