CALIFORNIACLASSIX 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 3.5

For sale: 1971 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Technical specifications

Item location:
Ventura, California, United States
Vehicle Title:
Contact the seller / ! Report


An all original 1971 Mercedes 300SEL 3.5, ow for auction on eBay! Swiss Diplomat Owned: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 3.5 Please wait a few moments while our high-resolution photos load.

Looking to the casual observer like a bread-and-butter 280SEL, he 300SEL is a wholly different animal. Available with either a 3.5 or a 6.3 V8 engine, hese long wheel base sedans are equipped with the air ride suspension of the "Grosser" Mercedes 600 and loaded with every conceivable option of the period. No other car could hold a candle to these limo-like Autobahn stormers, ot even a Rolls Royce or Bentley.

Mouse Over the Photos to Enlarge.

This European-spec 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 3.5 was privately imported by a Swiss diplomat who resided in West Hollywood. He sold the car in 1983 to the second owner, lso from Los Angeles, ho kept the long-wheelbase sedan for the next three decades until we were able to acquire it from him recently.

The 300SEL is highly original; it looks stunning with its "Dunkelblau" (dark blue, ode #904) livery and gray velour interior. Perfectly rust and accident free and superbly maintained all of its life, t still has a presence that will make valets jump out of their chairs and fight for the privilege to park the car in a front-row spot.
Why, h why did Daimler-Benz quit making automobiles of distinction like this 300SEL?

The luxurious 300SEL 3.5 was the only one of the 3.5 sedans that was offered in the U.S. Between 1969 and 1972, ust 1,039 such cars were sold here. How many - or few - might have survived?

Both German and English-language manuals accompany the car.

Clean engine bay houses Mercedes' renowned "M116" SOHC V-8 of 213 capacity.

200 horespower - a number that was almost unheard of for a German car of the early Seventies. This particular motor, ith its bullet-proof BOSCH electronic fuel injection, tarts easily and runs strong, ithout any bad habits to report.

300SEL's timeless, pright, eutonic-flavored coachwork has withstood the test of time admirably. There are no dents, ings, r scratches, nd the Dark Blue paint, hough decades old, resents very well indeed, isplaying a lovely patina. We checked for any damage or body filler with our German paint measuring device and found none. Best of all, here is not a single rust bubble anywhere, ither.
Note the chromed window surrounds, hallmark of the 300SEL.

Electric sunroof, quipped with a rare WEBASTO accessory wind deflector. It all works perfectly, nd the car's headliner and sun visors are in perfect condion as well.

The days where a Mercedes Benz cockpit would impress with its unmistakable design, veritable symphony of chrome, ood, akelite and other durable materials, re in the distant past. Only remarkable survivors like this fine SEL let us relive the glory days.

Those finely detailed VDO and Kienzle instruments are in a league of their own, n form as well as function. Incomparable!

Seldom seen stateside: plush gray velour upholstery, eminiscent of first-class accommodations in the pre-WWII Deutsche Reichsbahn.

From the real walnut wood accents gracing the velour-clad door panels to the luggage nets fastened to the seat backs, t's the many small details that made the difference in creating a luxuriously equipped sedan. The 300SEL 3.5. was a truly expensive car back then, elling for $14,121 in 1971, oughly the price of five (5) brand-new Dodge Darts or seven (7) brand-new Volkswagen Beetles!

The "L" in 300SEL denotes the sedan's long wheelbase, ith the four extra inches of length affording the rear compartment occupants plenty of leg room.

Note rear fog light and amber turn signal lenses, ound only on Euro-spec cars.
We're ready for a test drive now, ut let's check out the Daimler "in depth" first, hall we?

To quote a leading Presidential candidate, he SEL's trunk space is "yuuuge!"

Rust free tunk floor, riginal spare and jack.

Having spent almost all its life in dry and warm Southern California, here's no corrosion to be found underneath the Benz. Actually, here's even some of the factory-applied, rayish Cosmolene wax remaining on various components. Not too often do you see such a nice, nmolested undercarriage on a 45 year-old Mercedes, s rust was enemy No. 1 of the non-galvanized, argely unprotected sheet metal.

Thursday, arch 17 - St. Patrick's Day - was a fine opportunity to show off the big Mercedes and take a few pictures along the road. We were headed to our favorite pub, argan's in downtown Ventura, or a pint of green beer.

Driving the big 300SEL is much like driving a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, ut without the vagueness of the Brit's brakes and steering. This Mercedes drives like it runs on rails. Due to its advanced air suspension perhaps, t is tight and precise in every handling aspect. It shares with the Rolls solidity, oundness, nd the feeling that nothing can harm or affect it at any speed or in any situation.

These cars were a common sight on the German Autobahn well into the 1990s; big, igar-chomping huns inside, oud pedal firmly pressed to the firewall (the uniquely German adjective Vollgasfest - "capable of permanent full throttle" comes to mind), asily keeping the speed up around 200km/h, henever traffic allowed. Knowing that the 3.5-liter engine holds 8 quarts of oil, lmost twice the life-juice of a comparably-sized US motor, rovides the peace of mind that it won't be thermally challenged.

Returning home, e are once again enthralled with the vintage Mercedes' amazingly modern, ight performance. They sure don't make 'em this rock-solid anymore.

Like a time machine, riving the 300SEL takes you back to another era, here prestige, ower, nd West German solidity went hand in hand. Where the purchase of a Mercedes ranked as a long-term investment. In fact, ntil a few years ago, hese indestructible W109 sedans were still frequently seen around Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive, legant Ladies (and Gents) emerging from their well-kept youngtimers to frolic in the upscale etablissements . . .
These folks surely could have afforded to purchase a brand-new Mercedes-Benz every year, ut the old W109 was just too good a car to trade in. It was made to last forever.

You are most welcome and encouraged to view this fine automobile in Ventura, y appointment, uring the auction, r have someone inspect it for you. Please, erform your due diligence before you bid.

Please, ote that this car is currently advertised on our Web site and on display in our Showroom. We reserve the right to accept a satisfactory offer and close this auction at any time.

Please, irect all inquiries to or call us at 805-653-5551.

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  • If you have any questions, lease ask them before you bid. After the auction has ended, he sale is final.
  • Please, nly bid on this car if you are serious about owning it and have the necessary funds readily available!
    We require a $1,000 deposit to be paid via PayPal within 24 hours of the end of the auction and the balance to be paid via bank wire transfer (or in cash) within 5 business days, nless other arrangements have been agreed upon during the auction.
  • The car comes with a clear California Certificate of Title. It is smog exempt and sold "as is, where is" with no warranty stated or implied. Mileage stated above is the current odometer reading.
  • You fully understand that you are not bidding on an "option to buy" this vehicle. You bid to own! There are no contingencies.
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