Classic Benz Style? The 30K Decision: 1984 280SL 5-speed v. 1964 220SEB 4-Speed

While for a few generations it’s been fairly predictable that newer used Mercedes-Benz models are cheaper than the older, well kept models, there’s been an interesting turn in the market over the past 6 months. We are witnessing a trend of ever increasing prices on all the 1980s iron, but really specifically in the Mercedes-Benz world the R107 is on the rise fastest of all. In a 5 month period, Hagerty has re-assessed its evaluation of the model’s worth, with most models doubling or tripling in value seemingly overnight. What was, in 2014, a $10,000 – $15,000 example will be on the market for double that today, or more. Is the R107 the next E30, or is this simply a demand spike that recognizes some of the best built and engineered Benz models produced? Well, it certainly does beg the question – if you were going to spend $30,000 on a R107, what other classic Mercedes-Benz models would fall into that range. For comparison, I lined up a lovely W111 coupe to consider – nearly the same miles, condition and asking price, and both are Euro-spec manuals. Which would be your choice?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 4-speed on eBay

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1967 Mercedes-Benz 230S

We tend to focus a lot on low mileage, mint condition examples of our favorite German vehicles here at GCFSB, but we can also appreciate original cars with patina to remind us how things once were. The Mercedes-Benz 230S was the car that started my fascination with the Three Pointed Star, as my father owned one shortly before my birth in the 1970s. His 230S was a 1967 just like this car we see here for sale in Missouri, except his was black over palomino with a 4-speed manual on the floor. This particular 230S we’re featuring today was originally a German market car that found its way to the US in the late 1980s.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1967 Mercedes-Benz 230S on eBay

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1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet

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Even though it is over 40 years old now, the 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet was a throwback to the past, even in the early 1970s. This is a chassis that had it’s roots in the late 1950s and was assembled largely by hand in small numbers. By 1970s, the W111 coupe and cabriolet would get a shot of adrenaline by way of Mercedes’ new 3.5 liter V8 engine. While a few coupes were offered with a 4-speed manual, all cabriolets would be equipped with a 4-speed automatic. Want to look posh? Fewer cars embody that word better than this white over blue leather 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet for sale in Mississippi.

Click for details: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet on eBay

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1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Coupe

As I was winding down what was quite a long week Friday evening, I happened to catch the original Thomas Crowne Affair on one of the upper cable channels. This was a fantastically scripted movie with one vehicle featured prominently throughout: a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow 2-door sedan with coachwork by H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd. Built in very limited numbers, this was a gentleman’s express of epic proportions, with vast amounts of wood and leather to ensconce those fortunate passengers inside and a pushrod V8 under the bonnet with “adequate” horsepower. This 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Coupe for sale in California could almost be considered that car’s contemporary, but with a decided German slant. Even though it might look a bit classic, it was thoroughly modern, with a 4-speed automatic gearbox, Bosch fuel injection and four-wheel disc brakes. Want to be the envy of the forecourt at the country club? Here’s the perfect coupe to do it in.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Coupe on eBay

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1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe

I was sitting at my local pub yesterday, watching football while winding down my weekend, when suddenly a glint of chrome across the block caught my eye. It was a W111 Mercedes-Benz Coupe. Sitting in the passengers seat, a dog stuck his head out the window as the car passed through the intersection, looking pleased with life. Wouldn’t you be cruising around in such a classic? Besides a vintage British roadster, I can’t think of anything better to enjoy these crisp fall days here on the East Coast than with a pillarless Mercedes-Benz coupe. This 280SE for sale in California was repainted about a decade ago, but wears a mostly original patina.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe on eBay

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1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe 4-speed manual

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Ask anyone what their favorite classic Mercedes-Benz may be and no doubt many will point to the 300SL Gullwing. This limited production sports car put Mercedes-Benz on the map in the United States shortly after the end of World War II and established its reputation as an innovator in automotive engineering. One of my favorites from years gone by in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio is a dark horse to many. Sure, even the uninitiated may instantly recognize the W111 Coupe as a Mercedes-Benz. Few, however, know of a powertrain combination that was available late in the production run that would make this classic an ultimate sleeper. This would be the 280SE 3.5 Coupe with the rare 4-speed manual option. A mere handful made it to the US and production figures are said to barely break into the three figures. This 3.5 Coupe for sale in Texas was sourced from California, having been stored for a number of years. It’s not in pristine condition, but is far from a basket case.

