1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE

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Year:  1971

Miles:  38,293 miles

Model:  W108 280SE 

Exterior Colour:  Papyrus White

Interior colour:  Navy Blue


A truly remarkable W108 280SE with just 38k miles from new, in superb, original and unrestored condition.


It’s a car with an interesting tale. Ordered new in Switzerland for a Mr Corrie, head of Shell Oil in Vietnam at the time, the Mercedes was ordered to a specification that was appropriate for Vietnam. Finished in Papyrus White with navy MB Tex, its optional extras included factory air conditioning, heavy-duty suspension, protective undershielding and safety belts front and rear.

The car actually gets a mention in Louis Wesseling’s book, ‘Fuelling The War’, a study of the oil industry’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

Corrie left Vietnam in 1972 (his successor was Louis Wesseling) and headed back to the UK, bringing the Mercedes with him.  The white Mercedes remained in the Corrie family until 2010. There have been three subsequent owners.


Evidently garaged, cherished and sparing used by Corrie in his retirement and after, this W108 is so unusual in that it remains in entirely original, perfectly preserved condition. The body is superb with zero corrosion. The interior is simply incredible with no signs of wear and still has that freshness of new so hard to find on a 50 year old car.


Driving this Mercedes is something of a revelation. Rarely is there an opportunity to experience a W108 with such a low mileage and in such fine order. It has a taughtness, refinement and willingness of performance that distinguishes it from most examples. Everything works, including the factory installed air conditioning.


All original books and manuals come with the car along a superb history file. This includes its original bill of sale, import/export documentation and all correspondence between MB at the time of purchase.

We carried out a major service along with fitting new period-correct radial tyres 12 months ago (1700 miles covered since) and will be serviced again prior to sale. The car has also been Dinitrol rust-proofed.


This must be one of the lowest mileage and most original W108s remaining, particularly in right-hand drive. It is without doubt a very special car.