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Old 04-18-2013, 10:20 PM
sjefke's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 591
I am selling my W111 3.5 4spd coupe


I will be selling my trusted 1970 W111 280SE 3.5 manual transmission coupe. Before putting it up on Craigslist, ebay, cars for sale forum, etc, I want to give members of this vintage Mercedes forum the first dibs on it. I truly enjoyed this forum and its warm community, and know that true enthusiasts reside here that could give it a good home.

So here it goes.

If you ever dreamed about having a factory four speed manual 3.5 coupe for a reasonable price, here is your chance. It needs work to get it to its former glory, but a lot of it is elbow grease (plus a ton of parts are included to use or sell). Or you can just drive it (like I did) and take your sweet time fixing it up. All done, it is a super rare (one of 128?) factory manual shift V8 coupe.

Below are the details of the ad I will be placing. I had to put the spare parts in a separate post due to character length restrictions.

Feel free to send me a PM if you want more info or my phone number.


For sale is my 1970 W111 Mercedes Benz 280SE 3.5 coupe with very rare factory fitted manual four speed transmission, and included in the sale is about $6,000 worth in extra parts As far as I know, only about 128 coupes were ever build that had the 3.5 liter V8 engine with the 4 speed manual transmission. The rest were all fitted with automatic transmissions. In general, finding any V8 powered Mercedes with a manual transmission is rare, and these coupes with the M116 3.5 liter V8 engine and G76/27A manual transmission are super rare and desirable. I was planning to restore this car one day to its former factory glory, so collected many spare parts over the years for it (about $6,000), which are all included with the sale. And this includes an extra spare 3.5 liter engine and 4 speed V8 transmission!

The 3.5 coupes (and convertibles) are the apex of the W111 model line. Basically, you get the wonderful 1960s body design from Paul Bracq (which started with the 220SE coupe) with the modern fuel injected V8 technologies from the 1970s. They make great drivers and you can drive these cars with no problems in current day traffic (I did that for more than 10 years).

The color is Tunis Beige (which is a light gold/champagne color) with cognac leather interior and burl wood veneer on the dash and window surrounds. This is a very nice classy color combination. Especially the burl wood is an added touch compared to the zebrano wood that typically most coupes seem to have. It also has the electric sunroof and power windows.

This car is a European version that was at some point in its life imported to from Europe (there is a sticker on the door post and the original kph speedometer is included). As far as I know, the European (Euro) version has slightly different (higher) engine performance than the US models due to different camshafts and injectors (yellow Bosch type vs blue). It also means that it does not have airconditioning (most Euro versions did not have that).

I made a lot of pictures from the car and its included spares. Car pictures can be found here (139 of them):

MB 280SE 3_5 V8 Coupe 4speed Photos by sjefke2 | Photobucket

Spare part pictures can be found here (missing are pictures of the extra bench and seats - I will add later):

MB_Parts Photos by sjefke2 | Photobucket

Car history
I bought the car over 10 years ago from a garage in the Boston area and drove it down to Atlanta where I live. I have enjoyed it and driven it almost daily for all those years. At some time in its life, the car was imported into the US according to the sticker on the door. From 1992-1994 it was probably driven in Virginia. From 1994-1995 a Mercedes enthusiast owned it in the Maryland/DC area. He sold it to a lawyer in Boston who owned it until 1999 when he traded it in at a dealer, apparently to buy a MB convertible. It went to another dealer, sat for 6 months, and then I bought it in 2002. I drove it down from Boston to Atlanta and have been using it regularly ever since. The car has a clean Georgia title and current registration. It is regularly used to get around town.


When I bought the car, it came with over $16,000 in receipts, including a new radiator, head job, transmission overhaul, and clutch and pressure plate, etc. The new owner will get all these receipts.

I put in brand new brake calipers and discs all around, new clutch master and slave cylinders, new clutch release bearing, new waterpump, new starter, various gaskets/seals, ECU, etc. I also upgraded the car to an Petronix ignition system. The only downside is that the tachometer now is disconnected (Petronix coil and original coil do not interchange due to voltage differences). You can fix that by putting a resistor in the tachometer feed line, but I have not gotten to it.

