1971 280 SE 3.5 conv - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Feb 2008
Vehicle: 03 E320 Wagon 103k 04 SL500 74k 1971 280SE 3.5 Coupe 67Mustang 289 hipo conv,68 Firebird 400 conv
Location: Montgomery County MD
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1971 280 SE 3.5 conv

I have a oppertunity to buy this 1971 280 SE 3.5 Cab awesome ride. its a solid 6 but has rust in all the normal spot IE wheel well and around front lights along with some minimal under area stuff.
All in all its 100% original 2 owner car. The owner now has it for 35yrs...I've known him for the past 15 yrs..
It has 34K Miles original...Runs great good INT..Bad wood.nice Top....I can buy it for $35-37K.....I only have around $20K to play with to get it in good shape....think its worth it..any opinions would be fantastic....thanks
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 09:18 PM
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Date registered: May 2008
Vehicle: '99 CLK430, 62 220se, 64 220se, 65 220se, 66250se, 85 380sl, 90 190E 2.6
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Post Pics... If it is what you said it is I personally think 20k is a good figure, depending on who is going the work... continue doing more research. I've recently come across 4 W111 coupes with loads of extra parts for $3k and has done all painting and most interior mysef,
However I have a few resources through research.
I can post pics i brought back a 62 220se with lots of surface rust, few dents bad interior from the mojave desert, for less than 5k. interior cost me about $2100.00 delivered, from seat covers (OEM leather) to carpets to headliner. The rest was paint and material. Im a DIY. My avatar is a small pic of it.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 02:10 AM
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Date registered: Feb 2011
Vehicle: W203 270cdi, W108 280SE
Location: Ireland
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IMHO that was one of the most fantastic cars MB ever made - buy it and restore it properly and enjoy it - money won't matter when you'll have the pleasure of driving it on some scenic road at sundown. Buy it!! The low milage will always make it valuable once it is restored well.

When you say a solid six, I presume you mean 'out of ten' rather than cylinders? there's something very wrong if it has six cylinders!

Last edited by JCJCJC; 02-24-2011 at 02:11 AM. Reason: sp
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 03:11 PM
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Date registered: Oct 2005
Vehicle: 1966 250SE Cab, 1989 500SEL euro
Location: Texas
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Buy it for $35k, put a $12k paint job on it, spend another $8k fixing stuff up, and you'll have an $70k car. If it was in front of me, I'd be buying - except that I already have an excellent-condition 1966 Cab. Sounds cool - do it.

- Brian



1989 500SEL ECE
1966 Mercedes 250SE Cabriolet
1958 BMW Isetta 600
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Feb 2008
Vehicle: 03 E320 Wagon 103k 04 SL500 74k 1971 280SE 3.5 Coupe 67Mustang 289 hipo conv,68 Firebird 400 conv
Location: Montgomery County MD
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My whole issue is I only have $20K to invest into it...I haven't looked into how much the wood will cost but I'm sure its pricey...also the rusted undercarriage is throwing me off a bit...I owned a Body Shop for 10yrs so I know how much of a pain in the ass the body work will be and to propery fix the rust is also very $$$$....I'm afraid my budget won't be enough and I'll have to delay the restoration while its being done.....BTW anyone know of any great places to have the body and paint done in the DC metro area...I've recently moved to the east coast and have 0 contacts on this side of the coast...so that's another reason I'm weary...the car is in florida and I'd much prefer to do the restoration closer to MD then shipping off to Los Angeles and have it all get done there....
I would like to do the restoration myself but I have no time....at the rate I'm going it would take me about 3-4 yrs to get it done with my schedule...
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 02:00 PM
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Date registered: Jan 2007
Vehicle: 1968 250SL; 1970 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet (EURO Version); 1987 560SL
Location: Atlanta, GA
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I own a 1970 280SE 3.5 Cabrio (EURO) in nice condition (#2 but towards the #3 side). I have to restore my wood and spoke with Heritage Woodworks in NC. I would plan on $1500 to $1800 (only if in real bad shape) to do all the pieces. Drew is known worldwide for his pristine work! I love my car...it has a little cowl shake compared to my two SLs but I think I can improve on it with time (only I notice it, while my passengers think I'm too picky). The 3.5 engine performs very well. Some of the parts are NLA and hard to find. I notice the percentage of NLA parts is higher than my 1968 250SL. But I have been very successful on finding everything I need. PLEASE KEEP MY NAME and e-mail me if you have questions or hard to find parts...I have come down the learning curve and may be able to help you! I have a complete set of new spares for the D-Jetronic and Ignition system, in case they go NLA some day (some already have). One useful tip is knowing the Bosch part number (besides the MB #) and you'll find some this way as well.

