One of the most desirable and collectible Mercedes-Benz cars ever, the 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Cabriolet was something special, in almost every aspect. For starters, it was incredibly rare, despite its popularity, and dreadfully expensive, in great part because of all the work that had to be done by hand. It was also a proper, four-seat convertible, and we all know that those aren’t exactly common, no matter what the brochure says! Even tough its lines were a little too classic and a bit dated, even when the car was in production, it had fantastic appeal, and most of the 2,000 or so units that were produced are still in one piece, which is pretty remarkable.
The other remarkable things about the 280SE Cabriolet was its engine. It had a newly-developed overhead camshaft V8, with a 3.5-liter displacement, that produced a very impressive 200 horsepower, delivered to the rear wheels courtesy of a four-speed manual transmission. Other cars in the line, notably the 300SE had air suspension, but in the case of the 280SE, it was decided to go with more traditional steel springs.
Whatever they did, it worked: the 280SE Cabriolet was a fast car indeed, with a top speed of 127 miles per hour, and a 0-60 time of 9 seconds. Moreover, it drove and handled very well. The 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Cabriolet was a truly exceptional car, and is still appreciated as such to this day.