This, for us, is the sweet spot of Sixties/Seventies Mercedes Saloons, it is a 1972 Mercedes-Benz 280SEL 3.5 Saloon. So this is the, very rare, Long Wheelbase version with the upgraded 3.5 Litre V8 Engine and Automatic Gearbox. This has none of the mechanical complications of the 6.3 version with all the style and performance. Our car is a Left Hand Drive example supplied new to Japan and finished in Black with Grey Cloth Interior. The car is showing 28k Kms on the clock which has been verified in Japan but must be taken with a pinch of salt, 128k is probably more realistic as the interiors wear so well.
The 3.5-litre version of the 280 SE saloon typifies the resurgence of larger-engined Mercedes-Benz models that began in the late 1960s and early 1970s when the progressive easing of fiscal constraints, which had dissuaded customers from buying cars with large capacity engines, encouraged the German manufacturer to offer bigger, more potent power units. Mercedes-Benz's new 3.5-litre V8 engine had debuted at the 1969 Frankfurt Show in the 280 SE coupé/convertible and the 300 SEL saloon. An over-square design featuring a cast-iron block and aluminium-alloy cylinder heads, each equipped with a single overhead camshaft, this all-new, state-of-the-art M116 power unit produced 200bhp at 5,800rpm courtesy of Bosch electronic fuel injection and transistorised ignition. This was some 40 horsepower more than those models' existing 2.8-litre six, so performance was greatly increased.
From 1971 the new V8 was available in the 280 SE saloon, the marriage resulting in a fast and well equipped 'Gentleman's Express' combining 125mph performance with considerable luxury. Running gear was pretty much state-of-the-art from the time, consisting of independent suspension all round and four-wheel dual-circuit disc brakes. One of the rarer mass-produced Mercedes-Benz saloons - a little over 11,000 being built between March 1971 and September 1972 - the 280 SE 3.5 is today much sought-after by discerning collectors, with the SEL being even rarer.
This is a very nice car, in a lovely original order, she has only had one owner in the UK, is UK registered and will come with a fresh MOT and ready for use!