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1969 280 SE Convertible
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

After much googling, I've finally come across this terrific forum. Needless to say, this is my first post and I need some help (after parsing through the 280se search for the last hour).

I have recently acquired a 1969 280se convertible (280/se/c/8 on the tag). It is a one owner car with about 117k miles, moderate exterior rust bubbles, but is in otherwise good condition for a 30 year old car (as seen by someone who really does not know too much about these cars). Engine runs great and everything in the car works.

Here are just a few of my questions... can anyone tell me if this make/model/year is considered "collectible"? The main reason for the question is for me to decide how serious I need to take the resto... I'm trying to resolve if this car is the kind that I need to get serious about keeping the same paint colors (dark grey on tan fwiw), interior, etc...

Also, I'm sure there are some SD folks around here... can anyone recommend a place (other than the fantastic place in Irvine) for me to take this car into to have checked out and maybe brainstorm some ideas on the resto?

Thanks for the help in advance.

-GL
 

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1965 220S, 1999 Volvo V70 (wagon), 2006 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor, 72 350SL 4 Speed
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1,830 Posts
The 2 doors are very valuable, especially the cabrios. They are well worth the repairs. There are three versions, the high hood, low hood and the 280SE 3.5 with the V8.

Please post some pics.
 

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1983 240d AT1993 e320 AT
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2,270 Posts
Being "collectible" is not only gauged based on vehicle type like what wbain already mentioned (2dr coupe or convertible) but also depending on it's condition (freshness and completeness)
 

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1990 Mercedes 300TE Estate Wagon 3.0L 208K miles Smoke Silver/Cream Beige Tex. and others.
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166 Posts
Your car is well worth the effort as long as you go into it with eyes open, restoration and parts for W111 coupes and Cabrios,(yours) are hugely expensive, but so is the value of the car once restored, just do a quick check on ebay and see what they are bringing.$$
Yours being a 2.8 is most likely a tall grille car, 2.8 with the low grille were run out models at the end of the production range and very rare, this was the V8 hood normally. Lower because the V8 set lower in the chassis, versus the tall 2.8 6cyl. They are truly IMHO the finest body style coupe and cabrio that MB made post war. I had a W111 Coupe 220SEb, and would truly love another when the right deal comes around.. Good luck with yours.
 

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1971 Mercedes 280sel (w108)
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86 Posts
Definitely a keeper. Be prepared to spend a lot of $$. Just a side note, If it is a 1969 it is then 40 yrs. old not 30.
 

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1969 280 SE Convertible
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all... and yes... 40 years old. Lost a decade there somewheres...

So I've been doing a bit of digging and have a few pictures. Engine is a 6, so I think we are looking at a '69 111, right?



Had the engine checked out and but for a few minor leaks, it is in good running order. There are some rust spots, but it is not as bad as I thought it might be (spare tire area, couple of wheel wells edges, etc...). Found a bit of bondo work and a new front left rocker. Otherwise, looks pretty solid. And it has the tool bag and manuals which is slick (btw... do the new cars still have owner maintenance schedule to 250kms? ;-p).

Here are a few more shots...





One real pressing question... if/when I bring this car in for paint, how serious should I be in maintaining its original color?

Thanks for all of the continued help.
 

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90 300 SE ,85 300 GD
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1,574 Posts
If you are considering re-sale value, keep everything as original as possible. If you are just looking at it as a driver, don't be as concerned. It would be easy to spend 15,000 on a good body and paint job. Fenders and rear quarter panels are 2,000 each. As has been mentioned, it would be worth it in the long run. Total production for the coupe and convertible was 5,187 units from 1968-1972. Price was $31,140 East Coast in 1970.
 

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1969 280 SE Convertible
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Made a mistake. The car is actually a 1968. Got it registered today and noted the mistake.

Any idea what the going rate should be for a proper paint job on this kind of project (SoCal)?
 

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64' 220SEc, 72' 300SEL 6.3, lots of parts
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512 Posts
gnecker,
call me I am in San Diego, 619-203-9844 Brian O.
I can answer all your questions
 

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1969 280 SE Convertible
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
280se update...

Greetings all...
Thought I would post this by way of an update (and in hopes of getting additional questions answered). :p



Paint and chrome are done (or very nearly so) and the car just went in for a new interior. My big question of the day is this...

The car currently has black carpeting that must have been redone at some point. Is there any way to tell what the original color might have been? Is there a website that shows the original color combinations from the factory? We have the leather resolved, but the carpet is bugging me. If it is black, that's fine. Just want to make sure.

Thanks for all of the help and advise!
 

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'72 250C, '74 280C, '85 500SEL, '81 300CD.
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1,126 Posts
I believe the build sheet has the carpet info. Try the MB "Classics" center. Do a "search" on the forum for the number/web address and send them an email or call. They will email you a copy of the build sheet and you can print it out.
 

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1966 250SE Cab, 1989 500SEL euro
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3,570 Posts
Contact the Classic Center and ask for your "data card" - Mercedes-Benz. That card will give you the options your car had from the factory. The body will be the most expensive thing for you to do, and a solid job will be over $8,000 but less than $30,000 depending on how crazy you want to go, which stems from what you're going to do with the car. If you're going to show it, you get the $30,000 job. If you're going to keep it and drive it, then do a $12,000 to $15,000 job that'll last a long time and show very well. If you're going for "banger", you can get it done for the $8,000. Find a shop that has done these before; DON'T hire some normal average shop regardless of the job you choose to do. You'll save thousands by finding someone with experience. Trust me on this one; lots of people have been burned by this.

