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Mercedes-Benz 280S/SE/SEL w108 280 SE 1972

General description : Model History

The 280 SE was part of the W108 family of Mercedes-Benz, which was produced from 1965 until 1972. The line was an update of the predecessor W111 and W112 fintail saloons. The W108 premiered at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1965. The initial model lineup consisted of three models; the 250 S, 250 SE, and 300 SE, as well as a sole W109, the 300 SEL. Engines for the new car were carried over from the previous generation, but enlarged and refined.

In late 1967 existing models were given an engine upgrade from the 2496cc M108 straight-six to the 2778cc M130. The W108 family now included the 280 S and 280 SE, both replacing the 2.5-litre variants. Bigger engines meant better performance. On the 280 S the two downdraft carburettors produced 140hp, while the fuel-injected 280 SE delivered 160hp and featured a new pump that was not affected by temperature or altitude. Thanks to the air oil filter and better arrangement of cylinders, cooling and also economy improved.


Automatic transmission, Driver and passenger front armrests, Alpine CD player, Blaupunkt cassette radio (not fitted), Electric aerial, Rear armrest, Horn push ring, Lockable glove compartment, Front seatbelts, Cigar lighter, Front and rear ash trays, Interior lighting, Spare wheel, Mercedes tool roll.


This handsome ‘70s saloon is in excellent condition throughout, perfectly in line with the low mileage of just 65k miles. The glistening Tunis Beige paintwork remains to a lovely standard and still presents with a sharp metallic flake – our studio photos really don’t do it justice. On closer inspection the plentiful brightwork appears original all round and is remarkably well preserved, the chrome still displaying a mirror shine with few signs of age. There are no nasty marks to the bumper trims and the light clusters are without any unsightly damage or moisture ingress. The dealer-supplied ‘peak’ plates are still fitted front and rear.


The dark MB-Tex upholstery is in excellent order with almost no wear to the seats at all. Wood trim adorns the fascia, dash top, and front window surrounds, all of which is still looking great with minimal patination. The footwell carpets are also in fine order and the headlining is free from any rips or sagging. There is no cracking or distortion to the dash and all the switchgear operates just as it should. An aftermarket Alpine head unit (not pictured) has recently been fitted for modern convenience but the period Blaupunkt cassette radio shown is also included with the sale.


The 280 SE’s 2.8-litre M130 engine is fed by mechanical fuel injection, as opposed to that of the 280 S, which utilised twin carbs. The under-bonnet area of this example retains a very clean and tidy appearance, the engine having been serviced within the last 1k miles. This service work was accompanied by a light mechanical re-commissioning, all carried out by renowned marque specialist SS Motors.


The Mercedes sits on 14-inch steels finished with the original body-coloured wheel covers. The painted/chrome embellishers are in great order and show only minor age-related wear to the outer rims. The aged Michelin tyres in the photographs have since been replaced with new Maxxis rubber all round.

History File

This UK 280 SE was first registered in January 1972; it was supplied new by Woking Motors in Hersham. Later that year it was sold by Walton Lodge Garage to its second owner. Mr Timmis drove the Mercedes up until November 1993, having always ensured the maintenance was kept up to date. In 1994 it was taken to Spain where it resided as part of a private collection until 2016. Upon arrival back into the UK the car was sold to the current owner by 4 Star. With the aim of putting it into more regular use some light re-commissioning was carried out by renowned Mercedes specialist, SS Motors. New tyres were also fitted, and a handful of additional parts have since been replaced.

The History File is complete with all the original handbooks, the dealer-supplied service booklet, plenty of past MOT certificates, the original warranty slip, period ownership documents, literature for the Blaupunkt radio, and several invoices for recent mechanical works. The MOT is valid until April 2020.

1972 Mercedes-Benz 280S/SE/SEL w108 280 SE is listed sold on ClassicDigest in Kingsley by 4 Star Classics for £16995.


Car Facts

Car type : Car Make : Mercedes-Benz Model : 280S/SE/SEL w108 Model Version : 280 SE Engine size : 2.8 Model Year : 1972 Sub type : Pick up Location : Hampshire


Seller Information


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About Mercedes-Benz
In 1886 Karl Benz built Benz Patent Motorwagen widely regarded as the first automobile. Little did he know this was to be the beginning of the world's most renown premium car manufacturer. -Mind you the venture was financed by his wife Bertha Benz.

Not too far Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft founded by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach, started marketing their car in 1901 using now famous name:  Mercedes (Spanish for godsend), which was chosen after their distributor Emil Jellinek's daughter.

To make a long story short, Daimler merged in 1926 with Benz & Cie., becoming Daimler-Benz and adopting Mercedes-Benz as its automobile trademark

Although deemed by some conservative the truth is actually quite the opposite, Daimler-Benz history is filled with 'firsts': Honeycomb radiator, float carburetor,   four wheel brakes 1924, (although Duesenburg Model A was reported to be sporting them as early as 1922), first diesel powered passenger car in 1936, the Mercedes-Benz 260 D,  first direct fuel injection in the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (well not really as tiny 2-stroke Gutbrod actually had the first direct fuel injection) )  front and rear crumple zones ie. safety cell by Béla Barényi patented in 1951 and introduced in “Ponton”-models , Anti-Lock Brake system (ABS) was first offered on the W116 450SEL 6.9, first production airbags...and the list goes on.

During its 100+ years Mercedes has produced more than a fair share of iconic cars; SSKL , 710 SSK Trossi Roadster, 770K Grosser, 540K Spezial Roadster, 300SL Gullwing, w100 600 Pullman, w111 280SE 3.5 Flachkühler, w113 230SL Pagoda, w109 300 SEL 6.3, w201 2.3-16 Cosworth to name just a few.

One should not forget the famous Silver Arrows (Silberpfeile) either: W 25, W 125, w154, w165, w196 all of which were more than capable of trashing their opponents on the track.