Should you buy this car ?
Even if free ( and the seller would be very lucky to get 'anything* for it being dead for 3 years or whatever ...at least it fires up and runs sort of I gather ) ...
even if for free, ...
I have worked on a number of these. I don't regard the DOHC 2.8 inline six in it as a good engine particularity ..thirsty on fuel and a bit 'smogified.'
If you really like to coupe body style...or the color ..
or always wanted one ...'sure' .
the Carb can be a nightmare on this model.
I belivve it uses a vacuum pump to increase available vacuum for the power brakes ..
something no normal engine should need.
For a 'fairly worth project' ....and you have the time, money, and inclination ...sure go for it.
I still wouldn't say that's a good model exactly or year . It's got crash bumpers ....which the designers of that body didn't have in mind when they designed it, so those look tacked on.
so it's not like it's quite a thoroughbred.
that IS a very, very good chassis. My first Mercedes, owned twice, and currently owned is a early and extra good model in that series, the 114 ( or 4 cylinder 115 ) chassis.
Exceptionally well balanced car. You could have a low rear tire and not be able to tell, they are that stable. The four door car is really a better car ..just more solid and practical. A 1970 114 Chassis has 'the right engine' ..
a 2.5 SOHC inline six with no smog stuff on it at all. Runs just like they intended it to in Germany in 1970. This 75 280C is 'messed up' by emiisoins and crash regulations, for what it is.
By 72 they had smogified US models so much that a 1972 250 is actually 2.8 liters to make up for the lost power , and fuel economy is worse.
This is about a 15mpg car I hope you realize. Possibly worse.
But I always say ..if it's just something you have always admired and wanted...sure, and 'if' it's not rusted or crashed or extreme high miles etc.
Color matters a lot to me. If you like that darkish plumb color fine, doesn't do a lot for me, though the cream top sure helps !
I still would say it's not a good version of the series ..that's the last year of that body style , 1975. The original version, with tucked in chrome traditional style bumpers ...early simpler tail lights, and vent windows ...
that's the more pure to the concept of that series of Mercedes.
A few points off for that I'd say ..
oh ...rust was mentioned..
they only sane thing to do with any of these 70's era cars is remove the solid rubber truck floor mat ! They just collect moisture and keep it there ...
unless in the desert, every one of this type and era Benz sedan has rust on the trunk floor. Surface rust is very easily stopped and treated however.
Body cancer rust ...if you want a decent car eventually you really don't want that.
I have too many cars as is, ( though only two Mercedes. the 70 250 sedan 'Ursula" ...........probably the best overall, most reliable, excellent handling, robust strong car I've owned , and a 78 450SLC ..
and that was a homeless Mercedes ...paid $ 200 for it with a smashed back window and barely running ) ...
was just going to say, I would not take on this 280C even for free, but I have too many projects cars already.
There are better versions of what this is let's say.
if you like it though ..that's what I'd go by.
I let that 450SLC sit 50 feet from the back door of my shop in an industrial area for about 5 years....just sitting there dead, getting wet ..
don't need a thirsty old project car like that ........but then for 200 bucks..
Hey why not, it is an S Class Mercedes with an aluminum OHC fuel injected V-8 after all. Has potential.
Just be careful on the 280C ..unless you don't care that it's that good ..
if you just want a knock-around runner ...that might not cost 'that much' if you are lucky. Oh btw...that's a dorky size tire on there. What looks and fits and works very well is the 195/70 R 14. Way mo' betta tire than the stock size there.
Gotta say too ..
I have seen many of these older Benz's, worked on them, and checked them out for people to consider buying ..
and I have seen OVER and OVER that these exceptionally well made cars can seem to drive just fine from behind the steering wheel.
But when you really look into them mechanically ...they can be really rather worn out in most systems. I saw one for $ 400 once, 12 years ago ..
and it had worn out cam lobes ...and everything else was tired..shocks, exhaust system etc. etc. So be careful, be rich, or don't care how good or not good it is. It is 35 years old after all. ( sure was a trip reading about the 770K found in Iraq if that's a true story . )
there is nothing like a Mercedes Benz really. The older ones, at least, are in a separate class by themselves, compared to most cars.
turbovans home page
70 250 sedan 114
78 450SLC 4 seat coupe 107