Value when done: I have a 1966 250SE Cab with 86k on it, and the car is original, rust free, documents, and one previous owner. I estimate its real-world value at $45,000, but I might be able to get more with patience.



 

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2004 E320
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473 Posts
Greetings all...
Thought I would post this by way of an update (and in hopes of getting additional questions answered). :p



Paint and chrome are done (or very nearly so) and the car just went in for a new interior. My big question of the day is this...

The car currently has black carpeting that must have been redone at some point. Is there any way to tell what the original color might have been? Is there a website that shows the original color combinations from the factory? We have the leather resolved, but the carpet is bugging me. If it is black, that's fine. Just want to make sure.

Thanks for all of the help and advise!
Sounds like the paint & chrome are all done "or mostly" as the gent stated. Can you post some more photos of the car? I never get tired of seeing these great car's. As already mentioned , contact the classic center for the data card on your car for the correct carpet color.
 

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1969 280 SE Convertible
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fantastic advice guys! Thanks! I will call the classic center on Monday.

Here is an album with some prelim before and after shots.

I have a ton more shots coming and will post them when I get the whole project done.

Some details for those interested (The goal for the car is to be a weekend driver... that also looks sharp. :D ):

For the paint, I did some homework on the paint before I settled on the guy who did the work. I have friends who restore Porsches and BMWs, so their advice has been real useful. Looked at a ton of jobs from various shops. I chose a friend who does a mixed bag of painting from hot rods to bikes to a stunning (Pebble quality) 356. Real quality work (and also, thanks to the current state of economic affairs, had a ton of time on his hands to do the job properly and for less than he would normally), but definitely not a $30k job. It was a bit of a chance going with a non-"Mercedes guy", but the bottom line for me was the time and attention to detail he promised (and ultimately delivered). I'd be curious to let someone who knows more about these cars take a look at this paint job for comment.

Chrome (all 52 pieces of it :eek:) was done by Pacific Plating here in SD. I am still floored by the job those guys did. It all looks brand new.

Interior is being done by a guy in Costa Mesa right now who came highly recommended.

Expect the finished car to be done in early October.

Thanks again for your help!
 

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1969 280 SE Convertible
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Time for another update...

Got in touch with the Classic Center as you all recommended. What a great place to deal with! Prompt and very very helpful. I now have the data card on the card and have learned quite a few things. The exterior color (173 - Anthracite Grey) is original. The top and carpet are not. The top was 742- Light Grey when new and the carpet was a Dark Grey Velour.

My question this time around is to see if there is any place that sets out the meanings of all of these codes. Some I have figured out, the Classic Center guys told me about the carpet colors, but I'd like to try and look this stuff up on my own.Is there a centralized spot that tells me what all these other codes mean?

Thanks again!!
 

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1998 SL500, 1959 220S, 1970 280SL
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783 Posts
The Pagoda web site (Pagoda SL Group - Index) has a wiki with an excellent discussion of how to read datacards. Benzworld sometimes nukes competing site names, so that's

dub dub dub sl113 dot org
 

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1965 220S, 1999 Volvo V70 (wagon), 2006 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor, 72 350SL 4 Speed
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1,830 Posts
That's not the original steering wheel. It's from a later one such as the 450Sl, W116, or the W114 W115 later models.

I want to add one of those to my W111 220S because the wheel is thicker and padded and easier to hold than the earlier wheel.
 

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1969 280 SE Convertible
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Figure it is time for another update on this project...

Interior is nearly finished on the car. Thanks to the Classic Center, we are going back to the original carpet color (Dark Grey) and sticking with the same original leather color (parchment).

I also opted to re-do the top (gulp!) and am going back to the original color there (light grey). I'm a bit nervous going back to the original color on the top as I liked how the black and anthracite looked, but it needs to be done and I'd rather hedge on the side of originality.

I'm hoping to have the car back from the interior shop by the end of this month.

Now for the begging for help... ;-p

When I was having the chrome done, the guys who did it took the front grill apart. If you know the car well, you'll know there are small strips of chrome on the exterior of the grill. There are tiny slotted pins that push into the grill. I'm missing most of those (@*&# pins. Anyone have a thought as to where I might be able to find a dozen or so (aside from making them myself)?

Thanks as always for the help. You guys have proven invaluable!
 

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W111 - W124 - W140
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30 Posts

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1969 280 SE Convertible
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Filing this under the old axiom "in for an inch, in for a mile..." :D

Now that the interior is looking all nice and sparkly, the wood in this 280 is now looking like it needs to get done (especially since I have everything torn apart... might not have a better chance at getting it done!).

Does anyone out there have a good name for auto wood restoration? As the car is now torn apart in Southern Cali, I'd like to find someone in the area. Google has turned up a few names, but I'd like some first hand experience if possible.

And one other question (and I'm a bit worried about this answer)...

The car came to me with a black top. It was original from the factory with "742- Folding top fabric, Light Grey". I'm replacing the top on this car now and am trying to make the call of whether to go back to the light grey or to stick with the black. I've taken a look at samples from GAHH and am a bit confused as to which one "Light Grey" is. Anyone have any insight? Any thoughts of how important going back to the original color is in the grand scheme of things?

Help? :confused:
 
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