The car starts and drives very well. I have used it rain or shine and it never let me down (well, once or twice when the fuel pump died, but I replaced it). It pulls very well and has a great V8 bark to it, especially when you rev it up (the M116 is a high revving engine). It smokes a bit when hot when pulling away at traffic lights, which seems to indicate that it may need a valve guide repair. I think it also may need new timing chains. I bought a spare 3.5 liter Euro engine a couple of years ago in case I had to overhaul the engine. The spare engine is included and came from a running car (the owner literally drove it cross country in his coupe with no problem). Again, this spare is a 3.5 liter m116 engine, not a common US spec 4.5 m117 engine that you find at the scrapyards.

Even better, I also have an extra spare manual V8 transmission (also included), plus new spare pressure plate, clutch disk, and master cylinder (all V8 versions – not inline 6), so you get an entire spare engine and transmission system with the car, worth easily $2,000. This extra G76/27A transmission is super rare with its V8 bellhousing and uprated internals.


The car has cognac leather interior with burl wood veneer. It comes with a complete second leather interior set consisting of spare leather seats, rear bench, side panels, door caps, and instrument panel surround. The passenger lower seat has a tear, but the spare one is fine. The rear bench has no rips, but the cover has become detached from its frame at the top. Any upholsterer can easily fix that. The spare bench has a tear in the lower and upper passenger side. The driver seat is shot and the spare also has some tears, but an upholsterer can probably make a good one out of all the leather from the two seats.

Floor mats and sill covers need replacing. They are good enough for driving, but I would invest the $800 in a new carpet set which would upgrade the car immensely.

The leather side panels are in very good condition with no tears, rips, or warped board. And included are extra cognac leather door and rear panels too for both sides.

The dash wood is very good with no cracks. It still has the original varnish on it. I thought about redoing it, but the patina was kind of nice. If you open the glove compartment you can see the original darker brown stain color of the wood and it is absolutely gorgeous. A good wood refinisher should ask you for the inside glove box to match. The leather dash surrounds are clean and have absolutely no tears or rips. And I have an extra cognac leather surround that is included with the car.

The wood front window wood surrounds need complete redoing. Apparently, they were already like this in 1995 (I communicated with the DC owner). Heritage Classics in NC quoted $600 for all that at one point.

The car has a Becker Mexico radio-cassette player with amplifier. Radio works fine (including search features) but cassette does not grab the tapes correctly. You may need to send it into Becker North-America and they can fix that. Clock stopped running a while ago, but included is spare clock. Both have the correct rounded chrome bezel that was different from the early model coupes.

The car has electric windows, which all work. The sunroof motor works, but the mechanism has flipped off the track and needs to be fixed. If you open it, you may not get it closed again.

Chrome is OK. The front bumper has no dents and rust, but the chrome is showing its 40+ years (fine for driving, but not for show). The rear bumper has a hole in the lower right part and a dent in the lower left part. But it is the original coupe bumper and not from a sedan. The window chrome is fair with some pitting. The rear window surrounds are pathetic, but new ones are included. The rear light surrounds have pitting, but I have good ones included with the spares that are not pitted.


The car has spent most of its life in Europe and the North-East, so don’t expect a “California” rust free example. Plenty of rust and holes were present when I bought it. Over the years, most of them have been repaired (welded), but it still needs more bodywork.

The right side floor has been completely replaced with a new MB OEM floor panel. The right side front and rear jack points have been repaired and reinforced, as has the right sill/beam. I made pictures with the car raised by the original MB jack on each of its jackpoints to show that it is structurally sound. The exception is the front left jack point. It still needs the same repair. Jacked up pics are here:

MB_jackedup Photos by sjefke2 | Photobucket

The left floor was not as bad as the right one, but also needs replacing (and new original MB OEM floor panel is included with the car). In the front wheel wells, the front noses of the wheelhouse reinforcement are rusted away and need to be repaired (6 inches). Dirt and salt probably accumulated in there. You can cut those from a scrapped 4.5 sedan and weld them in. The main reinforcement is fine.

Also, at some point some previous owner cut off the ends of the front bumper bar. I have a complete new Mercedes OEM bumper bar that is included with the car.

From a body point of view, the car has had surface rust under the right side rear window, front fenders (a few bubbles around headlights), in trunk rubber channel, around the sunroof, and around the rear window area (probably due to clogged sunroof drains). The rear window chrome surrounds are dinky, but I have new Mercedes OEM chrome window surrounds that are included too, worth over $1,000 by themselves.

