It doesn’t get more quintessential classic Mercedes-Benz sedan than the W108 and W109 chassis. The vertical grille matched with the vertical headlights, that is all grafted onto a body of simple and square contours. None of the proportions are too big or too small, and all the angles are consistent. There is nothing offensive on this car to be found. Thankfully, the quality is as good as the looks. Stay on top of things, and they are built to last generations. Today’s car, a 1970 280SE up for sale in Switzerland, is a perfect example of that. It has never been restored and hasn’t been locked away in a bubble, just used as needed and meticulously looked after. Even better, it has a nice little ownership story of the diplomatic variety.
I love a good ownership story as much as the next person. The majority of the time, they have some kind of celebrity tie simply because the nature of the cars we deal with. We’ve done Lennon, Elvis (twice), actual kings, the Great One, Sweetness, Air Jordan, and both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. For every giant name, there are not so giant names that still have a great story behind them. Today’s car, a 1973 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 4.5 up for sale in Colorado, is one of those stories.
This W108 was purchased new by the seller’s mother in July 1973 to park beside her 450SL where she proudly posed for photos looking very stylish in proper 1970s clothing. It has remained with her ever since and she still takes occasional rides in it at the ripe old age of 102. It isn’t a pristine example or even a very nice one, but I really don’t have much of a problem with that. To keep a car over 45 years and continue driving it over that time is no easy feat, even for something as solid as a W108. Sadly, the time has come for this car to find a new loving home for the next 45 years. I just wish I was closer.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 4.5 on Hemmings
The glorious run of the Mercedes-Benz W108 and W109 wrapped up production in 1972 to make way for the W116 that launched the S-Class name. Except for us lucky North Americans who got another model year of the W108 and W109 in 1973. I think the fine people at Mercedes probably just wanted to dump the last of the remaining stock across the ocean because what are buyers really going to do about it? Get on the internet in 1973 to complain about it? That leads me to today’s car. This 1973 280SE 4.5 up for sale in New Jersey isn’t perfect and has a few flaws, but that is the beauty of this one.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 4.5 on eBay
Normally most of the Mercedes-Benz W108/W109 cars I look are at the M100-powered 6.3s and for good reason, they are really cool cars and the market on them is as hot as it has even been for them. Luckily for most of us, if you want a W108 or W109 and don’t want to pay a minimum of $35,000 just to have a seat at the table, you have some options. Today, we have one of those options. This 1971 280SE for sale in California is painted in the rare Arabian Grey and believe or not, has nearly 150,000 miles on it.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE on eBay
I never get tired of a really nice Mercedes-Benz W108/W109. From the 2.5 liter up through the legendary 6.3 and with a bunch of options in between, you can get your fix just about any way you want with them. Honestly, this thing is so handsome it could have a tiny OM615 that makes 55 horsepower and I’d still be happy with it. The square contours on this thing are all sized perfectly but at the same time doesn’t feel like a small car. Despite only having an eight year production run from 1965 to 1973 and pumping out over 380,000 examples, these sedans have stuck around. You can find them in almost every condition for almost every price. Today’s example, a 1972 280SE 4.5 up for sale in California, is one of those better ones.