This 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Cabriolet “Low Grille” comes finished in Gray Blue Metallic (916) over Blue Leather (206) and is powered by a 2.8-liter inline-six mated to a four-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels. An extensive restoration with over $50k in receipts was undertaken in 2015 with maintenance items including a new steering box, new transmission modulator, a front crankshaft seal and a new top. Factory equipment includes power windows, manually-adjustable front seats, a Becker Grand Prix radio, front defrosters, two-speed windshield wipers, an automatic antenna and four-wheel disc brakes. Now showing just under 27k miles (TMU), this 280SE Cabriolet is offered for sale by the selling dealer with the original manufacturer’s literature, the original tool kit and a clean Tennessee title.
The exterior is finished in Gray Blue Metallic (916) with a blue fabric soft top and chrome trim lining the bumpers, side sills and windshield frame along with dual chrome exhaust tips. A new top seal header was installed in April 2015. Vertically-stacked quad headlights are mounted up front framing the later-style low grille. Exterior equipment includes an automatic antenna, a driver-side door mirror and two-speed wipers with a windshield washer system. The seller reports that the car shows no signs of rust or prior damage with paintwork reportedly performed during the restoration.
14” wheels wear paint-matched caps with chrome lips and come fitted with Michelin Symmetry tires measuring 195/75. Date codes on the tires are from 2002 and 2003. A full-size spare is mounted in the trunk along with the factory tool kit and jack. The 280SE features dual-wishbone front suspension with swing axle rear suspension and power-assisted disc brakes on all four corners.
The cabin is upholstered in Blue Leather (206) with polished wood trim lining the dashboard and A-pillars. Both front seats offer manual adjustability fore and aft with reclining seat backs. Interior appointments include heating and ventilation with a front defroster, electric power windows, three point seatbelts, a cigar lighter, a folding center armrest, a lockable glove compartment, a dash-mounted clock and a Becker Grand Prix radio.
The two-spoke steering wheel frames analog instrumentation consisting of a 160-mph speedometer, a 7k-rpm tachometer and gauges for fuel level, oil pressure and coolant temperature. The mechanical odometer shows 26,538 miles (TMU).
This W111 cabriolet is powered by a 2.8-liter inline-six which is rated for 160 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a column-shifted four-speed automatic transmission. Additional maintenance items from April 2015 include a new steering box, new transmission modulator and a new front crankshaft seal. The seller notes that extensive service records are included with the car.
This 280SE Cabriolet is said to have spent the majority of its life in Pompano Beach, Florida before moving to Tennessee when it was later purchased by the selling dealer in 2023. The car is said to have no prior accident or damage history. This 280SE Cabriolet is now offered for sale by Frazier Motor Company in Lebanon, Tennessee with the original owner’s manual and service book, the original tool kit and a clean Tennessee title which has been reassigned in the dealer’s name.
The last of the coach-built Mercedes, the W111 coupe and cabriolet were first offered in 1961 as the 220SE with a 2.2-liter inline-six which would be enlarged twice over the years with the 2.8-liter 280SE launched in 1967. A facelift for the 1970 model year included rubber strips on the front and rear bumpers, new tail light lenses and most notably, a lower front grille. This lower front grille was given the German name “flachkühler” with the 1970 and ‘71 model years referred to as “Low Grille” cars. With just 1,390 examples of the six-cylinder 280SE Cabriolet produced globally, and even fewer with “Low Grille” styling, these full-size convertibles have seen a significant increase in interest from collectors in recent years. This example comes finished in a superb Gray Blue metallic paint and has received over $50k in restoration work. For a collector looking to add one of the most sought-after classic Mercedes of all time to their garage, this example presents an excellent opportunity and is sure to provide many more enjoyable miles to its lucky new owner.
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