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Discussion Starter #1
Guys,

I'm looking to add another older MB to my stable (of one 560SL). This would be an addition to my daily driver and/or a car for the wife to enjoy (along with her SUV).

I haven't seen either one yet, but would like some advice on buying either one of these cars, any experience you may have with them, any problems to look for, etc.

'81 Mercedes 280 SL - $3000 - 60,000 original miles, removable hardtop, needs transmission work and restoration. This is a Euro-spec vehicle. I emailed this guy and he said that car was in 'great shape' considering its age. But it needs a new transmission or a rebuild.

1977 MERCEDES 280 SE - $3000 - Great running car!! Elderly owner must sell!! Garaged -- 4 dr,PS,PB,PL,AC,AT. only 114,000 miles.

Thanks for any comments you guys can provide!
 

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I think the 77 would be the better of the 2. they are both cool cars but I think the 77 will be better and also the moter has not broken in yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good Advice

That's true, what you say. Thanks.

Also, I'm wondering about the issues with owning a "Euro" model SL...
 

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That's true, what you say. Thanks.

Also, I'm wondering about the issues with owning a "Euro" model SL...
I've got a euro 1989 300SL with absolutely no issues whatsoever. Its done 200k miles and still drives like a dream.

I guess regular servicing and maintenance is the key.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Euro Model

I guess I should have said, "owning a Euro-model in the USA". Didn't mean to slight Euro-model Benz's, worldwide. :)
 

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As to the 280SL, looking past the trans issue for a bit, imagine a slightly underpowered version of your 560... The 'euro' factor is a minor consideration. The major differences mostly involve the engine and it's internals, parts are available, and there are enough euro owners here and on other forums to get any questions answered. That said, if the trans is bad, your 3k SL is actually a 6k outlay from the start.

Now imagine the 2.8L six, with lower compression and US smog equipment, attempting to haul a larger, four door sedan. A four year older four door sedan, with nearly twice the miles.

Unless you really need that relatively spacious back seat, the SL will be much more fun.

Dave.
 

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That's an easy one for me, even without seeing them: Neither. The 280SL needs some real work, so you won't get any immediate benefit. "Restoration" is a really expensive word. When done you will have a less refined, anoemic version of your 560SL.

The 280SE, other than being a Benz, has no particular redeeming charachteristics- it's a 30 year old underpowered sedan. I'm not aware of any specific desireability of these, so a resale won't make you any money.

Chief
 

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Go with the 280SE. You've already got the king of the W107 hill (the 560SL), why buy another W107. Plus sounds like the SL will take thousands of $$$ for the tranny rebuild (after only 60,000 miles?) and restoration. Sounds like the SE is in great original shape and ready to run.

Variety is the spice of life as they say.
 

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Meh. I'd hang tight and wait for an 80's 280CE or some such to come your way. I've always liked the look of those coupes! :)
 

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See how bad the tranny is on the 280sl and remember depending on where you are smog may be an issue. If the tranny is still drivable I'd warm up the engine and throw a couple quarts of ATF fluid and figure if you blow it up you're no worse off than before. Sounds like an abuse case because my car has 120k miles on the original tranny and it still shifts into all the gears. Maybe have the fluid changed and the thing topped off.

the 280se is too big of a car with too little of an engine in my opinion, You'd be better off going with either a 280ce, e, c etc. I love the straight six in my car, but see why people would rather have a 560sl with all the goodies(airbags, abs, traction control, etc). Why introduce a headache that the 280sl will turn into, obviously If your considering buying a 280sl in need of restoration you have too much money. An example, let's say you want to keep the original velours upholstery, well everyone here punked out and went for leather because you can find it.

Unless you'd drive and enjoy the 280 I'd pass, especially with the cost of premium around 4 bucks a 24gallon gas tank and lousy gas mileage as icing on the cake. Good luck and don't rush into anything because if the car sat what else is going to need to be fixed (lots).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Good Advice from All

Thanks for the comments and advice - obviously a lot of wisdom here. Thanks!
 
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