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Vandalized While Stored: 1970 Mercedes 280SE

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As my wife and I continue to discuss whether we should buy a house or hold out for another year (blame the uncertainty on the perils of working in higher ed), I’ve come to terms with the fact that my storage arrangement is pretty decent: all of my cars are stored within a two mile radius of our primary residence. I can visit them every day if I wish, and I don’t have to share space with anyone else. Well, the seller of this 1970 Mercedes 280SE is either extremely forgiving or is still reeling from discovering his project Benz covered in graffiti and stickers with the tires slashed and vinyl roof ripped up. In the PG-rated words of John Travolta, “Don’t mess with another man’s vehicle. It’s just against the rules.”  

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As a resident of a city where we have plenty of gang-driven tagging of bridges and tunnel walls, this doesn’t look like the artistry of warring tribes but rather a bunch of bored kids who likely used this Mercedes here on eBay as a skateboard ramp. No harm meant to skateboarders, but I get the feeling the car was parked in a place where teens could congregate unnoticed and get into the mischief that a long-parked car tends to invite. And when people like “Lukas” actually sign their name on the tail, you know we’re not dealing with a wanted felon. Although I despise vandalism of any kind, I’d be sorely tempted to rat this car out – air ride suspension, some AMG monoblock wheels, Euro headlights and drive as-is (after clearing the glass of spray paint, obviously). Would you restore it back to original or make lemons out of lemonade?


  1. Traner Knott

    There is a photo of this car behind Ziggy Marley, the link goes to a ticket website for concerts at the Minnesota zoo, scroll down and look for Ziggy.


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  2. Dairymen

    Leave as is; nobody is willing to steal it, and if someone slams a ding in your door in the parking lot, you won’t care. Just clean the windows and get it mechanically going.

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    • rdc

      Seems like a good approach. One additional step might clean it up a bit or ruin the ruined look. a Competent detailer might be able to clean, cut and polish the paint. They either get all of it off or create ghost images of the graffiti.

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  3. Jimmy Holt

    Clean the glass, replace the vinyl top, get it running. I’d drive it as is!

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  4. JW454

    No broken glass. Vandals love to break glass. I’m not sure I buying the “vandalized” story completely.

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    • Traner knott

      Also, considering you can’t see out the windshield to drive the car, the photo with Bob Marleys kid clearly showed the car in another location than where the eBay photos where taken so i don’t buy the story of it being stored for 8 years.

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    • Jeff Staff

      Unless they were upper-class vandals who spotted the original Mercedes insignias on the glass and decided to “preserve” it with art. ;-)

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    • Chris

      I thought it was a little odd that a car can be vandalized yet the headlights and turn signal remain free of any damage or spray paint. Not sure I’m buying the story.

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  5. Chebby

    I had an extra car I left parked at my office, it was theoretically a sweet deal: free storage under the building so the car was out of the weather. Unfortunately there was a pack of skater kids who would come skate on the property after hours. They had no right to be there, but hey no harm if they left no trace. Well they set off a dry chemical fire extinguisher in my car (I never got all the dust out of the hvac system) and did other general damage to it, piling cement garbage cans on it, etc. Security wasn’t interested in keeping them out and I couldn’t really file a complaint as I wasn’t technically permitted to store the car there. Indeed you don’t mess with a man’s vehicle. I had fantasies of hiding out there one night with a baseball bat, or simply running them over Christine style. To this day I have to admit I enjoy watching skateboarders crash, fall and wipe out doing their stunts.

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    • Dylan Burden

      “Hey Cunningham, You aren’t mad, are ya?”


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      • Chebby

        haha exactly!!!

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  6. Dan h

    I kinda agree with you JW454. Last time I checked, vandals don’t typically use UCLA as a gang tag. But then again,collage kids do tend to get into trouble!

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    • The ziggy conspiracy

      Good call on the UCLA tag, I bet this is a “free expression” graffiti car from the UCLA campus, Ziggy played a show on campus and afterwards snapped a promo photo of him and the car, now someone is try to pass it off as a “stored project” and not a junker that was donated to a school.

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    • Woodie Man

      Sorry hit report when I meant reply….mea culpa. Do those “collage” kids do origami too? Couldnt resist! As for the car Im not buying the story. Who wouldnt clean the paint off? Not that hard. Why no interior pix? So weird.

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      • Dan h

        College, sorry. I deserve that one!!l lol!

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  7. roger

    I would hotrod it

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  8. unclehotrod13

    I’d drive it just like that……clean the windows of course.

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  9. Alan Brase

    How do we know Ziggy is not the owner? Just cause the Ziggy’s promo is for a Minnesota event, does not mean the car has been moved.
    I’d be very concerned about just what brand of V6 engine had been installed. WRT the paint finish- it might remove more or less well. OE paint is much more durable than spray can stuff.
    Tho, it might have more value as it is…Kinda like Janis Joplin’s Porsche?

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  10. Howard A Member

    Just terrible. Oh sure, we did vandalism too, but relegated to toilet paper, or an egg or 2, but never anything like this. While the car does nothing for me, I hate seeing this. And Jeff, buy the house! You’ll never regret it.

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  11. Bobsmyuncle

    Chances are Ziggy’s promo team bought and prepped (“vandalized”) the car for the shoot, and is now selling.

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  12. geomechs geomechs Member

    Maybe this guy just took up more than one parking space and people were just expressing their displeasure. Or maybe some wannabe saw John Lennon’s Rolls Royce and tried that theme on his own ride, finding something lost in the translation between English and German.

    Buy the house, Jeff; it’s much better than paying for a dead horse.

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  13. Bill

    Good find on the ziggy image.. looks like a few additions since then…

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  14. Eric Dashman

    I had a 1970 MB 250 (the 6 cylinder version of this car with single headlights) and it was a very comfortable car to drive. The downside is the price of parts. Mine had a lot of rust as well, that I covered with bondo and paint :-). I bought it for $1500 and sold it several years later for $1500, after spending about a grand on parts and assorted items. IMHO the bids at this point are double what it’s worth, if that.

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  15. MacVaugh

    That car was intentionally done for a photo shoot. Not real vandalism.

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  16. Chris A.

    Ziggy is superimposed on the picture of the MB. The shadows on him don’t match the car shadows. Chebby, a little liquid soap in your parking ramp might encourage the skateboarders to “clean up” their act.

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  17. AlphaRoaming

    I would tie the culprits to the front bumper (Mad Max style) and drive it to Burning Man.

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  18. Jim Norman

    Yep, no doubt. Ziggy is (badly) Photoshopped into the image. There’s just no way this image is the result of one photo shoot.

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  19. Nick Roberts

    If the paint is original EZ OFF Oven Cleaner will lift the graffiti without damaging the original paint.

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  20. Lion

    I had a 1961 just like this, paid $2000.00 for it. I’ve never had a car that handled as well around town and so comfortable. As Eric says, parts just too expensive. I collapsed a piston and traded it for a grand plus a 50 Merc.

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  21. Roy Crader

    If we leave the graf on the paint , lets just drive it as is ( while high on something we have never heard of) and just keep it on the right side of the road through the words. Possibly learn to speak another language….. Just saying!

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