I have been searching, searching for a nice older MB for months upon months. Now, I found a '71 280S, one owner, 147K, absolutely beautiful interior and exterior (choc. brown). Unfortunately, it has been sitting for several years and won't run (it'll crank, but not run). The gas has probably turned into varnish by now. So, other than replacing fuel lines and filters, flushing the gas tank, replacing the fuel pump, and cleaning the carbs, what else might I get into that would bankrupt me? How much is the above likely to cost? Appreciate any help and advice I can get.
The 280S without doubt is a lovely and desireable car,first of all check the title and get a carfax done, check the entire car for rust, vaccum lines for leaks, electricals (starter, alternator, other motors like windows, wiper, lights, switches, most contacts would be sulphated and will need to be cleaned) brakes, the cooling system, you will have to replace all the hoses, clean the carbs, may be replace jets and diagphrams.
Other than this ALL, I repeat ALL, the oils must be replaced, you may also have to check the valve train. The transmission and the final drive may also need attention.Weather stripping on the windows, doors, locks, trim, carpets, the vinyl on the dash, meters (if the meters are working, the cables will have to be cleaned and lubricated), there may be a number of other issues.
Please do not think I am discouraging you, but these are issues common to a neglected car. On the other hand these cars are very well made and built to last, parts are still available, you will need to track them, but with the internet, it is much more easier, once you are done, the sheer driving pleasure will make it all worth while. Once these issues are addressed, these cars need very little care other than routine mantainance, and they are head turners.
The financial outlay will depend on the basic condition and the acquistion price, take a rough estimate to get the car running from a reliable and independent shop (ask members on this list living close to you, they will be able to recommend someone), once the car is on its own steam, you can DIY the smaller issues over a period of time. But be warned these cars are highly addictive.
Wishing you all the very best. Take care and drive safe.
From beautiful and exotic India.