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1984 Production Euro Spec 280CE 4-speed

12151 Views 137 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  MSGGrunt
New to me and just arrived from Texas. September 1984 production 280CE 4-speed, European spec as confirmed by the VIN. 43,193 document miles. I am now the 3rd owner. The story on the car is that the original owner was a Doctor who ordered it and took delivery of the car in Belgium, drove it around Europe while on vacation and then shipped it to Texas. According to the 2nd owner who worked with this doctor he found himself on the wrong side of the law and went to prison for 7 years. The story was told to me that when he was released from prison he drove the car, presumably without checking the oil, and blew the motor. The 2nd owner paid $500.00 for the car, I have a copy of the bill of sale, and purchased a new short block from Adsit, which I have the receipt for, swapped everything over from the blown motor and had it installed in the car.

The Good: The block has only approximately 10,000 miles on it.
The Bad: It is no longer a matching numbers car.

When imported the car was federalized and US spec headlights, taillights and bumpers were installed. And at some point in the vehicles life the front manual window regulators were swapped for power ones.

The car came with its original owner's manuals, complete tool kit, original Pirelli Cinturato spare (I don't think it has ever been out of the car), original first aid kit, and even a mint working Becker Europa radio.

To Do:
  • Swap in Euro headlights (already have a set).
  • Go back to manual front windows (already have the manual regulators and cranks with trim).
  • Swap out US spec bumpers for Euro spec. Low priority right now.
  • The car came from the factory with a rear seatbelt delete option (I found this to be an odd option and even more odd to select it). I am missing and need to source one of the rear panel seat belt blanking covers. Done, I found the second trim piece in a box of spares in the trunk.
  • Replace all the wood trim. I have already ordered a complete set from W123 I am going with burl rather than the original Zebrano as I feel it will look nice with the black/grey interior. 10 to 12 weeks to make.
  • Source a crack free or less crack free dash.
  • Give the paint a good cut, buff and polish.
  • Possibly go back to Euro taillights.
  • Replace shifter bushing.
  • Replace cracked exterior window wiper rubbers.
  • Tune up with new plugs, cap, rotor, injectors with new cups and O-rings, adjust valves and replace all fluids as well as a good cooling system flush.
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Really nice car ....
That Tacho looks familiar ...... What colour paint did you use for the needles ?​

Factory manual 280CE is rare as it is, I bet it is the only one in the US. How do you jack it up with the side skirts ?

You will also have the euro spec'ed M110 which has 182hp rather than the low compression version sold in North America and Australia rated at 152hp ....
The pistons were scalloped (low comp).

Manuals were cheaper at the time and the lack of options on yours suggest there was a modicum of budget consciousness by the good doctor. Nearly all benz'es out here were autos as it was pitched as a "luxury" model. I suspect North America was the same.

UK was a different story and nearly all the manuals you find here are grey imports from there (I have a 5 speed wagon that came from the UK in 1986).
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I suspect getting a burl trim was not possible for the Series 1 auto climate control like in your sedan... From the photos, they have made up your panel compatible with Series II manual climate so should be good.

Good luck sourcing a non cracked LHD dash pad - I guess a northern car in a junkyard somewhere ?
Not true, nearly all coupes in the UK are automatic, there are more manuals further down the range the UK had the 200 petrol option entry money lots of manuals here but on the main more autos than manuals
This wasn't a comment on the proportion of manuals to auto's in the UK, but rather in AU there were no locally delivered manuals and nearly all the manuals I see here (including the one I own) are grey imports from the UK, suggesting that it was an option that was exercised by many purchasers.
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Can you imagine that car in Texas without aircon ?

If you were picky, you could find a 240D being parted and retrieve the whole underdash system from that, as well as the wiring.

At the very least, convert those relays to the MB silver cubes with the 6 pin plugs
Would this be there if spec's with front power windows or would there be another door panel used that didn't require a blanking plug?
The data card would have shown Electric Lift windows - Not listed means they were not supplied and the plug in the door card says it all (there would not have been a hole).

There are plenty of the Euro lights down here but the glass lenses are wrong. Can you but the LHD lenses cheaply enough cause I am sure I can send you the rest ...

spec sheet says '5-speed' transmission, but the gear shifter shows a 4-speed
The reference to 5 Speed is for the center bearing, which the 5 speed used a different one. I suspect by 1984, all manuals were getting it as the transmission in the Spec sheet is a 716.006 which is a 4 speed.
Regarding the lights. I wonder if the glass in the euro Depo lights would fit on the OEM Euro housings?
They look right - Would have to measure the glass lip top to bottom and left to right. Are you after the OEM for Vacuum adjust (which I never use) or piece of mind ?
Very nice - I bet it's the first time its seen snow for a while ...

M110 Carburetor I suspect by the rear badge.

My wife had a coupe of that model .... Almost as indestructible as the W123, just a little more prone to rust.
Wow - That's a smart looking EFI system

The only thing missing is a 280SL.
and a W116 280SEL ....
Sometimes it pays to hoard.
That's the warm feeling of satisfaction when your hoard supplies just that thing you need ....
The wrap around bumpers where on the coupes and 280E sedan. You also need the mounting hardware for the sides (see the "hooks" in the shadows of the pictures) and rubber strip across the top. They are pretty shinny for polished stainless steel.
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