1964 Mercedes 300SE: Jigsaw Project

1964 Mercedes 300SE

What a beautiful car this once was. Sadly, this 1964 Mercedes-Benz 300SE here on eBay has been disassembled for a restoration project that never materialized, and now it’s in pieces waiting to be put back together. Originally a blue-on-blue car, it comes with a factory sunroof and a seriously depleted air suspension. The European headlights could mean this was originally a gray market car, or a previous owner may have swapped them in. The seller shows photos of the bundles of parts that will come with the vehicle, but you will have to hunt down an original windshield. Given there are traces of primer overspray across all of the tires, my guess is this car’s previous caretakers were far from careful, so a thorough inspection and examination of the parts piles will be required. Bidding is currently at $2,650 with the reserve unmet; what do you think the seller’s minimum price should be?

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Comments

  1. George Member

    Do to support from Mercedes-Benz, all Daimler-Benz automobiles or restorable. Your financial health might not be, after a project like this

  2. jaygryph

    I didn’t realize how much I like these cars without the typical fog lights mounted between the headlights and the grill. Its a much cleaner nose that way. I think it looks great lowered down on it’s suspension and with all the extra trim off.

    I’d be tempted to keep it at that level of trim and ride height as a bit of a mild smoothed off custom with some pearl semi gloss white paint. Would be a great cruiser.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      I totally agree!

  3. TriPowerVette

    One of the top ten most beautiful coupes ever built. The few examples of these left are truly automotive treasures. That being said; the result of a proper restoration would exceed its near-term value by many multiples. It is also true that this might be a project best suited for Mercedes Benz Classic Center. Years ago, my brother and I bought many, many muscle cars when they were worth dirt. At various times we paid $1300 for a 1970 440 Six-Pack ‘Cuda, $1000 for a 1967 Shelby GT500, $700 for a 442 Convertible, $2000 for a Buick GS 455 Stage 1 Coupe, among many dozens of others. But we were not wealthy. Had we been, we would have kept all of them. Instead, since nobody seemed to care about these old warriors but a few gear-heads (all with no money), we would buy them, spend a lot fixing them up, then have to sell them to get our money back. Then we would buy the next. My point is this: time and value are fluid. In 1968, I was offered a Ferrari 275 GTB for $6,000. The family had just spent $5,200 on a new Impala Wagon. The money was there, we just had to be practical. In 1983, I was offered a different 275 GTB for $30,000. Again, I could just barely have done it, but it would have ruined me. Now what is one worth? Vehicles that are traded on the basis of scarcity and artistic value will always represent value, no matter whether the “market” agrees at the time or not. For someone with deep enough pockets to do this properly, they needn’t fear a capital loss. The concern, if any, should be the timeline only. The value is intrinsic. The heart wants what the heart wants.

    • Doug M. (West Coast) Member

      Tri-Power! Excellent treatise on how life goes for us gearheads that are not wealthy,but are creative and do enjoy the journey! My in-and-out projects include a 65 vette coupe for $2,000, a 63 Jag coupe for $2500 and a 69 Jag roadster for $3000. Not as cool as your choices, but all came and went while raising kids. Still made a decent profit on each, but if I still had them in my garage, I would go ahead and retire a couple years early! But now as I consider picking up a project similar to the one listed above for a mere $1500 (69 280SE 4spd coupe), I am thinking, “heck! why not!” …Thanks for helping me feel better about what comes and goes! It’s the journey that matters!

      • TriPowerVette

        Ja velcum, Doug. Wow! Among that parade of past passions, I have had 2 Mercedes. My first was a 1970 250 SEC – 4-speed. Almost the same car you are considering. I chose it, because of the cool manual on the floor. It had A/C, too. Yes; just like all of us gearies, I sold it for more than I paid for it.

  4. Chris A.

    The mid 60’s MB 300 series sedans and coupes are among the most complex and costly MB restoration projects. This is one of the true classic MB body styles but unfortunately is a serious ruster. It has not been lowered on it’s suspension. It has a complex air suspension system that has leaked and the car unibody is sitting on the frame. The engine is very expensive to restore as it is an aluminum block and head design that in many ways is similiar to the 300SL and just as complex. Very few had manual transmissions, mostly MB automatics, again complex and expensive. A lot of wood trim in the interior will require specialized and expensive restoration or replacement. If I won the lottery, I’d be all over this car as they represnet the pinnacle of no expense or complexity barred MB engineering. I have the shop manual for 300 SE’s and I’m awed by the expertise needed along with the specialized tools. I’m guessing at least two years and $150,000 for a proper restoration.

  5. Chris A.

    Corrections to my post above: The 300SE engine has many similarities to the 300SL’s but is a separate design with few parts in common. The suspension on all four corners is shot so the car structure is sitting on the actual suspension stops if any are left. Go to the lower left hand picture of Related Posts for the 2012 post on a 300SE coupe that is in much better condition than the current car. Same issues, 3 years later. I was going to buy a 300 SE running sedan with no air suspension for $700 until I had it up on a lift. The underside rust damage was extensive not only to the body but also to the exposed suspension and brake lines. I offered $500 and was sort of glad I was turned down.

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