Strich Acht – 1973 Mercedes 280C

Mercedes have never held as great appeal for me as some other cars, I think because they didn’t have sporting intentions like my preferred Italians and Germans. That said, coupes can be pretty sporty, and the 2.8 liter engine in the top-of-the line W114 Mercedes coupes is a twincam six, so there must be something fun about it. Also, as Mercedes goes off on a path of broader appeal to people who like McMansions, people who like SUVs, and other things like that, it’s getting easier and easier to appreciate the over-engineered, last-forever approach they took to their cars up through the 1980s. Combined with the positive associations the W114/W115 bodystyle has for me (the family of a childhood friend had a red 280 sedan I think I mentioned in a past post), I find myself looking at these and wanting to see what kind of a weekend driver they would be. This post’s example is an elegant white 280C in Mira Loma for a paltry $3500.

1973 Mercedes 280C side

What a formal roof line – elegant and yet different from the later, sleeker W123 and W124 coupes. Unfortunately, the seller decided to post night photos, but since it’s a white car you can at least see there’s no major rust penetration. Also, you can hope for limited rust since the car’s down in inland southern California, but at the same time there’s no telling how shiny or dull the paint is. At least it’s reflecting the flash, so it’s got some gloss left in it. According to the seller it’s dent-free and everything works well, so that’s a good start.

Mercedes 280C dash

But, you say, I don’t like cutting down trees, so how’s the 37-year-old wood? Well, not that there’s much in these cars, but what we can see on the dash actually looks pretty good. Not dried out, cracked, or water-damaged. No doubt that dash mat is covering some cracks, but would you rather deal with a rotten body on a Midwestern car?

1973 Mercedes 280C interior

While we’re inside the car, check out the rest of the interior. The photo doesn’t capture everything, but the front seats look surprisingly decent at this price point – seller actually says they’re new. Count on them being MBtex, which is actually better since it’s easier to maintain and looks pretty good, too. There’s also a wood wheel if you look closely – could it be a Nardi? Those were a popular Beverly Hills Motoring accessories add-on when the cars were new through the 1980s.

1973 Mercedes 280C nose

And for our final shot, we have the nose. Couple things you can see here – the car has blue/yellow plates, which suggest the car has been in California since it was new. Also, the Mercedes star hasn’t been yanked off by some idiot, and the front looks pretty tidy. The only real issues with this car are it’s rollin’ on chrome 14s, yo, so you’d probably want to change those out, and this car has now been listed since Dec. 11, so maybe that says something about the condition. If you check it out, let me know how it goes!


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