The sunroof really needs to be taken out and repainted out of the car. The roof was working fine until a year ago when the left frame popped off its left side track. It is closed and I have not fixed it because it would make more sense to replace the seal at the same time and to do this when the whole car would get a repaint.

Again, you can see the car jacked up using the original MB jack. The chassis has had numerous weld repairs over the years, but the car is still strong.

I would not plan on it being a Pebble Beach concourse winner, but it is a great driver that can thoroughly be enjoyed as a hobby or even daily driver car. And it is also not one of those “barn finds” that need a ton of work just to get them on the road again. The car really needs an interior makeover, body repair here and there (be prepared to weld though) and a complete strip down repaint to give it a much deserving cosmetic boost.

Why am I selling?
Why would anybody sell this kind of a rare car? Well, frankly I don’t have the time anymore to work on this car as I would like to. Plus, we have 5 cars in our garage and I need to make room. My son is about to start driving and I need room for his future car. Due to its length, this coupe eats up the most real estate, so it is time for it to go to a new home where it can be enjoyed and given the much deserved attention.

I am asking $16,000 for the whole lot – car with spare engine, transmission, interior and all other parts. Considering what kind of 3.5 coupes is typically offered in the $8,000-$16,000, this is not a bad deal, imho. You get all you need for a nice project that can be driven too.

The car is sold as-is and buyer needs to come and collect it with all spares. The car can easily drive across country if needed, but you do need a trailer for the engine, transmission, floor pan, bumper bar, and extra interior. Most of the other parts I have managed to stow in the trunk.
'70 111 280SE/c 3.5 (4 spd manual) - sold
'63 MGB
'73 MGBGT V8
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:21 PM
sjefke's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 591
And here is the list of included parts:

Included spare parts:
I was planning to restore this car one day to its former factory glory, so collected many spare parts over the years for it. All these parts, about $6,000 worth of them, are included with the car in the price. The list is given below. Unless stated otherwise, these are all parts that fit the 3.5 coupe.

New parts:

New fuel injection parts ($750+):
• D-Jet fuel injector harness repair kit
• New D-Jet fuel injection harness rubber boot kit
• 8 new fuel injector tip seals (MB part # 116 078 04 73)
• 8 new fuel injector seals (MB part # 116 078 00 73)
• 2 x 3 ft new fuel injector hose (MB part # 107 476 37 26)
• 1 x 3 ft new fuel hose (cloth covered one from gas tank)
• 1 new fuel pump mount rubber (left over from installed new ones) (MB part # 126 988 00 11)
• NOS Bosch master/fuel pump relay (Bosch 0 332 008 002, $222)
• 2 New Bosch Yellow fuel injectors (MB part # 000 078 31 23, $312 each)

New clutch/transmission parts ($750+)
• 1 new pressure plate ($300+)
• 1 new clutch friction plate ($300+)
• New slave cylinder repair kit (MB part # 000 586 18 29)
• New transmission shifter grommet (left over from new installed ones, part # 210 992 00 10)
• NOS clutch master cylinder (FAG) ($100+)
• New MB clutch slave cylinder flex hose (MB part # 000 295 22 35, $40)
• New MB clutch slave cylinder gasket (MB part # 115 251 00 80)
• New MB manual transmission shaft guide tube (MB Part # 005 261 02 43, $20)
• New MB shifter spring (MB part # 182 993 08 01)
• 1 new MB shifter boot (MB part # 123 267 00 97 – wrong for this car)

New brake parts ($250+):
• New ATE brake/clutch fluid reservoir (MB part # 001 431 42 02)
• New ATE brake master cylinder (MB part # 002 430 28 01)
• New set of ATE rear disc pads
• New set of PAGID front disc pads
• 2 new Meyle rubber brake hoses (Meyle # 014 042 00 07 – DB 123 428 05 35)
• 2 remanufactured rear brake calipers (bought those “just in case” – car has new ones fitted)
• 1 new rear brake disk (got one too many at one point)

New Body Parts ($1000+):
• New MB OEM trunk lid rubber (MB part # 111 750 50 77, $145)
• New OEM MB fender mudshield rubber gasket (for both sides – part # 110 884 00 98)
• New OEM mudshields (left and right, MB part # 111 880 5743 and 111 880 5442, $416 total)
• New OEM left side floorpan (MB # 108-616-0167, $214, (right side (110-616-0867) already welded in ($264)))
• Complete OEM front bumper support beam (MB part # 110 620 0786, $323), left and right front bumper brackets included (not installed, but needed for car)
• End piece front left and right (MB Part # 110-611-03-40 and 110-611-04-40, $40)

