280se - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-23-2004, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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280se

Hello all
I’m new to Mercedes Benz cars so please excuse any
Basic questions I may have, so I would appreciate any advice from this board.
One year ago I was given a 240D (1982) so I decided to fix it up
(New paint job $1200.00, brakes rotors, new radiator, windows, fixed
Reverse on automatic transmission, control arms, the engine was rock solid).
After all this work the car looked and it drove great. But it some one
Rear ended the car last month (Very Bad),
And have since bought a 300D (1983) turbo diesel (rock solid).
And just purchased a 280SE 4.5L (1973) for $500.00 with no engine (Cracked)
All else is in Great shape in and out. My question to this board is
Should I fix it or buy another model.
Suggestions please!
Thanks
Dan
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-23-2004, 06:03 PM
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RE: 280se

4 doors don't hold their value well, so don't spend too much on it. I think for $1000-2000 you can find a 280sel with an engine and it will be cheaper than installing a new engine in the one you're thinking about.

2009 C63 AMG Silver/Charcoal
1970 280SE Low Grill Coupe 2.8 Silver/Red


Past
1999 SLK230/Sport
2001 SLK32 AMG
2004 E55 AMG
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2004, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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RE: 280se

Thanks for info,
I will Check it out.


Dan
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2004, 04:35 PM
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RE: 280se

Quote:
Norb - 6/23/2004 6:03 PM

4 doors don't hold their value well, so don't spend too much on it. I think for $1000-2000 you can find a 280sel with an engine and it will be cheaper than installing a new engine in the one you're thinking about.
Under normal circumstances, I would agree with that statement, because that’s just how cars are. But considering the W108 series, what do we have? We have a classic, hand made sedan who’s numbers are getting very low. One source that I trust on the internet confirms there may be as few as 700 examples of W108 AND W109 left in the world – that number is a blanket estimate regardless if it’s from the entry-level 280S to the mid/upper level 280SE/L 4.5 to the flagship 300SEL 6.3. Regardless if it’s a four door model or not, the series is thoroughly loved and unofficially considered Mercedes-Benz’s "most beautiful vehicle", aka there’s always someone looking for these vehicles. An encouraging fact is that the series is now confirmed as appreciating every year by book standards. The general rule of thumb applies as well; that a Mercedes-Benz equipped with a V8 is worth more than one that is not, and of equivalent quality.

It is true that a 280SE 3.5 cabriolet or coupe are worth SO much money - but people who have those have a brand new expensive import and this is their "toy"....for a lot of people, including myself, the old world chram, safety, technology, class and styling is still available on the sedan versions! Without selling your first born. But let's stop comparing 4 door values to 2 door values...it's comparing a peach to a bananna...compare it to other 4 doors, or something realistically attainable which the coupe and cabrio 280SE's aren't typically.

As far as your situation – I have learned some very hard lessons when working with vintage Mercedes (my lessons are not noted with my vehicles at the bottom LOL) There’s been a 200, 280 and a few more. The body on these vehicles is top priority over mechanical quality. If I had to choose between a vehicle with a solid body with a blown head gasket "vehicle a", and a vehicle that ran wonderfully with a body with holes and all that good stuff "vehicle b" – "vehicle a" would win every time. Anyone that knows about these old bodies and have worked on them will agree with me that they are extremely complicated at the seams and that it’s cheaper and easier to deal with the blown engine than a cancerous body.

If the car you have now is solid as you said, it was a great buy, keep it and look for a donor car (like Norb said, with a 4.5L V8 that is clean, sedan, convertible, who cares) in it that the body’s been smashed, vandalized or is rusting beyond belief and pick it up cheap for a transplant. Make sure your donor is more or less about the same year as your current one, because the emissions controls on the later 4.5’s can cause displeasure with performance.

If you do find a clean W108 (body, interior and mechanically) – you will pay a healthy price – the prices directly reflect what may be wrong with them – for example, if for sale, my 4.5 would be priced at $20,000 CDN – it is nearly perfect though. People that sell these cars for like $1,000 in apparently good shape are sneaky, the vehicle has a secret you will find out long after the sales date. A small amount of deals are to be had though since people don't realize what they own.

Just look around, be patient and have fun...and show us some pictures of your project!

The V8's are not the easiest to work on either...one bolt out and 10 more come loose, lack of space from shoe-horning...all that good stuff...but nothing on the road can compare to an old, clean, W108...not even a S600.

Lastly, the most important value is if YOU like the car....not money values on a car you may never want to sell after it's done [:)]

Tory



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
-10.0:1 compression
-285 hp@5200 rpm, 324 lb/ft@3750 rpm
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-13-2004, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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RE: 280se

Just Thought I would update the board on my 280SE,
As I decided to put a rebuilt engine in it (cost $3000.00).
(Thanks troy for steering me in the right direction).
I did look at other cars selling for $1000.00 to $3000.00 and
All did not look as nice. As all needed some work.
This picture was taken the day I bought it.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-13-2004, 06:00 PM
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More details!!!!


2009 C63 AMG Silver/Charcoal
1970 280SE Low Grill Coupe 2.8 Silver/Red


Past
1999 SLK230/Sport
2001 SLK32 AMG
2004 E55 AMG
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-16-2004, 09:15 PM
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RE: 280se

Isn't 1973 the first year of the W116 bodied S class?
(the 280 / 450 SEL?)
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