Date registered: Jan 2007
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
My rambling thoughts:
I currently have a restored 280 and really enjoy it. I have owned and sold a 280 and a 230. I'm amazed at the recent price appreciation of these cars.
I have worked on and driven several 230s and 250s, and IMO there is not a lot of difference between the models. The 230s and 250s have a somewhat stiffer ride (bigger sway bar), but they are all enjoyable. Again IMO the big advantage of the late 250s and 280s is that you can have headrests and be correct. To me this is more comfortable and can prevent injury if someone rear-ends you.
The 280s have a smaller radiator to accommodate an oil cooler and tend to run hot. But with a good radiator, the larger fan with the viscous drive working correctly, and the fan shroud in place, they won't overheat.
I think the trick with these cars is to get what you pay for. Generally, you are better off financially if you can take advantage of the owner's "investments," provided they were done correctly.
Down at the bottom of the pile (currently in the $15K-$25K range) are badly rusted cars with poor repairs. Look for bad hood gaps. Look at the undercarriage, especially the floors and sills.
Next are just plain worn-out cars that need extensive rehab. These may have rust, but at least you have the opportunity to repair them correctly.
Then there are the average cars that are basically sound and correct but may have some incorrect stuff (sedan engine, incorrect upholstery, incorrect knobs, etc.)
From there you move up through well-done restorations and well-kept original cars, and the sought-after low-mileage cars that are now approaching $200K.
In all cases, look for cars that are complete. As noted above, details are important, and they are getting brutally expensive.
Be sure the soft top works and is in good condition. It is about $1500 for a new cover, but really expensive to repair the mechanism.
Falls Church VA
Last edited by ctaylor738; 03-06-2015 at 05:25 AM.