Miscellaneous new parts ($1000+)
• New MB OEM right rear window top chrome surround (MB part # 111 678 54 30, $515)
• New MB OEM left rear window top chrome surround (MB part # 111 678 53 30, $515)
• New Bosch starter (SR59X)
• New temperature switch for auxiliary radiator fan
• New front outer wheel bearing
• New right side valve cover gasket (MB part# 116 016 06 21)
• 2 NOS MB sunroof switches (MB part # 001 821 06 51, $60 each)
• 3 new hubcaps (unpainted)
• NOS Bosch 11 inch wiper blades

Used parts:
Drivetrain ($1,250+)
• Extra 3.5 liter euro M116 engine ($750)
• Extra 4 speed manual transmission for 3.5 liter V8 engines ($500)

Miscellaneous used parts:
• Original 3.5 coupe kph speedometer (up to 240 kmk/h) – this is the original one that belongs in the car
• Original D-Jet ECU (it has a fault in the fuel pump control, otherwise works fine)
• Original fuel pump (in parts, but with new seals installed)
• Original auxiliary fan surround
• An original MB USA Medical kit (still has contents)
• 2 extra door pulls
• Extra wood shifter (needs varnish)
• Extra clock in parts (but has correct rounded chrome frame)
• Extra interior light
• Extra glove box light switch
• Extra slave cylinder (should be rebuildable)
• 5 extra wheel bolts
• 2 extra interior light switches
• 4 extra red hubcaps
• Used clutch release yoke

Brake system ($200+)
• 2 used rear brake calipers
• 2 used front calipers
• Brake booster and master cylinder combo (also fits 350 SL), >$700 new

Leather ($500-$1000):
• Extra cognac leather front door panels
• Extra cognac leather rear interior panels
• Original front seats (no headrest type)
• Original rear bench (cognac)
• Extra top dash leather (cognac)
• Extra lower dash leather (cognac)
• Extra top door leather caps (cognac)
• Extra rear window top leather caps (cognac)

Chrome (none have dents, $500+):
• 2x Left rear window lower chrome surrounds (one with some pitting, one with excellent chrome)
• 1x Right rear window lower chrome surrounds (some light pitting)
• Left and right rear light chrome surround (good condition – much better than what is on the car now)
• Left and right rear side window chrome part on body
• Left rear top bumper (good chrome)
• Front right top bumper (very good chrome)
• 2 extra headlights complete with surrounds and lamps (fair to good chrome)
'70 111 280SE/c 3.5 (4 spd manual) - sold
'63 MGB
'73 MGBGT V8
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:40 AM
Tony H's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Bandon, Oregon
Posts: 1,050
Wow Bert-so sorry to hear you are selling your coupe. I guess you can only have so many demands on your time. Are you completly out of the Mercedes hobby at this point or do you have someting else in mind? Mine is looking more and more like a retirement project all the time-now I am traveling with my new position and have even less time than I did before. I have found time to work on my 5.6 project but no car to put it in. I tallyed up my receipts and have spent $12000 so far (not including the engine) and it's just a pile of parts. These cars will eat you alive.
BTW-I read 112 3.5 manual coupes were produced. Not sure of the source.
Tony H
111 280SE 3.5 Coupe
Manual transmission

Past cars:
Porsche 914 2.0
'64 Jaguar XKE Roadster
'57 Oval Window VW
'71 Toyota Hilux-Dad bought new
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:37 PM
sjefke's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 591
Hi Tony,

Yes, sometimes life just gets too busy. I am too far off from retirement and hate for the car to be sitting around waiting for that. I still have two MGs right now to play with and may look for some type of large family convertible some day, but for right now I prefer to simplify things a bit. I just don't need the large five seater Benz anymore because we have two full-size family cars already (Audi Q5 and Acura MDX). But it is still a fun beast to drive as you well know. And that massive trunk (now stuffed with parts) has done some great cargo hauling duties (who needs a truck when you have a Benz? ).

I hope you get yours back on the road soon.

'70 111 280SE/c 3.5 (4 spd manual) - sold
'63 MGB
'73 MGBGT V8
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:11 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1

Hi there did you sell it???
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