I am fortunate to have a rust free car, which is rare for a EURO version. Hence, I haven't done any body work or paint. I agree with the above assessments that 20K should well cover the body work. The doors forward have the same body panels as the coupe, while the truck and quarter panels are unique to the cabriolet. K & K Manufacturing make reproduction frame and body parts, so definitely check them out if there's a panel or two that wouldn't be worth repairing.

Anyway...I'm real excited for you, knowing how much I love mine! Keep us all posted!

All the best,

J. P. Mose
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 02:31 PM
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Date registered: Feb 2011
Vehicle: W203 270cdi, W108 280SE
Location: Ireland
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I envy you guys with those fabulous cars. The nearest I got was W108 4-door 280SE. It might help to note that many mechanical and electrical parts from contemporary W115 350SE saloons are compatible. The engine management 'brain' can get damaged, particularly if it is steam-cleaned. A 'brain' from a 4-door saloon is exactly the same part and won't cost a lot - I have seen whole tired cars changing hands for €50, where somebody just parked it up when the fuel consumption became intolerable - that kind of car can yield a lot of components that will keep a more prestigious model going.

Same goes for your 250SL, it shares a lot of parts with the SEs and they are easier to find. The rarest part of the 250SL might be the engine, from memory I think it was a M129 and wasn't used for very long. I bought a 280SE once that had a M129 in it, I sold the engine to a man who had a 250SL and wanted to have a spare engine, just in case. I found a low-mileage M130 (correct) engine for the 280SE and it's still in it.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 12:34 PM
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Date registered: Jul 2004
Vehicle: 1971 280SE 3.5 Coupe
Location: Nevada City, ca
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I would buy it regardless-that's a great price-even considering the condition. Don't know what your situation is but I would store until you have the resources to do it justice. It also depends on whether you plan on keeping the car or selling it. I think 20K is extremely optimistic on any kind of restoration work-especially quality, professional work. Also rust goes deep on these cars-if you can see it on the body it's going to be in the floors, inside the rockers, fenders, especially when you remove the front fenders it will expose all kinds of hidden areas, etc. It will require completely dismantling the car to correctly repair the rust. Just depends on what level of work you are satisfied with.

Tony
280SE 3.5 Coupe
Stick shift
3.27 Axle
5.6 Iron block build in progress
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2011, 01:45 AM
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Hello mate,

I searched the Euro markets and conclude that right before your eyes is a unique opportunity to have a fabulous car and make quite some money after restoration.

Don't miss it!!

If you are not going to pull the trigger, let me know....

GL

Jean-Pierre

There are no cars built south of Munich
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Feb 2008
Vehicle: 03 E320 Wagon 103k 04 SL500 74k 1971 280SE 3.5 Coupe 67Mustang 289 hipo conv,68 Firebird 400 conv
Location: Montgomery County MD
Posts: 18
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I still have not decided on this beast.....after further assessment the rust runs deep....it's every where and is rotted in 7-8 places that I noticed without taking it apart.....I'm thinking that 20k to have the car done is just not enough...I wanted to get the woodwork done at RAU in so cal. His work is expensive but well worth it...he has a few beautiful burls that was incredible...but again very $$$$ .....aside from the rust the body has a few dents...all the trim and bumpers are great....the top is faded....engine sounded strong but didn't drive as well as it sounded if that makes any sense at all...Int is original but has fading and some wrinkles but it is 40yrs old I guess ....
Im really picky so I was thinking the rust and body alone will be way over 20k..I just wouldn't be happy with so-so bodywork on this gem....also rust is really a big giant issue to me.....the stuff just spreads and rots away ....it really has me doubting this can be the 1
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