Thinking about picking up a 1970 280sel.... - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thinking about picking up a 1970 280sel....

What should I look out for before I pull the trigger? Its in pretty mint shape with 77K miles.. White on tan. I know what the guy is asking, But whats a good price on this thing?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 12:22 AM
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Noone can give you an Idea of price because you havent specified your location
Or proffered nearly enough informaionon the car
Standard checks
Rust especially check the sills ,bottoms of the pillars and around the headlights
If its a m130 check for head gasket issues do a copression check if possable
A good trick is to start the car and leave it idleing the whole time you re inspecting it
If the valve guides are worn it will start to smoke and if the heads no good it may overheat
If the seller panics and turns it off that speaks volumes
Also check the heater core is not leaking in the cabin

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by joeSEC View Post
Noone can give you an Idea of price because you havent specified your location
Or proffered nearly enough informaionon the car
Standard checks
Rust especially check the sills ,bottoms of the pillars and around the headlights
If its a m130 check for head gasket issues do a copression check if possable
A good trick is to start the car and leave it idleing the whole time you re inspecting it
If the valve guides are worn it will start to smoke and if the heads no good it may overheat
If the seller panics and turns it off that speaks volumes
Also check the heater core is not leaking in the cabin
It belongs to my good friends uncle, Its a 6 hour round trip to go look at the car. My friend says it looks like a car that got restored 10 years ago and has been driven but maintained, Its never been driven in the winter, and basically got retired to a weekend cruiser.

Unfourtunatly he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer or Im sure the car would never have been for sale

I live in the Detroit area, the car is in northern Michigan. I am looking at this 280 sel and a 535is 5 speed in Washington state. The 535is might be one of the nicest in the country but I'll have to drop an extra $1000 or so in shipping.

I don't NEED to buy either car, they just both popped up for sale at the same time and I love older cars. Ive already had an E28 so I was swaying toward the merc.

Thanks for the pointers. Im sure we will spend a day out there checking the car out and maybe getting dinner. I'll report back with some info and pictures.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 10:55 AM
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Another thing to look for is gas consumption. In good working order, the car will get (and is rated for) 17mpg. Mine's a 73 and I'm making that kind of milage on the highway now. A normally used/worn one will get 14 or 15 on the HW.

The best piece of advice I can give is to buy the best Mercedes your $$ will buy. It won't be for another bunch of decades that the 108s will become "valuable," so making back what you put into the car for repairs or restoration may be tough.

Mine's worth about $4k, but I've got $30k into it. Hobbies can be expensive if they need LOTS of TLC.

Parts are relatively easy to find. I go to the local parts places first, then online, then junk yards. I've never come up with a part I couldn't get.

Interiors are often cracked or faded. Finding a replacement seat cover set can go up in the thousands for new, hundreds for used. If you find used stuff, they can be recolored. I redid the interior on a 114 and it looked awesome, using a combo of dyes and new stuff. Carpet sets are also expensive new, but you can get the same stuff (perhaps different colors) from local carpet stores, and for much cheaper. You'll have to cut and paste the pieces yourself though.

Dash caps (not entire dashes) are available on eBay for $70 or so.

There are outfits that redo wood, but again, for a good chunk of cash. I redid mine myself after reading a few articles on stripping and refinishing wood. It still looks awesome and I saved tons of $$.

I vehemently disagree with any purist who states that a "non original" part, or something not bought from the Classic Center or dealership, shouldn't go into your car. My vote is that as long as YOU like the car, whatever it takes to restore/maintain the thing is up to you.

And when you come to the conclusion that you want a Chevy LS6 with an Edelbrock blower as your powertrain, come on back. We can help you there too Or Gwunta can. He's doing it right now...
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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And when you come to the conclusion that you want a Chevy LS6 with an Edelbrock blower as your powertrain, come on back. We can help you there too Or Gwunta can. He's doing it right now...
Funny story about that.... I'm involved in 2 bmw e39 540 6 speeds being lsx swapped, 1 e38 740 lsx/auto swap, and 1 e36 m3 going ls3/t56 swap, and I sell the kits, lol.

I've also had a bunch of money pits in the past, lol.

85% of all the money I've made I've spend on cars a women.... The other 15% I just wasted.

Last edited by 347convert; 06-20-2012 at 11:55 AM.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 03:55 PM
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85% of all the money I've made I've spend on cars a women.... The other 15% I just wasted.
Classic ...though I would hazzard the money spent on women would be in the latter catagory.....

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 05:48 PM
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If you are looking for a great deal, they never really are.
But if you are looking for a great car and a lot of enjoyment. 280SEL is a good one.

I've had a few over the years and have loved each one of them. I'm with Grubeguy on this one. I don't think my current W108 is worth all that much, yet I have 30K into it.

Another saying still holds true, If you want to buy an expensive Mercedes, then buy a cheap one.

Purchase the very best car you can afford. Don't jump into it if you are not sure. Parts are not cheap, and your labor is whatever you value it to be.

If you know you can afford it, buy it and don't look back. It's a wonderful car!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Purchase the very best car you can afford. Don't jump into it if you are not sure. Parts are not cheap, and your labor is whatever you value it to be.
Are you saying buy the best 108 I can, Or go buy a new amg e class? lol.

The only reason I thought about picking it up is because it looked cool and it would be sweet to drive. It seams like it this thing is a endless pit of wasted money, lol. The car Im going to look at is $4k. any old BMW ive had is so cheap to own.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 05:11 PM
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$4K is fine if the car has no needs. $4K can turn into $10K in the blink of an eye on a W108. Not to bash any BMW owners, but I just never liked them.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael C View Post
Not to bash any BMW owners, but I just never liked them.


What is it about BMW owners that you don't like?

They don't use turn signals? They always pull over in to the open lane at traffic lights, just before you get there? They're always going on about their cars' handling?

The cars aren't that bad to drive or maintain, but man, oh, man... those BMW owners are a special case, aren't they?













Just pulling your leg.

I have an old BMW (and occasionally use its turn signals).

And I'm sometimes likable to the Benz crowd.
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