'73 280SE Rust Evaluation - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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'73 280SE Rust Evaluation

I'm toying with the idea of purchasing a 1973 '73 280SE 4.5 that needs a little work but is in otherwise good condition for the price. My main concern is some rust that it has on the bottom of the fenders (see photos).

I believe I can get it from the owner for ~$1000, but I'd like to know if this rust is indicative of something terminal, or if it can be taken out with a grinder, body filled and painted.

Ideally, I'd like to get the body to be 95%, put $1200 into new seat covers and wind up with something I could value/sell at $5000. Is this wishful thinking?

Any opinions/advice welcome!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 09:39 AM
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I'd take a peek under the carpet, the undercarriage, and see if you notice any signs of leakage on the headliner around the pillars. If that's the only surface rust, that doesn't look too bad, it looks repairable with some work.

But others might chime in an advice that you make be looking at a lot of hidden rust you just can't see. You won't know for sure until you inspect the car up close.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 01:10 PM
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This site shows all the places to check for rust on one of these cars, very useful and accurate. While it pertains to the coupes you can extrapolate most of the info to a sedan.

It can always be worse:

Very hard to say value without full inspection, so many variables but use what you learn from that site to further assist in making that determination.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by 240NOLA View Post
Ideally, I'd like to get the body to be 95%, put $1200 into new seat covers and wind up with something I could value/sell at $5000. Is this wishful thinking?
Yes, it is wishful thinking. To get good seat covers and seat pads (which it will need) is going to be way more than $1200. Carpets? Rust --> PAINT, not a cheap car to paint. A W108 sedan is a nice car but by far the best deal is to buy one that someone else has put a lot of money into. If you are buying it as a parts car or as a driver for $1000 and selling it for $2000, you can probably make some money that way. But it is not a cheap car to fix up. My 2 cents...

Currently: 1967 250 SL, 1963 220Sb, 1965 300SE Lang, 1971 280SE parts car, 1972 Alfa GTV, 1965 Alfa Duetto, 1993 BMW R100R
Past: 1971 250 C, 1985 300 TD, 1967 250 S, 1968 280 S,1981 300 D, 1982 280CE, 3 Facel Vegas, Borgward Isabella Coupe, Alfa 2600 Sprint, Volvo P1900 (yes), numerous less interesting Volvos, ...
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 02:10 PM
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Those two areas are the most common to rust. The front fenders unbolt and come off entirely, though the area you see rust will be hard to fix, unless you weld in new metal. Another option is to replace the fender entirely and get it painted, but this drives your costs up.

On the rear, the area around the wheel tubs does not unbolt, and you'll have to cut out the old stuff and replace with new metal.

When I bought my 108, it was a HECK of a lot more rusty than this. Chances are good that the outer sill is rusted where you can't see it. If your plans are to make it look good cosmetically and then flip the thing, you might break even.

VaiFanatic hit it on the head - look under the carpets and at the undercarriage. If you see rust, or lack of metal entirely, chances are good that repairs will cost a heckuvalot more than $1200.

Do you have pics of the interior? Engine bay?
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