Moving to UK - Need a Mercedes W108 aficionado - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Moving to UK - Need a Mercedes W108 aficionado

Hello all. Just wondering if anybody can shed some light on a few questions.

But first the story

I have been contemplating moving to the UK for a couple of years and thought I might as well do it now, if not now when right? Problem is I drive the best W126 in the world "to me" and absolutely hate being forced to sell her. She's my favourite colour combo "Teal on Biscuit" , perfect in every way and I have formed a clinical attachment. I said right off the bat that I would ship this car with me, the shipping isn't a big deal but road tax is ridiculous, fuel is ridiculous and the flashiness of the car is inappropriate for the UK. It will physically hurt me to sell this car. So, I need a plan for replacement.

So I am looking for a good classic with character that I can drive every day and falls under the free road tax law for cars older than 1973. That's the key. Has to be a Mercedes, get over 18MPG, and be a comfortable daily driver.

So here come the questions:

Does or can a 2.8 get 20+ MPG?

Would anyone in their right mind drive a W108 280SE/SEL 2.8 every day?

I am happy with with W126 parts pricing, but how much more are the 108's?

Are there any other models pre-73 that are a better buy?

Many thanks for any responses.


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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 10:52 PM
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Justin, I moved from the UK to the US about 11 years ago and car wise, the grass is greener on this side. A W126 is not flashy at all in the UK, they're pretty much everywhere and can be had for pennies because of how much they cost to run.

You may get 18mpg on the highway out of a US gallon in a 2.8 six with fuel injection, you'll get closer to 14 in the 3.5. 18MPG is too low for a daily driver however as a US gallon of gas is around $8 over there these days. Back in 1997, I drove my 71 250CE through the summer as my only car and spent the winter paying off the fuel bills on my credit card! It got around 13-16 MPG (imperial) combined.

Mechanical parts are pretty easy to come by but at a cost, sheet metal is a different story all together and there are not many survivors out there because rust eats them up.

While road tax is free on pre 73 cars, you would be surprised at how stringent the MOT is and how expensive it can be to get a car to pass it.

If you're looking to run a tax exempt Mercedes in the UK, I would go for a 68-73 W115 diesel. It's not fast and you really have to watch out for rust but they are more common then the W108's and cheaper to run.

Don't make your mind up until you get there though, there are lots of really interesting old cars that you've never seen if you lived all your life in the US.

I suggest that you join a couple of the UK car forums. One of the ones that I enjoy is Popular-Classics :: Index and get used to the idea of working on your car on the side of the road on a damp Sunday morning because not many people have garages :-)

Good luck, if you move to London, you will love it. It's a great city, just not great for drivers.

With best regards


Check out the W114, W115 /8 enthusiast forum

My 280SL restoration

Last edited by alabbasi; 04-02-2011 at 07:40 AM.
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