Offered at Silverstone Auctions’ sale at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show on November 15, this car is estimated to fetch between £200,000 and £250,000 (($319,000-$399,000). The car is a right-hand drive floor mounted automatic, the rarest of all the variants produced.
Powered by a 201hp 3.5-liter V8, the 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet was Mercedes’ fastest, most luxurious and most expensive convertible at the time. This particular model was purchased by the current vendor in the UK 11 years ago, but it was subsequently exported to Australia.
It underwent a five-year nut and bolt restoration by specialists from Sleeping Beauties in Brisbane, with the owner allegedly spending more than $200,000 to bring the car to its original shape. Following this restoration the car was scored at 95.5 out of 100 by the owner, who himself owns one of the world’s largest restoration companies.
It was then sent it to his own facility for more extensive work, as he wanted to “make it as good if not better than the way it came from the factory.” All chrome work has been re-chromed and the Ox Blood red leather interior was renewed, with matching deep red carpets added.
The engine has been completely rebuilt as well, along with the 4-speed automatic transmission, brakes and suspension. Restoration work also included the renewal of the tight fitting six-layer convertible top and the replacement of wiring and all electrical components. As a result, the owner says the car is currently in concours condition matching the best in the world.
“Not only is this a rare and expertly restored classic car but could prove a fantastic investment. Prices for the more abundant left-hand drive model have topped $425,000 recently,” said classic car specialist and general manager of Silverstone Auctions, Guy Lees-Milne.