Keep up to date
Keep up to date with all things Trade Classics, along with new cars.

1971 Mercedes-Benz (W109) 300 SEL 3.5

This vehicle has now been sold - click ‘Register Similar’ below to get notified when we consign a similar vehicle.

Sold Price


  • Mileage~74,000
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Engine3.5L
  • LocationBrighton


1971 Mercedes-Benz (W109) 300 SEL 3.5

Register interest for similar cars


Alan Stuart
Professional Consigner

One of the earlier Q-Cars that the marque has become synonymous with, 3.5L V8 power paired with a 70s luxury cabin.

The W109 is a full-size luxury performance car, for the '70s there were quite a few engine variants for the W108/W109, this example is W109.056 which was produced between 1989 - 1972, powered 3.5L M116 V8 engine and only a total of 9,483 were ever built. Burled walnut dashboard, automatic transmission and powered windows. Also equipped with air suspension, cutting edge for its time.

This W109 300 SEL 3.5 was originally registered in California. Various work was carried out to keep it in the roadworthy and excellent condition you see it in today, most notably though, protection and preventative work along with a complete respray in the original colour in 2018.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Alan after meeting John the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

I love my cars, this era of Mercedes-Benz saloons are so iconic with their V8 engines and luxury ride quality.

John is a proper petrol head, with a special place in his heart for this classic Mercedes-Benz. This "super saloon" is one of his weekend cars, acquiring it some 6 years ago, he was drawn to the unique "Sandbeige" colour and of course the all important M116 power-plant.

John mentioned it's the perfect weekend trip car, but due to lack of use is parting with it. He'll never normally take it out in the rain, but unfortunately we got caught with a little shower during the consignment. Not to worry though, he was ready with his plush drying towels to wipe down before dry storing the 3.5 again. He will be more than happy to answer any of your questions in the comments below.

Vehicle Owner

Ask the Owner



The iconic stacked headlights and chrome trim break up the vast body panels on this saloon.

Wheels and Tyres

Starting with the wheels and tyres, period "Mexican Hat" style wheels on this car, they present in very good condition. The 14" Mercedes wheels appear in great shape all around with no curbing to note, just some very faint scratches on the front wheels.

They're all wrapped in Falken Ziex's that also look great, with plenty of tread left on for the new owner having been fitted in 2018. If we are being really picky, they could be taken to the next level with a deep clean and some tyre dressing.


The bodywork around the car looks excellent as you would expect from a restored example. The panel gaps look great, along with shut lines around the doors, bonnet and boot. John reports that all 4 doors, hang well off their hinges, and shut and open with ease on this luxurious saloon.

We got caught out with a little rain shower during our consignment, however, John was there to wipe down and ensured us the car is always stored dry. There were no signs of any corrosion on the body, and underneath the car, everything looks solid too. The car was treated to rust protection too when resprayed.


The paint really shows off and suits this car, a great choice for this classic Mercedes-Benz giving the car a really elegant look.

The paint has been expertly applied with a deep shine all over, even coverage and colour across all the panels. Please take a look around the car to see the paintwork in a closer light.

Glass and Trim

The glass appears in good condition with no signs of cracking, chips or discolouration. The rubber seals appear in good condition too.

As you would expect for a cherished example, the brightwork is in great condition with no damage or signs of corrosion.


A luxurious saloon, the W109 features wood trim in the interior along with power windows.

Seats and Carpets

We really like the look of this "Cognac" interior, the carpets really stand out being in excellent condition throughout. Lifting them, you'll see the solid bodywork and smart looking soundproofing underneath.

Likewise, the seats look really good, and in line with the rest of the car. The driver seat has signs of wear, particularly on the outer side, John left it as is for a bit of patina.


Being the W109, the dashboard was given a luxurious touch with burled walnut and as you can see it looks in great condition with no cracks or areas of concern.

The gauges, dials, gauges and clocks all appear original and in excellent condition, with all the number and lettering completely legiable. John assures us everything is working as it should.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The original Mercedes-Benz steering wheel along with the very original American '70s column gear shifter fitted, both of which look in excellent condition and in line with the age and mileage of the car.


Listen to the mighty 3.5L V8 burble, these engines are ideal for cruising yet pack a punch when quicker progress is needed.

Engine and Gearbox

Fitted with the Mercedes-Benz M116 V8 engine, it utilized a single overhead camshaft with 2 valves per cylinder and Bosch Jetronic fuel injection. It was produced for 22 years and is very robust and reliable.

The engine produces ~197BHP, enough to propel the 1,575kg 300 SEL 3.5 to a top speed of ~124MPH.

After this 3.5L V8 was first introduced in '69, the sole transmission choice was a four-speed automatic with fluid coupling, John reports that the gearbox operates without any faults.

Suspension and Brakes

The W109 received uprated air suspension, and this particular example had that restored during the mechanical restoration in America.

