1985 Mercedes-Benz 280SE

The other day, Carter wrote up a gray-market, Signal Red 280SE. The Euro options and unusual color made for an attractive proposition, but that particular car had some mechanical needs making it a light project. This car, on the other hand, appears to be in need of no such work. Available in Europe but not sold in the US, the 280SE paired the 2.8 liter, six cylinder M110 gasoline engine with the short wheelbase version of the W126 chassis. While that might seem a small motor for such a large car, it made about 185 hp in Euro guise, a perfectly adequate, though certainly not blistering, amount of power. Like the US-spec 300SE/SEL, it might need a bit of shove at the low end, but once up to highway speeds it should cruise around capably.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 280SE on eBay

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Winter Project: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 280SE

While Andrew and Craig have been the typical purveyors of all-things Mercedes-Benz over the past few months, I’m always drawn to the clean, simple and classic look of the 70s and 80s MB products offered in the rest of the world. Today’s 1982 280SE is a perfect example of this. A W126.026, this European specification S-Class is powered by the M110 double-overhead cam inline-6 which was never offered to U.S. customers. Admittedly, the engine looks a bit lost in the bay you’re used to seeing V8s in, but it’s a proven unit with adequate power – 185 raging ponies, to be exact. However, the 280SE is the short wheelbase model and with European bumpers and missing some of the heavy luxuries, performance should be on par with some of the U.S. spec early V8s, if not better. Even if buying the short wheel base, six-cylinder model may sound a bit ego-deflating, these Euro-spec cars always get my attention:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 280SE on eBay

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1985 Mercedes-Benz 280GE

1I have a love-hate relationship with the G-Wagen, the 4×4 from Mercedes first introduced in 1972 as a military vehicle. I think that the contemporary, blinged-out AMG versions driven by celebrities and Hollywood moguls are an abomination, a crime against motoring humanity. But on the other hand, I’m quite partial to the older, more humble trucks on which they’re based. (I clearly have a thing for boxy old SUVs: I adore vintage Range Rovers, and used to own a Jeep Cherokee XJ, though the less said about that the better.) The original trucks are honest in a way the modern behemoths are not. The G-class was never supposed to be nice to drive, luxurious or a status symbol of wealth and conspicuous consumption. It was a spartan, utilitarian vehicle intended to transport soldiers across inhospitable terrain or, when sold to the public, farmers across boggy marshes.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 280GE on Hemmings

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1988 Mercedes-Benz 280GE

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I love the G-Wagen. From the military-spec W460 to the Kardashian-spec W463, I love them all. The do-everything utility SUV from Mercedes-Benz that’s brash but can also be handsome in its own sort of quirky way. Designed by a team who were only allowed to use straight-edge rulers, the G has been kicking around it’s same basic shape since 1979. Everything from tiny four cylinder diesels to massive twin-turbo V12s that are more valuable than the GDP’s of some small countries have been in this thing. Unfortunately, Mercedes never graced the US with it’s G-Wagen gifts until 2002 and unlike almost every other mass produced Benz, the G seems to depreciate to a certain point in the mid-$20,000 range and never go any lower. The dreams of picking up a 2002 G500 for $9,500 will be just that — dreams — unless you are conformable buying half a G, in which the other half was involved in a large fire.  So importers have loading up the ships with handfuls European-spec Gs, spray painting the under body with three coats of black paint to hide the rust, throwing them on eBay with vague photos and descriptions then hoping the winner has a bad back and can’t crawl under it to check it out himself. Today’s featured G doesn’t seem to be that case. A wonderful 3-door 280GE located in Delaware could be a great buy for someone. As long as they don’t enjoy using drive-thrus.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 280GE on eBay

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1982 Mercedes-Benz 280SE – REVISIT

At the risk of appearing like we’re recycling a bit too much material lately, I’d really like to take a look at this superb and interestingly equipped W126 from last fall again. A relatively low spec European model never offered here, this 280SE features the M110 inline-6 instead of the normal V8s the American market experienced, but the smart Euro look, low miles and great color combination really caught my eye. It’s not the fastest S-Class you can buy, but it’ll still leave you feeling pretty rich. Last time around this car hammered at a seemingly unfathomably cheap $2,950, but for whatever reason it’s back up for sale from the same owner having covered only a few more miles since the fall. The reserve is still on the auction, but this should still remain a very affordable bit of classy classic Mercedes to pick up!

The below post originally appeared on our site September 7, 2015:

As with the W140 model I covered the other day, the W126 eagerly accepted by the automotive world as the new benchmark in design in the late 1970s. Mercedes-Benz pioneered new safety, aerodynamics and luxury through typical Mercedes-Benz over engineering. Replacing the outgoing W116, the W126 was thoroughly modern inside and out but at least initially carried the same motivation. Under the hood of the short wheel base 280SE was the inline-6 M110 motor, but there were small and large displacement V8 models too. Paul looked at a excellent condition W116 280SE recently, but a high asking price called into question the value of that particular example. Will this grey market import 280SE sing the same song?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 280SE on eBay

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1982 Mercedes-Benz 280SE

As with the W140 model I covered the other day, the W126 eagerly accepted by the automotive world as the new benchmark in design in the late 1970s. Mercedes-Benz pioneered new safety, aerodynamics and luxury through typical Mercedes-Benz over engineering. Replacing the outgoing W116, the W126 was thoroughly modern inside and out but at least initially carried the same motivation. Under the hood of the short wheel base 280SE was the inline-6 M110 motor, but there were small and large displacement V8 models too. Paul looked at a excellent condition W116 280SE recently, but a high asking price called into question the value of that particular example. Will this grey market import 280SE sing the same song?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 280SE on eBay

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