Date registered: Nov 2003
Vehicle: Mercedes 1979 280ce
Location: Denver, Colorado
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
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RE: New member looking for project car
I recommend you purchase the book Mercedes- Benz Production Models Book 1946 - 1995 by Robert Nitske. It has the specifcations on all the models produced from 1946 - 1995 and the quanities of each model that were produced each year. In the 1960's and 1970's production of the cabriolet was limited. In my opinion the cabriolets are the crown jewel of Mercedes- Benz. They bring a premium price from collectors, because there was not many of them produced , and they are way cool, handbuilt automobiles. Valued at many times more than a coupe or sedan of the same model.
Mercedes were hand built until 1972, so a cabriolet prior to 1972 would be very desirable for collectors. Remember most everything prior to 1973 requires leaded gas.
If you are going to drive the Mercedes daily, pick a model later than the mid-seventies like the W116 that are equipped with the early basic Bosch continuous fuel injection systems CIS, (K-jetronic) which operate on unleaded gasoline. The Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection system used by Rolls Royce, Mercedes, BMW and Porsche, and so on. I've driven the W123 Mercedes daily since 1979 and never had a problem getting parts, lately prices on replacement parts are escalating faster than the ink drys on the parts catalog.
The 110 motor six cylinder engine was specifed in the 280SE W116 staring in the early 1970's. The 110 six cylinder engine was also used in the W107 280 Sl roadster and the W107 280slc coupe and they are all cool old Mercedes. These models are reasonably priced, get reasonable gas mileage, and as you mention it's not hard to find one that needs some restortion. Restoring old things is usually expensive, and a hassle to most people. The 110 motor mated with the 722.1 transmission should go 250,000 without major overhaul expense.
Currently the models prior to 1972 have more interest to collectors, than the later models like the W116, W114, and W123, which are reasonable as daily drivers. The roadster W107 will always bring a price premium, with some selling for more money today than they cost new. The 280sl roadster is becoming a collectible car.
My recommendation would be for you to purchase a 1970's 280 SLC W107 with a 110 twin cam six cylinder European Spec engine, with no body rust, restore it completely, and then sell it to me. [:D]
Stay clear of Mercedes with rusted bodies, or Mercedes built after 1995, unless you know how to fix microprocessors, or are not planning on working on the car yourself.