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Old 07-18-2000, 04:59 PM
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I have recently dicovered a rather neglected 280SE 4.5 within a mile from my house, just aging away. The car has little rust and the owner said it ran within a year but developed a knock, he thought it was a rod, so a rebuild is probable. Interior is in decent shape but will take some work to be perfect.

My question is, what are these cars worth? Is it a rare model? I have looked in autotrader and the nice ones seem to be fetching a high price (12-20k). Are there parts out there for this car? Are they outrageously expensive? What about a rebuild, what is the cost of a DIY job and buying/keeping the tools (major block, head work done at a shop) verses a professional job?

The car is a Euro and has 181k on the odometer and he is asking $600. Stay away or jumpin, that is the question.

96 C280, Greenish Black
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Old 07-18-2000, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Do you need a hobby? My model trains cost me more than I could ever get back out of them.

Professionally, I don't know but maybe one or two or those cars that are worth more than $5000. A rebuilt engine done professionally will cost that. A lot is labor so its a prime candidate for DIY hobbying.

They were nice, powerfull cars that didn't handle particularly well and had marginal A/C and heating systems.
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Old 07-18-2000, 08:21 PM
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Having just bought one, I agree with Steve. If your motive is wanting to have a mechanical project nad don't want any return on your investment, you have a great candidate. If you are considering the purchase because of the low entry cost, it will be more than made up in parts costs.

I really like the body style and power and tend to agree with all that Steve said. If this is the type of car you want, I suggest that you spend time shopping around and buy one in good to very good shape. You can then spend your time tweaking the little things at minimal cost while enjoying the drive. Patience is the key to buying the right car. I would also suggest that you take every opportunity to test drive any and all cars of this make that come available in your area. That will establish a baseline on expectations and help you figure out if that is what you want. If heaven forbid my car ever needs a major component like an engine or transmission, I will probably just buy a parts car and swap the engine.

My post decribing my purchase will be entered in the Vintage section tonight and possibly a second in the general section under "40 hour work week".


87 300TD, 160,000 miles
72 280SEL 4.5, 250,000 miles
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Old 07-18-2000, 11:05 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,935

I seem to recall reading about the 108 body 280SE 4.5 some time ago in The Star magazine, and seeing that the Daimler-Benz engineers considered it to be the best car ever to roll out of the factory. I certainly like them myself, and came very close to buying a '73 280SEL 4.5 once, but when I saw the 6.9 the next day, the choice was obvious for me. Anyhow, they are, indeed cool cars to have. Plenty of power, poor fuel economy, and a timeless look. For $600 you can't really go wrong if the body is reasonably sound. If it's shot, forget about even restoring it. These models are waaay too numerous to justify a restoration. En engine should be an easy find as there are also plenty of the 108 bodied cars in breaker yards. Buy it, play with it, and if it needs serious work, take the hit (at least it'll be a minor one), or, should you feel the urge, get involved with it and bring back another vintage Benz on the road! I always like to see that! Just my $0.02

Aaron Greenberg
MB technician
Precision Motorcars, Cincinnati, Ohio
'67 250SE Cabriolet
'77 450SL
'80 300SD
'85 380SE
'86 420SEL
'89 420SEL
'93 300E 2.8
'74 Jensen Interceptor Mk.III
'81 DeLorean DMC12
'84 BMW 745i Turbo
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