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4.5L Barn Find: 1972 Mercedes 280 SE

This is potentially a very good deal for someone who is looking for an excellent parts car or a very cheap point of entry into restoring a Mercedes W108. This example likely has plenty of issues, but it’s also a complete car being sold by an estate with no title. It’s in Minneapolis, so my guess is the underside is plenty rough – especially given the surface rust present under the hood. The asking price is $1,000 or best offer, and the seller seems willing to take just about whatever you can throw at him. Find it here on craigslist where the seller offers to get a title for the car if necessary.

We sold a similar Mercedes from the Barn Finds Exclusive posting for a large Georgia collection – in fact, it was almost the same car, with the exception of being a long wheelbase model. The interior on this estate vehicle is in excellent condition, and I’m sure a Mercedes enthusiast can use some or all of that interior, including the wood trim and dash. The seats look totally useful as well, along with the door pulls and console.

Out back, good tail light lenses and chrome bumpers (as well as the chrome housings for the license plate lights) all look like good candidates for reuse. The paint appears consistent on the car, too, and matches in the door jambs and under the hood – does anyone think this car has original paint? Pictures show what looks to be a sagging rear suspension, not entirely surprising for vehicles equipped with airbags.

Remember, if you’re seeking parts for a W108 on the east coast, we have two Mercedes parts car available as Exclusives. The rust-coated air cleaner and brake booster provide good evidence that the W108 saw plenty of wintertime use. I don’t know if that translates to a crusty underside, but it’s definitely an area worth exploring closely if you’re entertaining the idea of restoring this car. Personally, if I had the space, I’d offer under asking and then part this sedan out from end to end, as there’s plenty of potential profit in selling parts if restoring a tired luxury cruiser isn’t on your To-Do list.


  1. Hunter Snyder

    I don’t know it just seems so complete and nice for it to be a parts car

    Like 5
  2. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    Nothing’s as costly as a cheap Mercedes. I heard that somewhere.

    Like 3
  3. Peter irlenborn

    No airbags on the suspension components with the 280 SE; only on the 300 SE series. The 280’s have a third spring at the rear that tends to sag as the original spring has a compensator on it. Replacement with ordinary third spring is common and inexpensive.

    Like 2
  4. Christopher A. Junker

    Possibly a flood car?

    Like 0
  5. Gsuffa Gsuffa Member

    Had one. Want another.

    Like 1
  6. Eigil

    Had three, buying another

    Like 1
  7. Christopher Cline

    On Mercedes cars always check the subframe.

    Like 0
  8. Paul T Root

    Looks like south of downtown St Paul. 15 miles from me. Already not working on and just driving the MG.

    Like 0
  9. theGasHole

    Rex is dead on with his comment. A buddy had one of these about 3 years ago, in much better condition. Bought for $1700. First problem was the carbs had to be rebuilt. $1,200 job just right there. He lost interest after that, and it took him about 4 months to get it sold….IIRC he got $1,800 for it. These are beautiful cars but if you are going to buy one “buy the best one you can afford”.

    Like 0

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