Author Topic: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??  (Read 2955 times)

johnk

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I just noticed what I thought could be a reasonably priced next restoration project for me on BAT.

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1968-mercedes-benz-280se-cabriolet-3/

I certainly would not buy anything sight unseen but with mine 95% complete I am starting to wonder what my next project is, most likely when I retire in say 3 to 5 years. Looking at this 280se I see much is the same as my pagoda and I'm thinking a 280se convertible may be the way to go. While I enjoy doing it myself, both Shvegel and Joe A can attest I am not a good enough mechanic to figure it out all on my own.

Could those of you familiar with 280SE's take a look at the above 280se link and tell me what your concerns would be and or what questions you would ask? I would like to start to learn what to look out for. There aren't a whole lot of pictures with this one which may be part of why the high bid is still in the 50's. My experience lies more in dealing with the rust and finish issues. To me the visual rust on the front fender and hood is just surface rust, while the hole in the rear quarter looks like a previous cheap repair job exposed. I would have to fly down and do a visual inspection before I would bid on one like this.

Thanks!

John

John Krystowski
Avon Ohio
1968 Euro 280sl under restoration
2016 Jag F-Type R sold june 2021
1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS For sale
2008 E350
2007 GL 450
2019 BMW 540

Benz Dr.

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2022, 05:47:10 »
I'm finishing a 250SE Cab right now. Guy told me he paid 130K for a fully restored car that had the engine blow up after 2500 miles. Had to replace the short block but was able to save five new pistons by putting sleeves in the replacement block.
280SE mechanical parts are very similar to SL parts - interior not at all. Not sure why the seller says it has a drum brake rear axle - it shouldn't so I'd look into that. This car probably falls into the rolling restoration level which can get you behind the wheel much sooner than a rough car.

I would go and look at the car. It's getting up to near what it's worth. 111 cab parts are like gold. I  have a 3.5 coupe so I know. Lovely cars though.......
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn

1970  3.5 Coupe
1961  190SL
1985   300CD  Turbo Coupe
1981  300SD
2013  GMC  Sierra
1965  230SL
1967 250SL
1970 280SL
1988 560SEC

johnk

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2022, 12:24:21 »
Thanks Doc. Is there much difference in value based upon the engine size, 2.8 bs 3.5?
John Krystowski
Avon Ohio
1968 Euro 280sl under restoration
2016 Jag F-Type R sold june 2021
1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS For sale
2008 E350
2007 GL 450
2019 BMW 540

wwheeler

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2022, 17:59:52 »
I have been hanging around here since 2007 with my W111 because of the fact that these are very similar to the Pagodas. With what is different on the trim level, it is easy to figure out because the W111 and W113s use similar processes and methods. I would say you are probably very qualified for one of these with your experience with your W113.

W111 sixes are MUCH less than their 3.5 brothers. If you have to ask, you can't afford sort of deal. The 3.5s also have the low grille and is a more modern look. I personally like the high grille look. To each their own. This one is similar to mine although I have a coupe.

Rust - Trunk is a terrible repair. Because the License plate light is hanging, the back panel is also probably damaged. Probably a hit from the rear. Not a deal killer.
- The QTR rust is probably due to the cab top leaking into the qtr cavity. maybe leaves and debris kept it wet and caused the rust. I would say rusted from inside to the outside.

- missing both sides of trim between rear lock and taillight - again due to the rear hit? 
- Odd placement for side rear view mirror on right fender - not original   
- Has the correct US license plate lights with the bulb screw on the bottom. The top position is correct for W108, not W111.
- missing the verticle bar in front of the radiator. Not a big deal.
- has original style oil cooler hose fittings!!!!
- Check the function of the power windows. Switches and motors are NOT available but can be repaired. I have several repair parts for these that I made.

That is an advantage to having W111 guys hanging around. If one wants to consider one of these models, there is plenty of experience ready to help.
Wallace
Texas
'68 280SE W111 coupe
'60 220SE W128 coupe
'70 Plymouth Roadrunner 440+6

wwheeler

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2022, 18:03:14 »
I forgot about the brakes. 280SEs had 4 wheel disc. They may be getting confused in that the parking brake has a small set of drum shoes inside the rotor. Those obviously are not the primaries. The W113 would be the same.
Wallace
Texas
'68 280SE W111 coupe
'60 220SE W128 coupe
'70 Plymouth Roadrunner 440+6

114015

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2022, 18:08:46 »
John,

Here you can see what they payed for the different models and conditions in the recent past.
Caution: on BAT only..., and this does not always reflect the Nations overall median price range.

https://bringatrailer.com/mercedes-benz/w111-coupe/

Good luck with the auction!

Achim

Achim
(Germany)

johnk

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2022, 18:19:37 »
thanks gents. Your input is very helpful. I am not going to bid on this one as I would need to see it in person, but I may fly down there if it doesn’t sell and the asking price is reasonable.

John.
John Krystowski
Avon Ohio
1968 Euro 280sl under restoration
2016 Jag F-Type R sold june 2021
1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS For sale
2008 E350
2007 GL 450
2019 BMW 540

Cees Klumper

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2022, 18:51:44 »
A friend of mine in Europe sold one (of the expensive ones) last year for I believe he said around $280,000, I think he was the first owner. I could not believe the price but, that said, I recall when I was living in Florida in the eighties nice ones were already then valued around $100,000 - sort of a status symbol back then, similar to the G-wagen today.

