1973 Mercedes-Benz 280SEL 4.5 Sedan
Chassis no. 108068-12-17524
Forerunners to the S-Class, the W108 Mercedes were introduced in 1965. The fins of the predecessor W111 cars were eliminated, and the overall appearance was smoother, more sophisticated. Initially powered with six-cylinder engines a V8 engine was made available in 1970. Originally a 3.5 liter unit, a 4.5-liter version of the M117 engine was added to the U.S. model range the following year, resulting in the somewhat cumbersome nomenclature of 280SE 4.5. The engine was rated at 230 bhp, and a three-speed automatic transmission with torque converter was standard.
By 1972, the W108/109 cars were well into advancing years. Development of the successor W116 range was well along, and its introduction came during the year. Engines, however, were carried over, and the series designations updated accordingly. Thus the direct successor to the 280SEL 4.5 was a 450SEL. Although W108 sales worldwide reached nearly 383,000, the 280SEL 4.5 achieved fewer than 22,000, making it fairly rare in today's collector market. They were the last team-built cars at Daimler-Benz, aside from the current AMG variants, and they exhibit the build quality expected from a hands-on assembly team. They were also the last with stacked headlamps.
Perennially popular, it doesn't take long behind the wheel of a Mercedes of the 1970s to realize how advanced they were for their day, which makes them an extremely palatable collector automobile as a balance between the nostalgic qualities of these cars' design and high level of interior trim and relatively modern performance.
The car offered here was originally delivered in Woodmere, New York to Mr. Gerard Marcus, it was for many years serviced by Rallye Motors and has been with the present owner since 1998. Its livery of dark blue paint with Everflex roof and waist level pin-striping is almost certainly the original, and it may best be described as good but reflecting its age and all that nearly forty years of road use brings with it. On inspection a few small chips and scratches to the surface of the paint were noted, and in places the interior trim wood is a little weather worn at its edges, but none of these aspects detract substantially from its overall presentation. In fact, its originality was commended last year with a 3rd in class at the popular Lime Rock Labor Day meet concours.
When inspected by a Bonhams specialist the car was running and driving well and was found to be complete with period Mercedes vinyl wallet and some books including its original service book.
- Please note that this title should read VIN # 10806812017S24