Mercedes-Benz 280SE Reflects Appreciation for German Engineering
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.
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