Throughout the years leading to WWII, Mercedes reigned as an elegant understatement of power, performance, and prestige. In the postwar world, as hard feelings softened— respect for Germany’s unmatched craftsmanship began to gain widespread acknowledgment, acceptance, and respect. Soon, the Mercedes Benz iconic 3-pointed star came to represent a badge of arrival, an object of desire.
In 1957, French-born head of design, Paul Bracq, set about putting his indelible mark on Mercedes styling, which resonate to this very day. Originally favored by bankers and doctors, Mercedes Benz was long considered, merely and rightly, the sedans of sedans. Then, postwar exuberance and freedom drove the desire for more sportive luxury. Bracq began to meticulously evolve the elegant but sober aesthetic of Mercedes-Benz. He refined the roofs, silhouettes, as well as grille size and shape— bringing to fruition the first mini-Mercedes, the sophisticated 190-SL. Bracq then turned his magic to the 230-SL, 250-SL, and iconic 280-SL “Pagoda.”
In 1967, the Mercedes-Benzes we collectively know today as the SE Coupes and Cabs offered a sportier, sexier, alternative to the big four-doors. But, as these babies were larger and roomier than the 280SL, they were more than mere afterthoughts of their sibling sedans. On the contrary, these 2-door 280-SEs embodied an entirely unique, smoother design, while sharing virtually no parts with the sedans, aside from the grille and mechanical underpinnings.
In 1969, more powerful versions of the 280-SE 3.5 Coupé and Cabriolet were introduced—the newly developed 3.5-litre V8 engine with an output of 147 kW excelled in tight, smooth-running characteristics, and blessed the 280-SE with sports car like performance, but with room for four. It was a car that did everything stunningly well. This, in no small part, accounts for the incredible rise in the 280-SE’s value and collectable allure, particularly the coveted Cabriolet— the investment you can literally drive all the way to the bank.
The last 280-SE was produced in January 1971. So, this pristine Horizon Blue Cabriolet epitomizes the pinnacle of the 280-SE art— just one of the 801 precious 280-SEs produced for the US. Possessing an understated, cool and easy elegance— it has a blue leather interior, blue convertible top, 3.5-liter V8 engine, and low mileage. Acquired from a longtime Pebble Beach resident, this beaut boasts only two owners in its rich and pampered life. In this case, love is blue.
For more details about this best-of-breed touring masterpiece, contact Copley Motorcars