is this 1972 280 SEL a good buy? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 06-15-2007, 02:09 PM
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is this 1972 280 SEL a good buy?

this guy wants to sell this one for $4950. is it worth it?

opinions?
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#2 (permalink) Old 06-15-2007, 02:10 PM
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also, what are the pros and cons to this model?
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#3 (permalink) Old 06-15-2007, 04:38 PM
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Looking at the front tires I would be concerned regarding king pin wear and or sub frame mounts. It seems to sit low in the front and the tires are slightly angled in at the top. Make sure its an American export model not "grey market" grey market cars are hard to get some parts for. Look for RUST, RUST, RUST! Behind all wheel wells and trunk. A/C system not the greatest regarding force of air flow, lousey fuel mileage but great to drive! I owned a 72 280SEL 4.5 for 2 years. Some would crack the frame where the three bolts hold the steering gear box on. Some had issues with premature camshaft wear and hi mileage ones will have worn valve guides. Virtually all of the fuel injection system is adjustable if its a V/8 which is nice to fine tune it, but subject to going out of adjustment, so being able to understand the system and knowing what adjustments to do from time to time is important. They are prone to leak fuel from injector hoses because of the new drier fuels if its a V/8. Is it worth it? I sold mine 5 years ago for $4500 with a salvage title! I would think a six cylinder would be worth less than an 8.

Last edited by carnut1; 06-15-2007 at 07:14 PM.
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#4 (permalink) Old 06-15-2007, 06:40 PM
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I cant remember where I came across this one but this might help:
Tom's Mercedes Benz 108/109 Resource Site
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#5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2007, 01:10 AM
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wow...thanks for the concrete info carnut1..everything you stated matched up perfect to the link 108.016 posted.
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#6 (permalink) Old 06-16-2007, 01:19 AM
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the car is located in Arkansas, so I know it possibly has rust issues..if'll freeze over in Texas and Mississippi, it's sure to snow once in a while in Arkansas.

and I thought the low front end meant it was possibly lowered with sport springs.

I've learned so much about this model in a short time. I wanna get this one or one like it but I don't wanna get snowed over either.. here are some more pics of it and the write up on it. tell me what you see and don't see in these pics:




and here's the write up on it....kindly long but worth reading.


The classic cars all have their own character and personality, don't they? Take this 1972 Mercedes-Benz 280 SEL 4 door sedan: quietly refined, self-assured, dignified, capable and efficient...a "proper" European car. It is easy to picture this car shuttling its occupants to social events and business obligations. But try to picture it at the beach for a bonfire and surfing or at the edge of town on Saturday night challenging others to prove themselves for pink slips...doesn't work, does it? That's okay...it does not need to prove itself; it is what it is. The car is most capably powered by a V8 engine (M117 type if I deciphered the VIN code correctly) with automatic transmission, power steering and power brakes. Efficiency comes with its tinted power windows, intermittent wipers, factory gauges, factory under-dash air conditioner and rear window defroster. The quiet refinement is obvious in the car's interior: classically styled bucket seats with a fold down armrest for both the driver and the passenger, a center console with window controls (with safety locks) and the shifter, a fold-down center armrest in the backseat, headrests for four, wood accents on dash and doors, sunroof. There are even child safety locks on the rear doors and a custom stereo with CD player. The owner's manual and other documents remain with the car. Service records and related receipts beginning 1/11/82 are also included. It appears that the work documented was done at shops specializing in import, European and/or Mercedes-Benz and BMW service. It wasn't just serviced or repaired by just anyone, just anywhere. The car was put into service 9/3/71 from Powers Motor Company in New Jersey and from there we can track the car to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Douglasville and Atlanta Georgia, and Memphis Tennessee before it came here to Arkansas. There has been some paint and body work on the left front fender, the hood and possibly along the left side. It is hard to tell where the new paint ends and the old paint begins along the side. There is some damage on the tail of the car in the license plate/filler access area. The available records do not indicate what necessitated the work. In general the car is clean and straight, the paint is weak on the roof and at the tops of the fenders--sun and age will do that! The finish on the wood trim, especially at the bottom of the windshield is also showing its age in addition to the wood trim for the left rear window. The radiator has been recently rebuilt along with the heat system. Power windows all work although the left rear is a little cantankerous and it took a couple of tries for the window to close completely. The air blows strong and steady but didn't seem to get really cold. To be fair to an older a/c system, it wasn't allowed to run too long and sometimes it takes awhile for an older system to reach its maximum cooling potential. Our experience with European cars is relatively limited when placed side-by-side with the total number of cars we have built, bought, sold, driven and "oohed and aahed" over but this 72 sedan has offered us a pleasing example of German technology and engineering. It is a nice little car.
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File Type: jpg 72MercedesEngL.JPG (87.0 KB, 293 views)
File Type: jpg 72MercedesLFClose.JPG (92.7 KB, 279 views)
File Type: jpg 72MercedesRRClose.JPG (92.4 KB, 330 views)
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#7 (permalink) Old 06-16-2007, 07:47 AM
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The description is wholesome enough but I would suggest having the car inspected by a knowledgeable Mercedes person and noting all the defects and then estimating the repair costs and then if it check's out to be a good and solid example then decide on an offer. As it stands and from the description of prior left ft. fender damage etc...I'd say it is way over priced. These W108's are very undervalued as the link above stated and you can find very good examples for the price this seller is asking....Do your homework on this one so you don't sail on the ship called "BUYERS REMORSE " . Good luck and please let us know how this unfolds.

Regards, 67300se5spd

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#8 (permalink) Old 06-16-2007, 11:46 AM
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WAY over priced! RUST in driver door sill! You could probably find a better one for less. Shop in the sun belt states or California.
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#9 (permalink) Old 06-16-2007, 04:17 PM
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will do. thanks for the indepth insight guys

I offered him $3500 because of the rust issues and possible suspesion work and told me that he will not budge on the price.

the search continues
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#10 (permalink) Old 06-16-2007, 06:16 PM
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Yes! keep looking.
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