Date registered: Apr 2004
Location: Edmonton, Alberta & San Tan Valley, Arizona
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RE: My possible first car.
It depends what type of Mercedes-Benz V8 you want.
In the early 1970's there are 3 available.
A 3.5L, 4.5L or a 6.3L V8.
I am not sure where you got your estimate on the engine power, but it is off and you are underestimating the quality of the V8 engines along with the power.
The 3.5L unit yields 200 bhp and 211 lb/ft at the back wheels.
The 4.5L unit yields 225 bhp and 279 lb/ft at the back wheels.
The 6.3L unit yields 250 bhp and 369 lb/ft at the back wheels.
Since there are next to no emissions controls on the early 70 Mercedes, all these ratings are AFTER the flywheel.
Be careful, because that 280SEL you have been looking at may not have any kind of V8 motor in it. Usually the presence of a V8 is indiciated in a rather confusing array of designations: It should read "280SEL 4.5", for example, indicating a super einspritz lang (long) on a body usually coupled with the 2.8L Inline 6.
These cars, you get what you pay for. They are very rare now-a-days according to your area and are starting to become collectable.
For example, my 1972 280SE 4.5 is such a grand car that I would demands at least $15,000 USD is I was to ever considering selling it which I am NOT.
If you have found one that is for such a low price, the body probably lost the battle to rust 15 years ago, the engine is broken in well and will demand valve guides/seals/rings to be done. The transmissions are excellent but with abuse, they will fail.
If you are looking for "a lot of bling for not a lot of dollars", and you need a V8 engine, considering the W116 350SEL/450SEL. They seem to be easy to pick up for not a lot of money. My mint condition 450SEL is for sale for just $4,500 CDN. They are a little slower due to emissions "fun".
I hope this helps, but no offence, these cars are not for people who just want to have something fast and that's it - this may not be your first car, bud.
They can be dangerous if you don't know what you're looking for.
Look at early 90's Audi! The unloved 80, 90, 100, 200 and V8 will bring you reliability and speed for cheap, cheap! Here's to taking advantage of peoples' fears and lack of research LOL - I have - my first car was a 1992 Audi 80 and it was a blast. My first Mercedes-Benz W108 was my FOURTH car.
BTW guys, I just got my W126 '81 300SD turbo [:D][:D][:D] Will post pictures soon!
Good luck and if you do decide to get one of these cars, stay on this forum for help, because you will need it.
1990 560SEL - W126
-929 nautical blue metallic & 262 navy blue leather
-58,000 KM (36,200 Miles)
-Euro spec Japanese import (KAT edition)
-Complete service history since new
-5,546cc SOHC 16v V8
-285 hp@5200 rpm, 324 lb/ft@3750 rpm
-2.65 limited slip diff