Author Topic: 250SE coupe - 280SE coupe price difference?  (Read 6935 times)

66andBlue

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250SE coupe - 280SE coupe price difference?
« on: April 19, 2013, 20:05:08 »
Given two equal cars (for example: both automatic, about equal mileage, no sunroof, no electric windows) how much of a price difference can one expect between a 250SE and a 280SE?
I am only interested in coupe prices, not prices for convertibles!
How much does an additional sunroof add to the price? Is a/c a bonus or a detriment?
Would love to hear your opinions!
Alfred
1964 230SL manual 4-speed 568H signal red
1966 230SL automatic 334G light blue (sold)
1968 280SL automatic (now 904G midnight blue)

Benz Dr.

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Re: 250SE coupe - 280SE coupe price difference?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2013, 21:03:00 »
I would think that both cars would be about the same price. I had a 250SE coupe once and found it to be a very nice car. Most of them have sun roofs but not so many have A/C which I'm not that fond of anyway so asking me won't get you an unbiased answer.

The 280 coupe would probably be priced much like 113's but condition always trumps model.
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn

wwheeler

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Re: 250SE coupe - 280SE coupe price difference?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2013, 21:23:20 »
While I have no pricing, I can give you my opinion. I have a US 280SE and if I had to do it again, I would get a 250 SE. Sure the 280 has more power, but power isn't what these cars are about. The interior is the biggie. The 250 has the wood binnacle (very nice), real chrome seat hinges, shiny chrome mirror and steering wheel trim, nicer sculpted door panels and the list goes on.

Both have the six plunger pump, so to me mechanically, they are similar. A couple of relavent questions:
Does the 250 have rear discs?
Does the 250 have the verticle oil cooler next to the radiator like the 280?
Does the US 250 have the side markers? The 280 does and I don't like them.

I don't use a sunroof and more leaks to worry about. Not a big bonus for me. A/c would be nice in Texas but I am afraid it couldn't keep up to be effective. The a/c adds a lot of clutter in the dash but I think it would have a positive effect on price.

The 250 is much more rare than the 280. So to me, the 250 should more valuable.

Wallace Wheeler
Texas
'68 280SE W111 coupe
'60 220SE W128 coupe
'70 Plymouth Roadrunner 440+6

66andBlue

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Re: 250SE coupe - 280SE coupe price difference?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2013, 00:07:04 »
... The 280 coupe would probably be priced much like 113's but condition always trumps model.
Dan,
I hope not! 280SL prices are now in the $35K - $50K range for a decent one, at least here in CA. For that you can get a 280SE in much better shape and appearance, but since there are fewer of them it takes longer.

The 250 is much more rare than the 280. So to me, the 250 should more valuable.
Wallace,
you make an interesting point. Does rarity trump engine power?

Any other opinions about current price structures/trends?
Alfred
1964 230SL manual 4-speed 568H signal red
1966 230SL automatic 334G light blue (sold)
1968 280SL automatic (now 904G midnight blue)

waqas

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Re: 250SE coupe - 280SE coupe price difference?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2013, 01:34:31 »
Depends on what you compare. You're probably already aware of everything below, but I'll repeat them for everyone's benefit.

(1) All 250 SE coupes were "high grille", 6-cylinder versions, with 4-wheel disc brakes, lots of bling (more on that later).
(2) Early/transition 280 SE coupes were "high grille" ("Hochkuhler"), 6-cylinder versions.
(3) Then came the 280 SE coupes with a "low grille" ("Flachkuhler"), both in 6-cylinder and V-8 configurations.

If you compare (1) and (3) for the 6-cylinder models, sellers seemed to be emphasizing the "low-grille" aspect, which I found very odd. From an aesthetic point of view, I much prefer the "high grille", as that is how the car shape was originally designed. I know there are some who care about getting the "low-grille" version. To me, these idiotic preferences present an opportunity to get a better deal on a "high-grille" version...

If you compare (1) and (2), I personally didn't see any noticeable price difference. There is always that contingent of people who will place a premium on the last model of a given line (same reason behind the irrational price premium of 280 SL over 230/250 SL).

