California Survivor: 1969 Mercedes 280SE

While I dream of the day my Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 sedan looks as good as this 1969 280SE, I’ll just enjoy sharing photos of what looks like an incredibly nice California survivor. This example wears low mileage of just 46,000 and the conditions bears out that minimal use. Find the six-cylinder sedan here on eBay with a $10,950 Buy-It-Now or the option to submit a best offer.¬†

The interior is one of the best aspects of any vintage Mercedes, and this one is in outstanding condition. Perfect seats and armrests, nicely preserved door panels, a crack-free dash, and wood dash inlays that appear un-cracked and healthy round out a cabin that shows signs of decades of careful use.

This era of Mercedes saloons included the prettier small chrome bumpers before the safety czars got into the picture and slapped ugly appendages on the front and rear of seemingly every imported car. The seller doesn’t provide any details on how this 280SE remained in such nice condition, but the recent tags suggest this wasn’t a black plate car hiding out in a dank garage.

Other details point to years of careful ownership, from the complete tool roll to the un-damaged owner’s manual to the spare tire mount still being in place. The trunk floor shows little to no damage, and the seller notes the Mercedes will come with fresh rubber at all four corners. While I would personally hold out for a V8 car, there’s nothing wrong with buying a no-needs example like this.

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  1. Tirefriar


  2. Gay Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking Mercedes-Benz. I’ve always loved this generation Mercedes. It’s nice to see an original survivor.

  3. Bob McK Member

    Love this car. Had one once that belonged to my Aunt. Unfortunately she retired in Daytona and drove it on the beach. When I got it, the salt had eaten the floors etc. I dumped around 3 grand into it and sold it for $500. Would love to bring this beauty home.

  4. Fiete T.

    Love these. Very well built, reliable; unlike Benzs from the ’90’s- up

    • Tirefriar

      Generalizing doesn’t help here. Although MB had its shares of lemons in those years the W126 was a great model and my 2002 c208 CLK55 is bulletproof.

      • Tirefriar

        Consider that MB had a much greater model offering going into the 90s and beyond to compete for its market share. I do agree with you that the older Benzes were much better put together in general.

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