Actually, the title to this post is a little off the mark. While the W108 series V8 powered 4.5 sedan may look like something a sweet old grandmother may drive, that was not the case when these cars were new. The 280 SE 4.5 was so expensive when new, about 3 times the cost of a Corvette, ownership was restricted to the upper classes of society. These car’s are relatively rare as they were only built in late 1971 through 1972, though some were registered as 1973 models such as this example. These were a North American market only variant with the 4.5 litre V8. This was the last year for this body style and the last year Mercedes cars could be considered truly hand built.
This car is claimed to have lived its entire life in California with its original family. As such we would expect it to be entirely rust free as the selling dealer indicates. All of the car’s original manuals and most of the paperwork appear to remain with the car, which is a great little plus. The original paint, while subdued in terms of shade, appears to be in very good condition, consistent with a garage kept automobile.
The Paul Bracq design is instantly recognizable as a Mercedes-Benz, a look shared with its long wheelbase big brother, the 6.3 sedan. The body looks very clean and straight in these photos as does the trim and bright work. Despite a plethora of exterior shots, many duplicates, there are no pictures of V8 power plant under the hood. The seller claims it is the 230 net horsepower version, but some of these were rated at 200 horsepower. A simple check of the engine serial number prefix, located at the left rear of the block, would confirm which is the correct rated output for this car’s engine.
The interior looks to be in very good original condition with the exception of some fading and minor damage to the carpet. It does have the more desirable floor shift as opposed to the column shift. The factory Becker Europa stereo is retained, a strong indicator that hopefully the balance of the car has not been messed with. This is a very good possibility at the claimed 65,000 original miles. Find it here on eBay in Santa Monica, California with a very aggressive BIN price of $18,500 and some active bidding currently at around $6,000.