Funny, my price range for what I consider an 'affordable restoration project' tops out at $7,500!
Cees Klumper
1969 Mercedes 280 SL automatic
1968 Ford Mustang 302 V8
1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Coupe 1600
1962 FIAT 1500S OSCA convertible
1972 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1.3
1983 Porsche 944 2.5
1990 Ford Bronco II

johnk

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2022, 19:04:29 »
I look at them as an investment where my time is almost entertainment. Important item is that they are worth more when I am done than what I have in them plus maybe minimum wage for my time.
John Krystowski
Avon Ohio
1968 Euro 280sl under restoration
2016 Jag F-Type R sold june 2021
1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS For sale
2008 E350
2007 GL 450
2019 BMW 540

johnk

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2022, 19:05:45 »
This one looks like it could need $15k or so in just replating the chrome. I assume that’s from the salty air.
John Krystowski
Avon Ohio
1968 Euro 280sl under restoration
2016 Jag F-Type R sold june 2021
1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS For sale
2008 E350
2007 GL 450
2019 BMW 540

wwheeler

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2022, 19:49:59 »
The chrome cost will fluctuate depending on the level you are trying to achieve. There is a ton of chrome on this car both inside and out. I have had the lower level and then concours and some in between. On a single piece, say headlight door, the cost difference in quality level could be something like $100 versus $700. $100 being barely tolerable to $700 being concours. And that is just on a single piece. The more labor the higher the cost but the better the quality. You can pick and choose which parts must be the best and which can be mediocre. That saves on plating cost.

If you have a local plater you can drive the parts to, that is a big plus. Shipping is getting stupid expensive and you run the risk of damage or worse, losing an irreplaceable item.   

You are like me and that my labor doesn’t get figured into the restoration cost. You can either be on the golf course spending money or restoring a car. Or maybe both!
Wallace
Texas
'68 280SE W111 coupe
'60 220SE W128 coupe
'70 Plymouth Roadrunner 440+6

johnk

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2022, 21:08:46 »
Wallace
I am lucky enough to have a plater with a national reputation 20 minutes from my house. Even went to school with the office manager. Your comment about mixing and matching levels of plating is a very good one. For example on this 280 even the soft top interior chrome needs replating. No sense doing that to the level of day the bumpers.
John Krystowski
Avon Ohio
1968 Euro 280sl under restoration
2016 Jag F-Type R sold june 2021
1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS For sale
2008 E350
2007 GL 450
2019 BMW 540

wwheeler

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2022, 00:14:22 »
As you say, no point having some interior trim items be perfect when you can't really get a good viewing angle on them. The one exception to this is hard to plate items. As an example, the horizonal trim just below the door panel cap. That is some cast material and prone to being difficult to plate without getting defects in the finish. A really good plater can work with it and some can't. Plus, an inexperienced plater will buff the details right off. Ask me how I know and why I ended up buying a spare trim piece. :(
Wallace
Texas
'68 280SE W111 coupe
'60 220SE W128 coupe
'70 Plymouth Roadrunner 440+6

doitwright

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2022, 06:49:12 »
A few years ago I had a 65 220SEb coupe in very decent original condition. I quickly discovered people were willing to spend $70K more for a 3.5 in similar condition.

If it were me, and I had 70K to spend plus restoration costs, it would not go into a 6 cylinder. And parts are not a easy to find as a W113.

The BAT car, does not have AC. I believe only the 3.5s were available with the Behr AC.
Frank Koronkiewicz
Willowbrook, Illinois

1970 280SL Originally Light Ivory - Now Anthracite Gray Metallic

johnk

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2022, 13:52:06 »
Thanks frank. That the type of input I am looking for.
John Krystowski
Avon Ohio
1968 Euro 280sl under restoration
2016 Jag F-Type R sold june 2021
1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS For sale
2008 E350
2007 GL 450
2019 BMW 540

Cees Klumper

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2022, 13:59:03 »
... and at a $70,500 final bid it did not make reserve. One commenter: "I did not know rust buckets go that high".
Cees Klumper
1969 Mercedes 280 SL automatic
1968 Ford Mustang 302 V8
1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Coupe 1600
1962 FIAT 1500S OSCA convertible
1972 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1.3
1983 Porsche 944 2.5
1990 Ford Bronco II

johnk

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2022, 17:32:46 »
I don’t think the surface rust shown in the pictures was anything more than that. I would be more concerned what was covered up with the earlier cheap paint job and what lurks elsewhere. The hole in the rear valence shows a heavy dose of bondo and there are multiple colors showing around the rust through on the rear quarter panel. What few pictures of the bottom were shown did not show any rust but certainly the seller held back much of what should have been shown.  All part of why I would not bid on just about any car online.
John Krystowski
Avon Ohio
1968 Euro 280sl under restoration
2016 Jag F-Type R sold june 2021
1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS For sale
2008 E350
2007 GL 450
2019 BMW 540

Benz Dr.

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2022, 18:13:39 »
I've seen people who ended up with really nice cars that they bought unseen and I've seen others who bought real turds. Come to think of it, I've seen that happen even when they were able to inspect the car in person.

I don't care who you are, you will miss things that are wrong with any car. The only way to really know how good a car is that you're looking at is to actually work on it. It's kind of like not knowing a person until you live with them. No one can actually see though paint or inside engines or other mechanical parts so that's where service records can really help.
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn

1970  3.5 Coupe
1961  190SL
1985   300CD  Turbo Coupe
1981  300SD
2013  GMC  Sierra
1965  230SL
1967 250SL
1970 280SL
1988 560SEC

johnk

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2022, 18:18:16 »
Good point
John Krystowski
Avon Ohio
1968 Euro 280sl under restoration
2016 Jag F-Type R sold june 2021
1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS For sale
2008 E350
2007 GL 450
2019 BMW 540

opopotts

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Re: 280se on BAT - possible subject of my next restoration project??
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2022, 01:23:35 »
If you stripped that car ,you would find that the visible rust is only 5% of what is under the paint. You are talking new floors, rocker panels,, quarter panels firewall et etc. You would be blowing your budget just on the the rust alone. I wouldn't touch it.