This luxurious model was the last of the hand-built Mercedes. Only 13 cars per week rolled off the production line. These cabriolets and coupes are true classics. Unlike other automobiles, these cars were classics the day they rolled off the production line, and have remained so ever since. The 280 SE 3.5 convertible is a definite collectible because of it's power and grace, and also because of the grille, which is lower and wider. They are elegantly trimmed out with leather and hardwood veneer in the dash.
The introduction of the 280SE 3.5 model, the grille and bumpers were modified somewhat. There was also a higher specification, with automatic transmission (the gearlever was now mounted on the central tunnel and not on the steering column anymore), electric windows lifts, air conditioning and a stereo radio as standard. The sealed-beam headlights shown here in these two pictures were not standard but were necessary to meet American safety requirements.
Yet none of this could disguise the fact that the W111 Coupé shape was beginning to show its age after almost 10 years of production. Mercedes did consider to install the new 4.5 liter V8 but this was considered too expensive to be justifiable for a low-volume, time-expired design so this plan was forgotten very quickly. So it was that the 280SE 3.5 was only produced for only two full seasons and, in the middle of 1971, both it and the 280SE were withdrawn form the Mercedes range.