1970 MB 280 SE?? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Nov 2010
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1970 MB 280 SE??

I'm looking at possibly buying a 1970 MB 280 SE (4 door sedan, not convertible). The car is going to be a project and will be needing a overhaul pretty much everywhere. The interior seating and dash seems to be ok, but body will need a repaint and the engine a good overall tune. The body seems ok and has some rust spots, but nothing terrible or that cannot be sanded out before the new paint.

Does anyone have any knowledge on this model car, regarding it's reputation and current values? I had and sold a 1977 450SL last year and it was a great car, but I have not dove into the sedan classics yet and wanted to see what the general thought were on these cars. It seems like it could have a lot of potential, but if the resale will be a bear, I might reconsider. I haven't seen it in person yet, but will be this weekend unless advised t steer clear.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 12:29 AM
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Date registered: Mar 2005
Vehicle: Unimog 1700L (1981), w460 300gd (1981), w108 280s (1966)
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They are great cars, I myself have a 280s, great too drive, very reliable, and the look is just stunning. So if you are thinking on buying a 60's sedan, this is propably the right car for you.
But when that first is said it ain't gona reach astronomical prizes. The 280se ain't a very rare vintage Mercedes, so if the restauration costs are gonna be high, you just might wanna buy a car that looks good in the first place. Atleast if you are gonna think economical.
But that said, nothing is more fun than to restore your own Mercedes! And the parts-ability for these cars are still very good, and if you search around a bit, much parts can be found at a resonably prizes.
So too sum it up; If your thinking with your wallet you just might stear away. But if your thinking with your heart this might be the right car for you!

Anyway, a w108 Mercedes in great shape is a very nice car! Good luck!

W108 280s (1966)
W460 300GD (1986)
Unimog 1700L 1980
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 04:39 AM
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well said. w108 are great cars. But it is very easy to get upside down in a one. I was upside down in mine before I got out of the engine compartment. I still love it. Fun car- yes, good investment for restoration and resale-no (most of the time). I love my 250se and am ok with being upside down because I never want to sell it.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 03:07 PM
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Date registered: Feb 2011
Vehicle: W203 270cdi, W108 280SE
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I have a '68 and I had a '71. The '68 was better engineered. The unforeseen oil crisis hit MB sales hard around then and they rushed a re-design to lighten the cars. Look at the pivots for the back sections of the front seats. If they are covered in substantial chromed metal, they, and the car, are the earlier spec. If they are lightweight chromed plastic, they are later. Older W108s had a fluid coupling transmission which changes gear with a definite thump, but is reputedly efficient and therefore less wasteful on fuel. Around 1970 they changed to torque converter which changes smoothly. The MB manual says you can't fit the later tranny in the earlier car. I had it done before I read the manual ;-)
Check for rust where the brake servo is mounted to the bulkhead, rainwater flows down there and it is a difficult repair. Check the cavity at the rear of the front wheel arches. Check under the body just in front of the rear wheels, another difficult area to repair. If it is free of rust in those places, it is probably in pretty good shape. Check that all brake calipers are working, they seize easily from disuse. If the car is driven gently, the rear brakes never come into play and they can seize up. Remember this car was designed to swallow motorways all day long at 120mph with four adults and their luggage on board, and the brakes can haul them down from that speed without drama. I have had my 68 at over 100mph and she was as steady as a rock.
Check that you have an original Becker radio - they are very expensive. I once bought a whole car just to get the radio, and the car cost me about half the value of the radio alone.
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