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1980 Mercedes-Benz 280SLC

I go back and forth as to whether or not I like the C107. It was just a R107 with a fixed top, 14 more inches added to the wheelbase and some small rear seats. The biggest thing that really turns me off to this car are those window louvers. My eyes are always drawn directly to them and how awkward they look. I understand they needed to differentiate this car enough to sway buyers from the SL and probably couldn’t engineer a window regulator to fit in that space with a large piece of glass, but there had to be another design option on the table. Now that it’s 2017 and I very rarely even see a C107 in the wild, I’m starting to soften my harsh opinion on them. Today’s car, a European market 280SLC in Goldbraun, is certainly helping that cause.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 280SLC on Seattle Craigslist

Year: 1980
Model: 280SLC
Engine: 2.8 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 107,500 mi
Price: $5,500

1980 Mercedes 280 SLC (Euro)owners manual in German all original second owner 107,500 miles. Good shape, runs fine, solid car. Was grandma’s car and always garaged and maintained. New tires, new transmission, new exhaust, only maintained by Mercedes dealers, no rust. No rust. No rust solid floors and no rust oh and there isn’t any rust $5,500

Having been accustom to the standard 450SLC with the giant diving board bumpers and those awful chrome wheel arches, this C107 is a breath of fresh air. The M110 twin-cam engine is no powerhouse with only a 185 horsepower, but it should be adequate for this car. Inside, the plaid cloth interior,  manual climate control and Becker Grand Prix 470 radio are all welcome as what I think is an improvement over what came in the U.S. 450SLC cars. Outside the Goldbraun paint is very rare and look great with clean Bundts and those amazing slim European bumpers.

For $5,500, this is a really good price. If I wasn’t on the other side of the country I’d be on my way to check this thing out in person. For the price you can’t really go wrong given the seller says this is a two-owner car that was dealer serviced its whole life and doesn’t have any rust. This car probably needs the standard $500-1,000 in repairs when you buy it but I still think you’ll come out ahead on this car if you pick it up. I’m not suggesting the C107 is or will be any kind of collector car, but this specific car checks all the right boxes for a desirable car.

– Andrew


  1. Christian
    Christian January 19, 2017

    Here is an example of something that rarely happened in the 70s and 80s: a German car manufacturer built a very ungainly and oddly proportioned coupe that still looks like an ugly hack job. That oddly stretched wheelbase, roof and side window accents just made for one really bad car. Never liked these.

  2. GWG
    GWG January 19, 2017

    I was looking at that one, too – why do the rust free reasonable ones not pop up in the North-East… The ad is very short on detail though – deferred maintenance and repairs of items such as the A/C can quickly run into the thousands with these, so I’d want to check it out carefully. Also getting that seat re-upholstered properly is not a cheap affair, as the cloth has become pretty hard to source for some patterns – not sure if that applies to this particular one.

    I’m not so sure about it not becoming a classic mid-term – so many of them are rusting away in the shadow of the r107 SL that’s only starting to slowly appreciate now.

  3. Woodie Man
    Woodie Man January 19, 2017

    Many years ago….and I mean many…back when this was almost new I helped a woman buy one of these. A couple of years after that I saw her.and her basic refrain was…”it’s rusting away around me”. Ooops…

    Nonetheless I like the design but cant figure out why.

  4. JCHouston
    JCHouston January 19, 2017

    Love, love, LOVE it when the driveway is still wet and the hose is actually visible from a hasty pre-ad picture car wash!

    They didn’t even dry off the hood! : )

  5. N. James
    N. James February 4, 2017

    I went and looked at this car a couple of months ago. It’s been on CL for a while now. I really love these C107’s. Me and about 50 other guys on the planet. So demand is low;)

    I love the color. The interior fabric is really a nice combo. I sat in it, started it (sounds great!), and generally poked around while the owner stayed inside. I saw no evidence of rust or rust repair. There are a couple of items one needs to know about. It has a dent on the right rear fender lip. I can fix and paint that so it’s no big deal. The interior smells a little musty, and wasn’t as clean as it should have been. But that’s minor to me. The paint is gorgeous and a good color sand and polish will make it glow. I made an offer for what I thought was fair market value (This car is essentially sale-proof, so anything above $500 is market). It wasn’t enough and they kindly declined. I went with a gorgeous Euro 450SLC that needed nothing.

    I’d own this if they had taken my offer. Good luck should you decide to look at it.

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