The brakes were also attended to as well, John reports a smooth and comfortable ride in the SEL, one that stops on demand too.

The Drive

John uses the 300 SEL to cruise around Brighton in style and comfort. The long wheelbase saloon glides effortlessly along the roads, turning heads wherever it goes. It's a looker and goes pretty fast too, John reports.

Electrics and Other

The car is fitted with an aftermarket Alpine Stereo with a cassette player which fits the dashboard without being too proud. Electric windows all round, John reports that all electrics are working as they should to his knowledge.

History and Paperwork

A very attractive imported 300 SEL 3.5, owned and restored with supporting paperwork makes this a very desirable collectable.

Originally a Californian registered car, with all major mechanicals being rebuilt at a cost of over $40,000 in the USA before it was imported. The suspension, timing chain, air bellows, water pump all have been addressed, with new and tyres and brakes fitted. In Johns ownership, he has serviced and maintained the car as needed, with the most notable works completed being the body restoration and respray.

Even coming with its original book pack, spare keys, and "data card" that usually go missing with a car of this era. Please take a look at the paperwork photos and receipts, books and magazine features for a detailed view of the cars history.

We have carried out checks on; Seller ID, V5, HPi.

Are you in the European Union (EU)?
This vehicle is located / registered in the UK that is no longer a member state of the EU as of the 1st January 2021. If you are based in an EU member state, e.g. France, Germany or Spain and you wish to purchase the car and have it imported to your country, then there may be VAT and Customs Duty to pay to your local governmental authorities. Our understanding is that based on the international rules that the UK were subject to whilst being an EU member state, and as an example of importing a car from the USA (a country outside of the EU), then we believe your liability will be circa 5% VAT (some reports of 5.5% from France for example), as the vehicle is over 30 years old, and no Customs Duty percentage, as the car was originally made in the EU, Germany (so not in the UK). However, this is our understanding and the information is not warranted, as such we strongly advise you to check with your own local governmental authorities to confirm the accuracy of this information before placing a bid.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
25.06.2020 MOT 73,952
08.07.2019 MOT 73,720
08.07.2019 Service 73,720
08.11.2014 MOT 69,400
09.04.2011 Imported
Key Details
  • Model300 SEL 3.5 (W109)
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Reg. Date01.01.1971
  • CC3,500
  • Mileage~74,000
  • ColourSandbeige
  • Interior ColourCognac
  • Chassis #10905612002036
  • RestoredYes
  • MOTYes - Exp. 07.07.2021
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • Road Tax ExemptYes
  • HPi ClearYes
  • Former Keepers1 (since UK registered)
  • Tyre BrandFalken
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned6 years
  • Key FeatureCondition

Vehicle Sold

Register your interest for similar cars.

This vehicle has now been sold - click 'Register Similar' below to get notified when we consign a similar vehicle.

Ask Owner
Show Bids Only
£16,000 bid by mercman 05.04.2021 @ 19:05:10
£15,751 bid by phgura 05.04.2021 @ 19:04:53
£15,500 bid by mercman 05.04.2021 @ 19:02:59
£15,251 bid by phgura 05.04.2021 @ 19:02:27
£15,000 bid by mercman 05.04.2021 @ 18:53:39


Does the car have AC and does it work?

£14,250 bid by SterlingMalta 05.04.2021 @ 18:41:51
£14,000 bid by mercman 05.04.2021 @ 17:23:38
£11,400 bid by SterlingMalta 05.04.2021 @ 15:36:00
£9,000 bid by SterlingMalta 05.04.2021 @ 15:32:43
£8,500 bid by Patrickdorrian 05.04.2021 @ 14:43:33
£8,250 bid by phgura 05.04.2021 @ 13:17:41
£8,000 bid by OnlineTraders 05.04.2021 @ 12:43:51
£4,000 bid by tuppennyblue 05.04.2021 @ 11:38:52
£3,333 bid by PCS2020 04.04.2021 @ 19:14:36

Hi has the car been assigned an age related number plate by DVLA or is it that a private plate?

John Thompson
John Thompson

Hi,The car has an age related number given by the DVLA.
The plates came with the car and I liked them so I kept them on.
Thanks for your enquiry.

£3,000 bid by rocky 03.04.2021 @ 15:38:44
£2,500 bid by ecc123 02.04.2021 @ 12:11:46
£1,100 bid by Cossement 29.03.2021 @ 22:47:42
Gudmund Olafsson
Gudmund Olafsson

Hi, during the engine start sequence, the engine sounded like it was running on 7 cylinders. Am I right?


Hi,the engine was cold and with the auto choke it can get a bit lumpy,but once driving all is good.

Gudmund Olafsson
Gudmund Olafsson

Great, thanks for the explanation. Lovely car. I’ll be following this one very closely.


Thanks for your interest.


Vehicle Location


Delivery Calculator

Thank You

Form Submitted

Your request has been submitted successfully and we'll keep you updated.