Ok guys. Here's the deal.
I have a 1975 280S W116 that I acquired with my uncle in hopes to restore it to good quality.
It has 79k miles on it, bought it with 77k miles on it, and I am the 4th owner. It's a intricate story as to how this car changed hands so I don't want to waste too much time, but we confirmed the mileage was accurate.
Anyway, the previous owner had the car sit for a year and so there was some mechanical work needed.
I did a complete tune up, repaired the vacuum pump which caused oil to leak into the exhaust manifold, and now the car is running and driving great.
I drove it all summer and enjoyed every minute. However, the car still needs work. It could probably use some brake and suspension work, but most of all it needs a paint job. There are some rust bubbles, but the reason whY I jumped on this one was because there was virtually no rust on the car. None on the quarter panels, none in the trunk gaps, nada. Just some small bubbles on the rear wheel wells...that's it! THis car is really original too. Even ahd the original first aid kit from 1975, in GERMAN!
I was quoted by my friend's friend's body shop for $3k on a full repaint, down to the bare metal strip, and all other prep work inclusive. It's a very good price, but for anyone a lot of money.
Then there's that suspension and brake work, and I could bet there are a good deal of rubber pieces needing to be replaced, door seals being one of them. The shocks seem ok but the car seems like it's riding a little low. Brakes are a bit mushy too. Then the A/C has a large leak somewhere, and it needs a new muffler because the current one is hanging and bent and is missing the part where the mounts go. Belts need to go too. Other than that she drives like a champ. Interior is in mint condition too. It has MBtex and it's like it's brand new. Just needs an interior detailing, and the wood has a few cracks but that's it. And then there's the metal work for the chrome bumpers. THere's a lot of scuffs, scrapes and dents on the chrome bumpers. Just a lot of little things...like the head light doors (the plastic square pieces where the circular fixtures sit), and the grill need replacement.
But my predicament is that I came across this:
eBay Motors: Mercedes-Benz : 200-Series (item 300254336454 end time Sep-08-08 12:06:26 PDT)
It has 149k miles on it, and as you could see, is in MINT condition. I wanted to restore the 280S but there was a lot more work than what I saw and am being a little discouraged because working on cars can be a PITA...but it's good fun and learning. And by the time I spend the money fixing up the 280S, I think I could sell the one I have and buy the one off eBay.
I would take out a loan for this one and sell the 280S whenever I can. I would really love having one that is that clean and nice. I would also hugely benefit from the fuel injection from it's small amount of extra horsepower and fuel economy.
So what I need help deciding, is should I sell my 280S, and get that 280SE or should I just continue with the 280S, and get a loan to pay for the repaint and other work...
The purpose of this car would be for a decent daily driver (also have my E320 for that) and for recreational purposes, such as meets or car shows.
What say you guys? Also, would anyone in Illinois be willing to help me check this car out? I will pay for any expenses spent for helping me out.