Click for more details: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe on eBay

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1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Cabriolet

This is the time of year you’ll invariably be asked “where do you summer?” I’m more interested in “what do you summer in?” This 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Cabriolet appears to be a perfect vehicle in which to holiday. This car was given a respray a few years ago along with an interior retrim, including the extensive amount of wood trim present in these models.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SE on eBay

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1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe 4-speed manual

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At the outset of the 1970s, the Mercedes-Benz model range was about to have an overhaul, with a new SL roadster and S class on the way. Meanwhile, the W111 coupes and convertibles would get one last refresh in the form of the 3.5 liter, M116 engine. This small displacement V8 would live on until the early 1990s in later 3.8 and 4.2 guise. While these M116 engined 280SE Coupes are rare, add in the manual gearbox and you have a car that is extremely exclusive. Some estimate that just over 100 were produced. This example was imported to the US via Italy in the 1980s and has covered just under 50,000 miles.

Click for more details: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe on eBay

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1963 Mercedes-Benz 220SE Coupe

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If you look at the current US automotive landscape, there’s an obvious trend towards SUVs and compact, efficient cars. Throw in your usual full-sized pickups, minivans and a handful of mid-sized sedans and that’s just about the market for you. One of my favorite segments, however, is the full-sized coupe. Maybe it’s because I’m single and don’t have much else to worry about but myself, but nothing screams “me” more than one of these cars. Dial back through the decades and one stalwart of the segment has been Mercedes-Benz.

Almost immediately post World War II, the factory began churning out large two-door models in small numbers for the discerning motorist. Fast forward to the late 1950s and a new design came along that would last into the early 1970s and represent one of the last true hand built Mercedes-Benzes. This 1963 220SE for sale in Texas is a numbers matching sunroof coupe wearing its original California black plates.

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Year: 1963
Model: 220SE Coupe
Engine: 2.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 52,370 mi
Price: $36,500 Buy It Now

Click for more details: 1963 Mercedes-Benz 220SE Coupe on eBay

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1963 Mercedes-Benz 220SE W111 Coupe

Chassis No. 11102112030355
Engine No. 12798412000666
Transmission No. 03387

* Complete Numbers-Matching as per Mercedes-Benz DataCard
* Desirable Colors – Sunroof Coupe
* California “Black Plate” Car

The Mercedes Benz 220 SE raised the bar for middle-class luxury when it was introduced in 1959, noted for their fine finish and attention to detail. Considered to be an immediate success, the 220SE pillarless coupe was first introduced in 1961 and would come to be the last of the hand-built Mercedes models. Road & Track magazine said “one of the best-looking body designs to come from any German concern.” Exquisitely proportioned and beautifully designed. With only 13 cars produced per week, they were instantly considered classics the day they rolled off the production line, and have remained so ever since.

After years of careful stewardship, today this W11 coupe remains a very honest and original example of a Sunroof Coupe. This California “Black Plate” car wears a striking combination of medium Gray finish over original woodwork, Red leather trim and carpeting. According to the Mercedes-Benz DataCard, all numbers are matching as it left the factory some 50 years ago.

The car received its current cosmetic freshening in years past, which has mellowed nicely into plush seating and driver’s quality paint. Crazing and blemishes are apparent upon inspection, but not detract from the 220’s presentation. Likewise, the vehicle’s trim and brightwork show well, including all original factory fitted glass and M-B laminated windscreen. A sliding sunroof brightens the open air feel from the pillerless greenhouse.

The W111’s clean undercarriage reflects the same originality as the luggage compartment fitted with spare, rubber mat and jack. Both appear very solid, correct and free of structural corrosion issues. Similarly, the engine bay displays original firewall padding and correct mechanical configuration. Apart from the charming presentation and mechanical prowess of this 220SE Coupe, a number of period maps, dealer directory, manuals pouch and factory brochure accompany the vehicle.

An authentic level of presentation assured by a long California residency, invites future participation in club events or simply add a very drivable and honest Mercedes-Benz grand tourer to your collection.

Mercedes-Benz DataCard translation:

190- Paint, Graphite Grey
203- Interior Trim, Red Leather
403- Single seats and MB-Tex internal roof upholstery
421- Mechanical and hydraulic sliding roof
423- Mercedes-Benz power steering and automatic transmission with steering column shift
491- U.S. Version
503- Outsider rearview mirror, on the left
515- Becker radio
641- White-wall tires
288- Heater housing with heat exchanger with increased heating capacity
317-50 liters of fuel
Wheel- 5JK.13B
Tire- 7,25 c 13 Dunlop

Priced at: $36,500.00
Offers welcomed

For more information, please contact: sales@driversorce.com

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This coupe just exudes class. If you aren’t in a hurry, it’s worth tracking down a good six-cylinder W111 Coupe, as the later 3.5 Coupes are entering the stratosphere when it comes to price. The gray over red leather is a perfect, sublime compliment to the classic lines on this coupe.

-Paul