w108,107 Parts Hoarder
Date registered: Jun 2010
Vehicle: 4Keep:450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500seAMG 2sell:500sl92 380se83 300se86 350sl4sp 75slc MorInSig
Location: Philadelphia Area
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Quoted: 1676 Post(s)
I found a 1973 280se 4.5 listed with no pictures on CL from a guy that had just gone through surgery and had bought a boxter. I don't think he had a price in the listing but said on the phone that he had about $3000 into it, but it's a solid rot free California car. And he said he would let it go for $1500. He said it smoked, and the trans fluid had leaked out. I told him I would try to get some time to come look at it. A smoking 4.5 d-jet didn't concern me much. I'd thought I'd learned the motor pretty well by that time. I'd never had a w108 and always saw them as a much nicer and higher level car than the w114/115 cars. IMO, a w108 sedan trumped a w114 coupe (which trumped a w114 sedan), which I may have had all of at the time. Anyway, about 2-3 weeks later, the guy sent me an email asking if I wanted the car for $750. I immediately sent the deposit.
Now what do I like about mine?
- rot free
- 4.5 (which isn't much worse than a w114 with dual zeniths on MPG), and I'd had much more luck with d-jets than zeniths.
- power windows
- some records including original data sheet and maintenance book.
- the windsheild dash wood is very good
- original Becker radio seems to work (but no antenna is hooked up).
- came with a set of alloy steelies I was able to sell off to recoupe some of the $750 spent on the car.
- smokes oil like a chimney. Called "old smokey" around here. I assume the heads need to be rebuilt. I'm playing with ideas of what to do. Install one of the other 4.5 engines I have, or get a spare set of heads rebuilt, or go all out and out my 3.5 heads on there, etc.
- passenger window only goes 3/4 the way up by itself
- no heater or AC fans blow and the bottom Hvac / heat controls don't move, but at least they aren't broken.
- front driver seat trashed. Covered in sheepskin right now to solve that issue, but I have other seats.
- suspension needs some major work as it should NOT make those noises when I hit a bump. But it rides very smoothly.
- wiring harness pretty crusty needing lots of love (but bought replacement).
- repaint was a cheap repaint and it has lots and lots of cracking, and the creme color really kind of sucks.
- hubcaps were green, so I sold them and bought some creme ones.
But it runs, for a very low dollar investment. It still needs thousands in work though.
I imagine that with any old MB, you want to buy the best example you can afford because you will otherwise end up with a project that needs lots of work before it can really be enjoyed. And you want a nice car, not a pile of junk. I'm addicted to junk if you can't tell.