60k mile 1973 w108: potential issues and value? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2013, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Oct 2013
Vehicle: 1973 280SE 4.5
Location: Sausalito
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60k mile 1973 w108: potential issues and value?

I have found a 1973 280SE 4.5 for sale. It is a one owner car with 60,000 miles and has spent its entire life in Los Angeles. The owner is asking $6,000. Having reviewed all of the service records, it appears the car has been well-maintained and all issues that one might expect on a car of this age and mileage have been taken care of as they arose. Work was done by MB of Beverly Hills.

It was driven about 54,000 miles the first 20 years of its life and the remaining 9,000 miles were put on over the last 10 years. It hasn't been sitting for a long period and not driven, as far as I can tell. It starts quickly and drives nice and tight.

Here's the question: on a car of this age and mileage, are there looming, major repair issues that one might reasonably expect to occur in the immediate future that would be particularly expensive to maintain? I'm thinking these kinds of big repairs probably wouldn't crop up until closer to 100,000 miles, but I'm interested in the group's opinions on this.

Many thank in advance for your help!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2013, 09:51 AM
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Date registered: Jul 2004
Vehicle: 1971 280SE 3.5 Coupe
Location: Nevada City, ca
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Rubber items might be an issue since they are not generally replaced as maintenance items and usually wear out gradually so not noticed. Also the price seems fine and they are not asking a premium for the low miles. It is very difficult to verify miles especially on a car this old where there could be lapses of seveal years in the maintenance records that the car could have been driven unless you personally know the PO.

280SE 3.5 Coupe
Stick shift
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5.6 Iron block build in progress
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2013, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Oct 2013
Vehicle: 1973 280SE 4.5
Location: Sausalito
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I agree on both points. Regarding the latter, the service records are so complete that there is no gap in mileage being reported and, together, they provide a clear record of the gradual increments of mileage. So I am convinced about the 60,000 mileage. I'd have to have the inspector look at the rubber parts, especially motor mounts and those more expensive items, to render an opinion on those. Thanks.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2013, 03:19 PM
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Date registered: Oct 2005
Vehicle: 1966 250SE Cab, 1989 500SEL euro
Location: Texas
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If it's been sitting for a long while, leaks will start once she's started moving. Bushings will be dried. Calipers seized. Motor mounts collapsed. Expect $2000 in repairs in first year.

- Brian

1989 500SEL ECE
1966 Mercedes 250SE Cabriolet
1958 BMW Isetta 600
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-02-2013, 04:59 PM
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Date registered: Oct 2006
Vehicle: 1965 220SE sedan (finnie) with 450SE conversion, 1964 220SE coupe project, 1966 300SE coupe
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Some parts tend to be age affected rather than mileage. Unless the rcords prove otherwise, it would be prudent to budget for replacing the timing chain guide rails because they perish and if they break pistons can kiss valves and bring the motors life to an end.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-04-2013, 10:05 PM
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Date registered: Feb 2010
Vehicle: 1968 250SE S-Class. 1988 560SEC S-Class Widebody
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I think if you budget $2-3000 in repairs in the first year or two you should have yourself what sounds like a great car
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