Author Topic: W11x 1971 280SE 3.5 (update)  (Read 367 times)

pin2win

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W11x 1971 280SE 3.5 (update)
« on: July 30, 2020, 18:21:59 »
All, just want to thank everyone for their responses to my 2016 original post of the same name (link below has pictures) regarding the 71' 280SE 3.5 coupe that was given to me by my grandfather.  I held on to the car until I could find the time to start working on it myself or hopefully save to where I could have the car restored by a professional.  In 2016 I wound up sending pictures to a few restoration shops and all but one told me the car was essentially a parts car.  Coincidentally, the one who told me it could be restored happened to be a well-respected MB expert whose shop is located a short drive from where I kept the car back home.  My grandfather passed last year and I've finally gotten to the point where I'm relatively comfortable enough financially to get the car evaluated.  The car was recently delivered to his shop and I'm expecting to hear his views soon on the options/estimates that are available as well as a recommendation.  Knowing the car has visible rust damage, I'm hoping the cost will be reasonable enough (for me) to where I can feel comfortable getting a full exterior/engine restoration and keep the car.  The interior is in much better shape than the exterior (surprisingly) and it drove perfectly when it was parked, so fingers crossed!  I'm only 33, so at a certain point i'll either have to put it off for another several years or pay for the restoration knowing that I may need to sell the car eventually to get my money out.  I'll provide an update soon! 

https://www.sl113.org/forums/index.php?topic=24523.0

By the way, this is a European edition that was imported in the 70's. It has the headlight wiper blades, floor-shift option, and the speedometer/odometer are in kilometres (has ~85,000 mi). Below is the data card also in my original post.

Chassis number:                 111 026 12 004240
Engine number:                  116 980 12 005216
Transmission number:      008762
Exterior color code:           717 – papyrus white
Interior color code:           245 – blue leather
Option codes;
401     single seats
420     floor-shift
431     safety belts
462     rear fog lamp
541     halogen lamp unit
573     headrests, l&r
594     heat insulated glass
616     rear turn signal lamps, orange
630     radial-ply tires
249     heated rear pane
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 22:48:36 by Garry »

Vander

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Re: 1971 280SE 3.5 (update)
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2020, 18:59:59 »
That's a great story about the car, awesome you are seeing it through! What shop did you entrust it to?

High end paint where I am located is $25-30k.

The engine I'm guessing will be close to $15k.
Metric Motors charges around $10k for a long block rebuild, then labor to install, additional parts and detailing. If you do paint and engine, have the engine compartment painted while it is out. It makes a big difference once done.

PeterPortugal

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Re: 1971 280SE 3.5 (update)
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2020, 11:38:43 »
I would be interested to hear what you will do with the colours if you are having a full resto.

My car is Black with Tan interior but the original colours were Payrus White with Blue too.

If I ever decide to fully restore the car I often wonder whether I would go back to the original colours but I don't really like them. From the pictures I see on the internet, they just look "plain". White cars seem to be marked down in price too.

I like the metallic blues the best.

