Woohoo, Cheap Meat! 1977 Mercedes 280SE

Update, 1/6/14: Now down to $595, and a link to the article from SFGate, it’s not obvious from reading the new listing why this car is not selling. Anybody have details?

Original post, 12/19/13: Sometimes, deals seem too good to be true, and other times, they look good but likely true. Such is the case with today’s car – in fact, cheap luxury cars seems to be today’s theme – a 1977 Mercedes 280SE for sale in Morgan Hill, CA for a mere $775. It’s a European market car that’s been off the road for 9 years, although the condition gives no clue as to the reason.

1977 Mercedes 280SE right front

The 280SE was just above the base model 280S, which had a carburetor, while the SE ran Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection. The engine in this car is the famous (or infamous) M110 double overhead cam six cylinder. Don’t those words (double overhead cam six cylinder) give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside, even if it’s irrational? The car wears California sunrise plates, which means it’s been there since the early 1980s at least. It’s clearly had some level of federalization, with sealed-beam headlights (you’ll want to retrofit the European ones) and a speedometer showing miles per hour. Perhaps it no longer passes smog?

1977 Mercedes 280SE interior

The interior looks decent from this one shot, but warrants further inspection. The hardwired cell phone is a neat touch, although not exactly period for 1977, and the manual window winders are a great tip off to the car’s origins. What are the odds you get that awesome, amazingly durable corduroy-looking Mercedes velour on the seats? The car is said to only have 95,000 miles, although you should take that with a grain of salt due to the aforementioned fitting of a mph speedometer. Either way, on a car of this age, overall condition is more relevant than miles traveled.

1977 Mercedes 280SE left rear

Nothing dramatic from this angle either. The grey color looks a little modern for 1977, and these cars did not originally have fender-mounted indicators, plus the horizontal surfaces appear oxidized (or just dirty from 9 years’ storage). But for a three-digit price, a running, driving Mercedes that shifts properly is the right car to take as far as possible on the interstate, playing Kraftwerk and flying along in the left lane.

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2 Responses to “Woohoo, Cheap Meat! 1977 Mercedes 280SE”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    I saw a very similar car at the dealer auction several months ago; it was US model and a 75 but it had 90K miles, working air, a nice interior, a Becker Europa, and no rust that I could find, it ran well too, I bid it to $750 and I let it go because my business partner gave me the “evil eye”; it sold for 800 to someone else and whoever that was, sold it someone local who drives it regularly. I see it all the time.

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