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This 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet is the antidote to gloomy weather

Driving a $500,000 Benz around German vineyards will put a smile on your face.

Daniel Golson
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1 of 21 Daniel Golson/Roadshow

This 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet is for sale through Benz's All Time Stars program, and I spent a morning driving it around the town of Stetten just outside Stuttgart, where there are lovely roads, vineyards and torn-down castles.

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2 of 21 Daniel Golson/Roadshow

All Time Stars offers classic cars for sale directly from Mercedes, some of which have been restored by Mercedes-Benz Classic.

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3 of 21 Daniel Golson/Roadshow

This particular 280SE is part of the mid-tier Collectors Edition range, cars that are in exceptional original condition or have previously been restored.

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4 of 21 Daniel Golson/Roadshow

The 280SE 3.5 was powered by a 3.5-liter V8 with 197 horsepower, sitting at the top of the range above the standard 280SE with its 158-hp 2.8-liter inline-6.

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5 of 21 Daniel Golson/Roadshow

With only 1,232 cabriolets sold between 1969 and 1971 the 280SE 3.5 is rarer even than the 300SL convertible.

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6 of 21 Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Despite the V8 with its 210 pound-feet of torque, the 280SE is slow, taking over 9 seconds to hit 60 mph. It'll top out at nearly 130 mph, though.

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7 of 21 Daniel Golson/Roadshow

This particular 280SE was fitted with power steering and brakes, a four-speed automatic transmission, and niceties like power windows and a Becker radio.

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8 of 21 Daniel Golson/Roadshow

When I got in this 280SE had just over 70,000 kilometers on the odometer, and it had received a genuine remanufactured engine in 1990.

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9 of 21 Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Mercedes is asking around $500,000 for this car, and it's not even close to the most expensive W111 for sale through All Time Stars right now.

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10 of 21 Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Oh, and I got it stuck in the mud. Keep swiping to see more photos of this gorgeous cabrio.

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