What are your thoughts on this car? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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What are your thoughts on this car?

A friend of mine sent me these photos of this benz that is for sale. I don't have any info on it yet other then it runs good and its a 280SE 4.5 He said it was a 1975, to me it looks older then a 75? I am waiting to get the details, but I was courious to see what you guys think.
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Last edited by Luna Gaudi's 72 250; 07-15-2016 at 01:02 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 02:39 PM
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Date registered: Jun 2010
Vehicle: 4Keep:450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500seAMG 2sell:500sl92 380se83 300se86 350sl4sp 75slc MorInSig
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What are your thoughts on this car?

Yeah. That's a w108. It can't be any later than a 1973, and to me it looks like probably a 72-73 which are essentially the same.

A lot of it looks identical to mine. Here are a few things I noticed:

- side markers are very very faded. That means lots of sun exposure, but the dash doesn't look all cracked up which Is very good.

The seats don't seem to match the door panels. I think the seats might be dark brown like my 280se 4.5. Hmm... I wonder if I'd be interested in working a deal with you.

- The chrome arches over the wheel wells are something that shouldn't be there IMO. It wetter climates things like that are known to cause rust, at least on other models like the 107s.

- Having a sunroof is a really plus IMO.

- the radio appears to be not the original Becker, which I think something of this vintage really deserves.

- the 4.5 rear differential is a desirable piece as other drivetrain owners like the idea of reducing highway RPMs. Kent Bergsma has a few videos on this.

- column shifter isn't as desirable as the floor shifter IMO, but that's ok if you don't plan to manually shift through the gears.
I am a huge fan of the w108, and I consider it an upgrade over a w114 sedan even though the w114 sedan is a more modern car with a much more modern suspension. I was happy to switch to a w108 even over my w114 coupes. I think it's a more regal looking design whereas I think the w114/115 is more of a "plebeian" model. If your w114 was well tuned, I suspect you should have been able to get 16 mpg in your w114 on occasions. After frustration with the dual zenith carbs, I was glad to switch back to an injected model. However, I don't think you should ever expect much more than 12-13 mph from a w108 4.5. Maybe a very very rare 15 mpg going downhill, but even in my 1973 450sl I couldn't get over 16mpg on the highway at 55 with no brakes, and that has a lower diff ratio too. D-jetronics are very neat IMO, but it's a good idea to keep a set of spares on hand of the parts that are plain ridiculous to buy new. I'm still working on my collection.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 02:47 PM
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That's an unusual color, check the tag to see what was original. The seats dont match the door panels and I can see rust on the lower left rear fender. I would be wary of other rust. The rubber insert on the front bumper is torn.

It could be worth looking at, depending on what you are looking for.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 06:26 PM
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Date registered: Feb 2010
Vehicle: 1972 280SEL daily driver. 904 Dark Blue with cognac interior. euro 4.5 engine
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So, lets start by saying I'm very partial to the W108 chassis having driven one as a daily driver for the past 5 years. I am also a big fan of the 4.5 M117 engine. The beautiful thing about this car is that when it is running well, it will ride and drive like a modern car. Lots of torque. Fun to drive.

Issues that this car is known for.....rust in the sils. Worn cams. Rust behind the front wheels. Expensive D-jet repairs. Rust in the bottom of the doors. Worn rear suspension (carrier in the trunk, bushings). Rust under those after-market wheel well trim pieces (usually installed to hide rust). Worn king pins. Did I mention rust? And, failed heater blowers (not the AC blower, but the heater blower...yes there are 2)

Good news, if you are handy, is that I find parts to be reasonable ($62 for an alternator this weekend) and while some may disagree, I find them easy to work on. I think if the car runs nice, an you are fine with the cosmetics, go for it. Just know that to turn it into a pristine example, it will suck you dry.

Did I mention rust?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 06:27 PM
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Oh, and yes...it must be either a 72 or 73 if it is a short wheel base 4.5
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2016, 09:07 AM
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Do you know the asking price yet?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2016, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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He is asking 4000.00 USD
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2016, 08:23 PM
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What are your thoughts on this car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luna Gaudi's 72 250 View Post
He is asking 4000.00 USD

I bet patience might, might find you a better example. It may still be worth the inspection and negotiations though. Then again, sometimes it makes sense to just buy and begin the work instead of spending an eternity searching for the right one.

I'm pretty far from the days 6 years ago buying my first, and I got tired of searching for a great deal on a great example and just bought one. It was one of my only MB I ever purchased that didn't have a cracked dash and may have been the best condition one I ever owned, but it was a salvage reconstruct, an "R" branded title. It was perfect for me. But as I got more addicted to the hobby I found I wanted something more collectible as I realized that if you are going to pour your heart and soul and money into something (which you will with any classic), it might as well be a rare or unique one that has a possibility of being very valuable some day. That argument might go against buying a w108 280se 4.5 as you sole "collector" because it will always be trumped by several models: w108 SEL, and all w109. If I decided I wanted a standard suspension w108/109, which is a w108, I'd probably.be seeking an SEL. There was an SEL from Japan in Naples, FL at the end of March / beginning of April that had w109 doors and some neat options. I really wanted to go see it and meet the seller, but I'd actually been to their dealership before. I'm not sure what happened to it, but I think I remember the concept of possibly getting it for $10,000. I know it's WAY more money, but honestly, you've probably got several thousand to dump into that red w108 to "make it right" assuming you'd be looking to do that anyway. The seats vs door panels is kind of a deal breaker for me after seeing the pics.

I will see if I can dig up some info on that Japan model w108 with w109 doors.

Edit: Here you go:

.

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Last edited by Fonzi; 07-16-2016 at 08:25 PM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2016, 08:53 PM
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I'd walk away. Rust on rear quarter. Mis matched seats faded paint.

I bought a fantastic shape w108 in 2010 at the top of market value for then and even that has had about 8-10k put into it over the years making small improvements - not even including anything big like paint or interior. This one would suck up 10-20k without blinking an eye if you want to make it right

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You will fall in love and you will want it to be right... That's my opinion for what it's worth


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-17-2016, 06:39 AM
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4 bones for that one? I sold a pristine and well kept 108 for $4400. I'd go half that, maybe, for the red one, even with the rust.
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