If you don't care about re-sale value and appreciation, then, ... wait for it.... "buy the best car you can find." The old saying is especially apt for a 111 coupe, as the sheet metal and chrome pieces are horribly expensive (if you think a pagoda is bad...). The drive-train is identical to the corresponding sedans, so mechanical spare parts are relatively abundant.

At the time I was searching, I concluded that I needed to find a car in cosmetically great shape, but mechanically so-so. Which is what I ended up with. I've since completely over-hauled most systems (brakes, power-steering, cooling, heating, suspension), as everything was in poor shape. The previous owner had spent more time and money on new rubber, re-painting and re-chroming... which was fine by me! 8)

Regarding personal preferences on the "bling" of earlier models: same arguments transfer over from the pagoda discussions (outside mirrors, inside door hardware, chrome vs. aluminum trim, etc). In addition, the wooden binnacle that Wallace has already mentioned, as well as general quantity of wood on the interior. I very much prefer the earlier models. If these things don't matter much to you, then I would say buy the car that has less rust and better chrome. (watch for dings on the long chrome pieces that run the length of the car, under the doors. Not cheap, and unavailable)

There's nothing like cruising down the highway with four-on-the-floor and the sunroof and all 4 windows open in a pillar-less cabin wrapped in leather, wool, wood, and the shiniest chrome for miles. Who needs a convertible? :)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2013, 05:43:11 by waqas »
Waqas (Wa-kaas) in Austin, Texas

w113dude

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Re: 250SE coupe - 280SE coupe price difference?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2013, 02:10:46 »
There's nothing like cruising down the highway with four-on-the-floor and the sunroof and all 4 windows open in a pillar-less cabin wrapped in leather, wool, wood, and the shiniest chrome for miles. Who needs a convertible? :)

Totally agree.
Shaun Pooladian

67 250SL Auto late, Euro under restoration
70 280SE Coupe factory 5speed
72 250C  (for sale)
80 300CD, converted to 4sp manual, every day driver

66andBlue

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Re: 250SE coupe - 280SE coupe price difference?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2013, 03:26:41 »
Hi Waqas,
thanks for a very interesting and illuminating analysis.
How much did you have to pay for yours - ballpark figure is OK?

The 250 is much more rare than the 280. So to me, the 250 should more valuable.
Hi Wallace,
just found out that according to a Wikipedia entry this may not be correct: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_W111
Apparently 5,259 250SE Coupes and 3,797 280SE Coupes were built.
Alfred
1964 230SL manual 4-speed 568H signal red
1966 230SL automatic 334G light blue (sold)
1968 280SL automatic (now 904G midnight blue)

wwheeler

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Re: 250SE coupe - 280SE coupe price difference?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2013, 04:46:23 »
I am not a big fan of Wikipedia but you are correct for 6 cylinders cars. I looked at http://mercedes.heckflosse.nl/  which is a fairley well know site. It states 4,108 250 SE coupes were built from 1965 to 1967. 280 SE coupes had 3,797 from 1967 through 1971 (six cylinders only). However, 3,270 3.5s coupes were built between 1969 and 1971. So I guess I had always added the two 280SE models together.

If you look at the site, go to history, two door (220, 250 and 280SE) and then 13. production figures. I bet these are pretty accurate. The other thing is that I just don't see many 250 SE cars around when compared to 280 SE cars. Funny thing is that I don't see as many 220 SEb coupe cars around and they produced 14,000 coupes in that model.

So the 280SE cars are divided by 6 cylinder low grille, 6 cylinder high grille and 3.5. My main point as why the 250 is more valuable to me is because of the bling as Waqas put it. That sort of bling will NEVER be put back into cars and is what makes them so special. 
Wallace Wheeler
Texas
'68 280SE W111 coupe
'60 220SE W128 coupe
'70 Plymouth Roadrunner 440+6

waqas

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Re: 250SE coupe - 280SE coupe price difference?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2013, 05:41:27 »
Alfred, sent you a PM.

