This is a highly subjective question. My preference is for 1972 and 1973 for purely the style of the smaller bumpers. Next in line would be a 1974 because of the better performance and lack of smog controls. The earlier cars also have less electronics and other features, which in my mind is fewer things that can go wrong.
Realize, I may be in the minority here. I think the most members here would advice the newest model possible for reasons of reliability (the newer the components the less likely they are to break,) gas mileage and comforts.
I am most leary of 1975 and 1976 models because of the catalytic converter in the engine compartment, which as I understand, can cause excessive heat to wires, components, etc. Of course owners of those models would be more knowledgeable than me.
The 1977 model year is another one I like because of the lack of automatic climate control, which is very expensive to have repaired. The manual climate control can have issues, but from what I know will be more durable and less expensive to repair. The automatic climate control will break, and when it does it will cost upwards of $1,500 to fix. The ACC was added in 1978.
Location: Email (not PM) plz Northern East Coast USA
Originally Posted by petesmga
thats why I went looking for my car, a 79 280sl stick, everything manual, no smog, euro bumpers and headlights
Got a call from the guy in Phoenixville, PA that has a 280 SL stick and he disclosed his minimum sale price. Sounds like the guy doesn't want to sell the car and has fear that it will end up in the hands of an abuser.
I was shocked when he told me he reliably averages over 20-25 MPG. Darn... I'm expecting about 10 MPG out of the 1973 450 SL I bought tonight. And his car will be more fun to drive. Maybe someday I can upgrade to a 280 SL manual.
I openly covet your 5-speed manual and inherently smooth L6. I guess the paint really is greener on the other side.
So do I. I did get to drive the 280 auto trans I bought up and down the road a few times. (before I found the cracked subframe.)
My buddy who went to get it with me just loved it. We set our beers on the engine with it running and they didn't even move or foam up. The car showed 234,000 miles on a broken odometer. Engine doesn't smoke. I really like the M110 engine. Anyone know of a 280 5 speed that needs a motor?
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