Reader Submissions: Mercedes-Benz 280SE Reflects Appreciation for German Engineering

Mercedes-Benz 280SE Reflects Appreciation for German Engineering

By Petrolicious Productions
February 10, 2014
8 comments

Former Owner and Photographer: Rui Vieira Esteves

Year, Make, and Model: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

This is a slightly different “Your Car” feature because the gentleman who emailed us, Mr. Rui Vieira Esteves (owner of a previous feature, the 1970 Boss 302 Mustang), no longer owns it, but more on that in a moment. Rui is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Brewers & Union, an international craft-brewing company. His former daily driver reflects the artisanal nature of his business – small batch Bavarian brewing and precise German engineering seem to go hand in hand, a celebration of Old World aesthetics and processes. He grew up watching his dad race a Mini Cooper S, but this Mercedes-Benz was Rui’s first vintage German car and he fell in love with the smooth ride and the solid build quality.

Rui needed a four-door daily driver at the time and was unwilling to buy a modern “appliance.” He had a friend who knew the guy selling it, who was only the second owner.

It was an easy daily driver right until Rui sold it, with air-conditioning that worked like an icy dream. He most enjoyed getting dressed up in his Sunday best and touring South Africa’s wine country, though. Recently, however, Rui sold the car to a friend who bought it as a gift for his dad’s sixtieth birthday. According to Rui, “When he gave him the car, his old man was in tears.” Looking at the pristine Benz, it’s easy to understand why.

Want to see your vintage car on Petrolicious? Click here for more information.

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ibast
ibast
3 years ago

I’ve got a 67. Was a 250, but when I got it it had a 2.8 in it. Great car to work on and drive. I’m cutting rust at the moment and putting the v8 in it.

Pete Engel
Pete Engel
3 years ago

A stately car. Solid. Still underappreciated here in the States, one day folks will realize how well these were built.

PDQ
PDQ
8 years ago

When I was in high school in the late 1970’s, a neighbor had a 1969 or ’70 280S w/under dash air like this one and it was painted ivory like this one but with the chocolate brown (or black?) MB Tex upholstery. It had about 120k miles on it when I was detailing and driving it (after I washed and dried it, I got to take it for a spin to “blow the water out of the cracks”). It was a rock-solid car with respectable get up and go. Even though it had a smaller engine than the ’63 300SE cabriolet down the street, it was MUCH faster and the sedan’s body and suspension was much tighter than the 300’s cabriolet body and air suspension. The 280’s tranny was much better too. It gave clean, crisp shifts that the slushbox in the 300 couldn’t come close to matching.

Neither one of them held a candle to the ’71 280SE 3.5 cabrio though. For a 17 year old kid, THAT car was a KICK to drive!

Levi Almeida
Levi Almeida
8 years ago

Oh An Portuguese being featured in Petrulicious, now that is awesome!
Congrats, that Mercedes is gorgeous!

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
8 years ago

Looks great. The wheels look like they are from the 80’s but give it a nice hot rod vibe.

Andreas Lavesson
Andreas Lavesson
8 years ago

I’ve never been a Mercedes fan really. I always though they were too big, too floppy and more a granddad-kind-of-car. However, I’ve recently come to respect and in some cases desire their cars. Actually, I think Petrolicious is to “blame” with their videos and articles about some amazing examples, including this one.

While still being quite young I guess I’ve outgrown the days of no suspension for the sake of “race car” and 1000 hp. You can have just as much fun with 100 and some hp (or less) and a luxurious suspension. It’s not all about carving corners at a fast pace.

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle
8 years ago

Personally this is not my favorite Mercedes-benz but if there is any car that can show authority and curcumstance i cant find no car that does it better. :p

Emanuel Costa
Emanuel Costa
8 years ago

Very nice car(s), and very nice to see a fellow portuguese featured in Petrolicious!!!

Would love to try one of your beers in Lisbon!