I think AC is a plus, and a working unit should certainly drive up the price a little bit.
Regarding AC, mine was blowing perfectly ice cold when my heater box decided to go kaput. So I removed it to get to the heater box (an insanely tight fit, btw), and have never put it back since. I have a new rotary compressor for when I reach that part of my to-do list. The AC condenser arrangement is not like the pagoda... In fact, under the hood, everything is identical to a 108 sedan. However, the blower was never integrated with the dashboard (as they did with the 108): I have the under dash unit identical to many pagodas (kuhlmeister). My engine purrs so much better now that it doesn't have to drive the York U-boat era compressor!

I've heard power windows inevitably fail (probably due to lack of lubrication and maintenance), so I don't mind my manual winders too much. Only once (on the way to PUB 2011!) did I have to pull over and rush to close the windows as the rain came down. So, not sure if/how it really affects price.

The sill area under the rear windows is very prone to rust, so please tap underneath that area ( in front of the rear wheel wells).
Waqas (Wa-kaas) in Austin, Texas

wwheeler

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Re: 250SE coupe - 280SE coupe price difference?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2013, 04:51:18 »
I would probably prefer roll down windows as mine are power. Like Waqas said, the power windows fail and is probably due to lubrication and old weatherstriping. On mine, the front windows are fine as they were used frequently I am sure. The rear ones are very slow, but again probably not used much and just need lube. That is on my list. It is nice however to be able to "roll" the back windows down without reaching in the back seat.

My heater valves were leaking a bit and I replaced the o-rings. If I had a/c, that would have been a bear of a job. Since I didn't, it took just a couple of hours. I can live without the a/c, but can certainly see how it is a plus to others. 

On option that I think would add value is a floor shifter. The auto column shifter is out of the way, but lacks the coolness of a floor shift.

Auto vs. manual shift. Eventhough auto is a desirable option, I would LOVE to have a manual 4 speed. The manual shift seems to be in harmony with the engine and drivetrain.
Wallace Wheeler
Texas
'68 280SE W111 coupe
'60 220SE W128 coupe
'70 Plymouth Roadrunner 440+6

Benz Dr.

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Re: 250SE coupe - 280SE coupe price difference?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2013, 16:41:16 »
The rear portion on the sill has three ribs pressed into the metal to act as drain gutters. These things plug up and that's when the problems start. About the only way you can get at this area is to pull the rear arm rest panels off and either blow or wash them out.

 You might be interested to know that I started with 190SL's in 1977 but quickly moved over to 111 coupes at least 10 years before I became a 113 owner. First car I had was a '64 220SEb with sunroof and four speed.  Next car I had was a '67 250SE, four speed with sun roof - both cars were euro versions. Last car I bought is a '70 3.5 coupe which is also a euro version. I still have the 3.5 and sadly, the 250 is a parts car now. :'(
111 coupes were always a lot less than 113's even back in the 70's so you could get a lot of car for not too much money even back then. A nice coupe was probably 10K less than a similar SL in 1980. 8)
I had some customer cars early on but I never see them anymore. In every way a superior car to a 113 and that's saying a lot. ;D
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn

w113dude

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Re: 250SE coupe - 280SE coupe price difference?
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2013, 19:07:02 »
here's a link with w111 production figures.

http://www.heckflosse.nl/prodccv.htm
Shaun Pooladian

67 250SL Auto late, Euro under restoration
70 280SE Coupe factory 5speed
72 250C  (for sale)
80 300CD, converted to 4sp manual, every day driver

66andBlue

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Re: 250SE coupe - 280SE coupe price difference?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2013, 20:17:22 »
.... My main point as why the 250 is more valuable to me is because of the bling as Waqas put it. That sort of bling will NEVER be put back into cars and is what makes them so special. 

Spurred on by the discussion on NADA/Hagerty values for Pagodas I looked at the Hagerty guide and it appears that for this model the amount of "bling" actually does have an influence on the value in contrast to the 250SL/280SL values.
For Condition 1 cars a 1966 250SE coupe is about $8K more valuable than a 1968 280SE; for Condition 2 cars the difference shrinks to $2K.
Bling costs $$ !
The other interesting difference is how steady the value has been, no dip in 2011/12 and no sudden rise in 2013 as the Pagodas have seen.
Alfred
1964 230SL manual 4-speed 568H signal red
1966 230SL automatic 334G light blue (sold)
1968 280SL automatic (now 904G midnight blue)