BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Oct 2013
Vehicle: 1973 280SE 4.5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Hi everyone, OP here....I would like to thank you for your comments, input and thoughts on the restoration. Some of you seem to be wondering why someone would spend a lot of money on a restoration where so many things were done well, while there are elements of the paint work that leave something to be desired. Fair question.
First of all, I would like to say I did not undertake this project to make money. I'm not in this business, nor do I want to be. Sometimes people do things for reasons other than profit! When I was a boy, my grandfather had a new 280SE that he used to drive us kids up and down the east coast (from our home in New York to his in Florida). I have a real emotional connection to the model as a result.
For many years, I've looked at these cars parade across my computer screens. Most of them are pretty undesirable. You've all seen the $5,000 280SE and you know well enough what that's going to be all about. I found myself continually wondering
what it would be like (and what it would cost) to bring back a solid vehicle, in terms of mechanics and body, and make it new again. It took me many years, but I finally found this really well-maintained and perfectly true California car, not far from my home in Sausalito. The time seemed right; I bought it and dove in.
I'm not a professional restoration artist, so I had to look for and trust people who were reputed to know what they were doing. In Collie Automotive, I found someone who knows these cars inside out and who approaches necessary work from a practical, and quality, standpoint. Darren Collie is a real pleasure to work with and I'd recommend him to anyone. You all pointed me to TruValve for the stainless steel exhaust, as well as GAHH for the new leather and carpet. I tried to use the best out there.
When it came to the paint, which is where most of you seem to be focused, again, I looked for the best I could find. I don't disagree that the car comes up short in this area. And, it seems for most of you, the overspray inside the engine bay and under the car is a fatal flaw. Some of you would say the paint job completely overshadows the rest of the work. Fair enough; everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, I do want you to know that the products used in the painting process were the very best and most expensive available. The paint was applied properly in terms of not too many coats, and the person I hired to spend three days wet sanding, buffing and polishing the car was very complimentary about most of the work.
So I don't disagree that there are errors with the paint. But, as the photos clearly show, the effect of the paintwork is brilliant. How often have you seen this color, DB-571? I've never seen it in person, but when I saw what it could look like on the car from a website that imitated stock colors on the model, it was clear it was the best way to go. And paired with the black carpet and leather upholstery, wow...it's difficult to put into words the feeling this vehicle imparts gliding down the road looking and feeling the way it does.
I will look into having the paint improved. I want to pass the car onto someone who will love it as much as I have enjoyed getting it ready. It was never my goal to hang onto the car; it was more something I just had to get out of my system. If it were my second car restoration, I'd definitely pay closer attention to the paint. But we have here what we have. I will certainly lose money on this transaction, probably a lot of money. But that's ok. I somehow feel good about having treated this car as well as I knew how, and putting one example of this fantastic automobile back on the road in a condition I feel very proud of.
One side note: I'm not sure why the glove box door looks as though it's not the same color as the rest of the dash, because we didn't touch that except to clean it lightly. In person there is no color difference. I do know if you download the dropbox photos, they are much clearer than if you just view them in dropbox. Perhaps that was the problem?
Thanks especially to those of you who saw and highlighted the good things that were done. All of it was with the best intentions.
Last edited by sjketterer; 06-17-2015 at 07:24 AM.
Reason: Helpful addition