1963 220se Cabrio
1968 280se Coupe

pin2win

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Re: 1971 280SE 3.5 (update)
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2020, 14:22:32 »
Vander thank you for the insight.  The car is with Bob Platz at Precision Autoworks.  I caught up with him briefly yesterday... the bad news is the frame is going to need rust repair which adds a pretty significant element of cost.  The good news is the interior is in much better condition than anticipated so the floor doesn't need to be rebuilt and we should be able to refresh the original leather seats, door panels, etc.  Only thing that should need to be replaced is the carpeting which is pretty minor.  I'm glad the seats are in good shape because I know the scent and touch of leather from that time period is irreplaceable.  He is still looking it over, but so far the other good news is that the car is completely original and not missing any parts.  The parts he has identified (so far) as needing to be replaced are all pretty easy to find or can be purchased new from MB.  Lastly, and maybe one of the biggest $ savers, is that the original chrome is in tact and in pretty good shape.  The question mark at this point is the engine - obviously a big cost difference between a refresh vs. rebuild.  I'm optimistic the engine is in good shape based on what i've been told by my family.  Overall, I think the cost is going to be higher than I originally estimated because of the frame,but my original math assumed we'd throw on some seat covers and know the interior could be another large cost down the road to get the car to a ~2 rating.  It sounds like the interior will need less work required to get it there and in the end those savings could net out against the frame repair. No decision has been made at this point but I'm hoping there are no more bogeys in store.
As a side note to others who will read this thread, I'm fully aware some people will agree with paying for this level of restoration whereas others may be thinking "piece out the work and do it yourself kid"!  I wish I had the time and expertise to do the latter, but to me, this is a family car that I'll enjoy to own and there is a sense of urgency motivating me.  I've also done my homework and trust Bob based on his reputation and I know him doing this job will only benefit the car's story.  He has told me not to make this investment if I'm simply wanting to flip the car because it's not worth the risk or time.  That said, I'm optimistic about being able to get my money out of this car if I ever had to.  I hope that won't be the case, but I'm a fairly young guy. I'm also thinking of (or justifying?) this from an investment standpoint...  I truly believe these cars will appreciate over the next 10+ years and if I can make it that long without having to sell then I'm betting on myself to be in the clear.  I also feel pretty good about it having a floor value given it's a relatively rare, hand built Mercedes with what I think is still a contemporary design.  Hopefully you guys buy this "alternative asset investing" theory better than my wife does! ;D Again, no decision has been made, but i remain hopeful that the numbers will work out such that I can get the car fully restored over time.         
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 17:59:49 by pin2win »

pin2win

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Re: 1971 280SE 3.5 (update)
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2020, 15:07:27 »
I would be interested to hear what you will do with the colours if you are having a full resto.

My car is Black with Tan interior but the original colours were Payrus White with Blue too.

If I ever decide to fully restore the car I often wonder whether I would go back to the original colours but I don't really like them. From the pictures I see on the internet, they just look "plain". White cars seem to be marked down in price too.

I like the metallic blues the best.
That's a great question and I've changed my mind on the answer countless times!  I've always planned on keeping the interior original assuming it would keep cost down, so really only a few colors go well with blue.  My favorite paint on these cars is the light grey (DB 140) or silver (DB 735?), but if i went that route i think I'd be dreaming of a tan interior.  So at the moment I'm leaning towards its original papyrus white... I've always liked classy white cars, it's how I remember it as a kid, and I think it's hard to argue against keeping it original to the data sheet. 

Speaking of data sheet though, another decision I may face is whether I want to add a sunroof or A/C... This car has neither.  I assume A/C would be the cheaper, less intrusive option, but they also didn't offer A/C in the European edition so it wasn't meant to be there.  I would enjoy the sunroof more and it was an available option so I don't think it could hurt the value (maybe help if anything), but it's likely much more expensive to add.  The sunroof would need to be added during restoration but at least the A/C can always be added down the road to keep cost down. This will be a game-time decision if I get to it!
 

PeterPortugal

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Re: 1971 280SE 3.5 (update)
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2020, 22:29:09 »
Light grey...is that "Arabian Grey"? that's a nice colour...unusual too. Silver looks class especially with black hub caps and a black roof. See another post in this W111 section for that.

If you are keeping the blue interior then you could go silver. I have a blue/silver car too. The problem for me with white is I have never seen a W111 in this colour apart from in images. It might look great in the flesh !

Good luck with the resto, I hope you get good news and it all stays manageable.
1963 220se Cabrio
1968 280se Coupe

lpeterssen

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Re: 1971 280SE 3.5 (update)
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2020, 11:42:27 »
Dear Pin2win

I have read all your post related to this w111-280-3.5 and I see much love on it.

I also own many MB w111 all of them with 6 cylinder engines. 220SE, 250SE and finally 300SE, the later with sunroof.

