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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-28-2018, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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64 y/o guy from NE Ga with a yen for a classic MB. I currently drive a GTI, MGB, and F150. My uncle had a mid-70s 450SEL when I was younger and I loved that car. I'm looking around for a similar vintage 280SE/SEL or 450SE/SEL. But I know relatively little about them. Is there a strong case for choosing one over the other? I understand the 280 and 450 were different series but I don't know all the changes. Any insight would be most appreciated. I know from my MGB that there are certain things it's best to know before buying (if interested, ask me about dash pads and windshields for example LOL). Are there similar 'gotchas' with these MBs? Thanks
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-28-2018, 01:23 PM
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Vehicle: 68 250S, 91 300se, 98 SL500, 450SEL 6.9, 14 CLS550 Past MB's; 300SD, 300E, 300TE, 190E, ML420
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All W116 the bodies and interiors are identical. of course there are 3 different seat materials. leather, cloth and velour. the SEL is 100mm longer.

the 280 was the most sold worldwide @280 ,000
the 450 was @100 ,000

280 should get better gas mileage, less total power. either that you look at just drive to see if you like the feeling of it.

Very different engines. I have a w126 300se - auto and for a short time had a W126 280se - manual. even though same body, they felt like completely different cars. the 280 is a higher reving very peppy engine. the 300se is sedate.
I would think the w116 would likewise have the same different feel to them.

biggest issues of W116 are rust, rust and rust. look under floor mats, corner of firewall and fender, around rear wheels, bottom of doors, jack points - try the jack in each hole and carefully watch to see if things just start bending....

There are many out there, look for the best interior and exterior, and not one that "ran when last parked" - those are a couple thou to just get running.

any you get need full fluids and filter changes immediately.

Euro are always better more hp and simpler heating controls, smaller bumpers. the later usa GM heater servo can be a nightmare.

because of their age be prepared to replace a lot of rubber items.

w116.org will have tons of info for you there.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-28-2018, 01:33 PM
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CL in Atlanta there are 2 w116

https://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/c...465603208.html $2500 doesnt run - run away from it.

https://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/c...449414449.html $13,500 Still need a few bits here and there, maybe a little high, but probably worth it in the long run. This is the quality of car you want to buy, not the non running abused worn out one. It looks like the owner(s) really cared for the car over all it's years.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I've seen that CL listing and may try to view the car this weekend. The ad's almost a month old and seller says "firm" - implies to me that the price is too high. And it isn't my favorite color LOL. I'm always suspicious of non-running cars. Why not just pay a mechanic a couple hundred to get the carb sorted and have a much easier time selling it for more money? Still, I have bought a few cars in the past with issues and saved a ton once I got them sorted.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 10:44 AM
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"Doesn't run" equates to "scrap" value. $350.00 minus towing charge.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 11:11 AM
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the seller may not even know the diff between a carb and fi. Couple hundred means couple thousand. And then you still have a car that needs $$$ to make into a nice car.


"nothing more expensive than a cheap mercedes"

$13500 seems like a lot until you spend $15K fixing the $2500 car.

take an awl with you when you go look at the silver car and poke all the metal.
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