I think that regarding adding a sunroof that it is too intrusive and requires many modifications to do it right. Also when cars get old that is a major source of rust.  Original cars with sunroof had Pilar A and Pilar C with special holes to allow inserting a drain hose from the ceiling edges to a hole near the hinges in the doors and back on the quarter panels close to back seats also comes another hose on each side that drains there.

An A/C well installed is a better approach. Look at MARK IV at classic air USA. Those are good quality aftermarket cabin consoles, not Chinese.

Look at this link for a A/C system wiring sub harness I made for a customer in Australia.
https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0Q52plgjSkXR7

An important part always forgotten in cars is the electrical system.  Frequent battery discharges and strange behavior of the car is many times related to aged electrical systems.

I can support you on that at a special rate considering the history of your Family car.

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0Q5M7GFPW7kHX

Here you can consult the look of any Mercedes in many Colour schemes.

http://www.classicway.de/

And if you do not have the DATACARD I can indicate to who should you write to obtain it.


Regards
L.peterssen

pin2win

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Re: 1971 280SE 3.5 (update)
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2020, 18:48:39 »
Light grey...is that "Arabian Grey"? that's a nice colour...unusual too. Silver looks class especially with black hub caps and a black roof. See another post in this W111 section for that.
I believe the Arabian Grey is darker, maybe similar to Anthracite Grey 173. I read they stopped using the Arabian Grey in 1968, which is the year Anthracite Grey started. That said, I don't know if the Light Grey I referenced was available on the W111's.  I was probably thinking of Beige Grey 728.
If you are keeping the blue interior then you could go silver. I have a blue/silver car too. The problem for me with white is I have never seen a W111 in this colour apart from in images. It might look great in the flesh !
Silver would be my first choice if I changed it, and I couldn't agree more with your take on white! I do like that this car is Papyrus White 717 though, which in my opinion is the brightest of the white options. I read somewhere it's actually in the grey family, compared to standard 050 white being in beige family.  Either way, the name makes you think of parchment or eggshell color, but in reality it's more of an alpine/arctic white.

pin2win

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W11x Re: 1971 280SE 3.5 (update)
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2020, 19:00:03 »
lpeterssen, thank you for your insight and I will keep your offer in mind.  I agree with your take on the sunroof and was aware of the drain scheme.  One thing I'm not sure of though is whether the original cars with sunroofs had some form of added support?  Given the size of these sunroofs I'd think reinforcements were needed to prevent torque issues, unless maybe all models had the same, sturdy roof design.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 22:49:00 by Garry »

lpeterssen

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Re: W11x 1971 280SE 3.5 (update)
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2020, 23:49:35 »
Dear Pin2win

The w111 cars with OEM sunroof had exactly the same roof structure as the ones without. The difference resides on the structure that holds the sunroof itself which is bolted in many places to the longitudinal and transverse beams that are below the roof. They have more than x20 hex 10 mm screws all around.  Also there is a special burial seal among both structures to rigidize, and avoid disturbing sounds.

Best regards
L.P

austinado16

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Re: W11x 1971 280SE 3.5 (update)
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2020, 01:07:17 »
Good job hanging onto it, and getting started on saving it.  IMO, it doesn't matter how you do the restoration, or to what level.  It's all about the love for the car, and about saving the car....to what ever level you have time and money.  Not everyone can afford a rotisserie job, and not ever car NEEDS to be taken down to it's shell, and be rebuilt from the ground up, as if it was on the assembly line. 

Mine is extremely rusty in structural areas and has been poorly repainted (prior to me buying it in '92) 3 times, at least.  Plus a nasty vinyl redo of the seats, and similar generic carpet job (prior to my purchase).  Sometimes I think I should sell the engine and transmission, and haul the rest to scrap.  But I love her, and I'm going to continue to keep her on the road, and do/get restoration work done as I can afford it. 

They are gorgeous cars, very rare now, and IMO, worth every bit of love, money, and time, that you can give to them!

Looking forward to hearing about your journey.
Todd
San Luis Obispo, CA
 
1966 W111 250SE Coupe 268 Blaugrün/4-on-the floor/electric sunroof
1970 Austin America