1982 MERCEDES-BENZ 280CEView vehicle description
There’s something rather cool about a coupe. It may be based on a more workaday saloon but lose a couple of doors and up goes the style and desirability factor. The same concept still holds true today.
The good folk at Mercedes-Benz are expert in this fine art and there is an exciting collection of coupes in their back catalogue and it one of these fine machines from the 1980s that is on offer here.
The W123 series, as Mercedes aficionados will know, was one of the company’s best-selling models of all time with over 2.7 million sold across the globe. The saloon appeared first and built on Mercedes’ formidable reputation for making cars that were over engineered, durable and reliable.
Many saw service as taxis and regularly accomplished enormous mileages without issue.
The coupe came along a little later and was built on a shortened wheelbase. Reeking of elegance, this model appealed to a much more discerning audience, yet was still capable of seating four adults in a good degree of luxury. The generous boot provided ample space for their chattels too.
The pillarless design allows all four windows to disappear for a delightful, uncluttered look and on a hot summer’s day, it’s wind in the hair motoring.
Our car boasts the most sought after 2.8-litre petrol engine and being a later car, it boasts fuel injection. No tricky carburettors to set up here and boy are they difficult to get just right.
Mated to the powerful engine is an automatic gearbox and most will readily acknowledge that Mercedes make a creamy smooth self-shifter.
Back in the day the 280CE was capable of covering the 0-60mph sprint in under 10 seconds and would plough on to a heady 124mph. Even today, our car feels brisk, though in all fairness it is much more of a comfortable cruiser than sports car.
The vendor purchased the car last year from a long-term owner (17 years) and being a dedicated collector of classic cars, he spent a considerable amount of time seeking out the very best model he could find. Sadly, a combination of too many cars and too little storage leads to the early sale of this delightful motor car.
He reports that the car cruises well at motorway speeds and genuinely feels taught and well screwed together.
We are told it turns heads wherever it goes which is quite understandable as there are so few of these left running on UK roads. A little research would suggest 64 in existence with just 24 up and running.
On the Outside
The car was completely resprayed back in 2007. We understand this was done professionally with all the glass was removed and any areas of rust properly dealt with.
The owner at the time decided to change the colour from grey to the rather distinctive black that still adorns it to this day. Although not a factory colour, we think it rather suits the coupe, showing off to good effect its graceful lines.
Since the work was done, the car has covered very few miles and we can see from the MOT history that it spent quite a number of years off road in storage. The result is that the paintwork still gleams and shows very few signs of imperfection. The Nearside front bonnet alignment isn't perfect however this does not detract from the cars overall appearance.
The chrome work is in good order too, just as well as there is plenty of it.
The period alloy wheels are in good order and the tyres boast plenty of tread.
The MOT history would suggest that all is well, the next test being due in April.
On the Inside
Those who appreciate originality will find much to delight here. The beige cloth seats show little sign of wear and the carpeting is in good order, being protected by colour coordinated floor mats.
The car is now fitted with an original style steering wheel, though a rather brash wooden offering is included with the sale too. We would suggest selling it on eBay and leaving well alone!
There is a fitted Blaupunkt stereo but we do not think this is period correct and it does not seem to work very well. A new one should not be difficult to source and there are now companies who can fit modern technology to older units, should you require Bluetooth etc whilst wafting about.
All the electrics work, which is as one would expect, and these include the windows and even the sunroof.
We have already mentioned the professional respray, but there is paperwork included showing that much money has been lavished on the car to keep it in top order.
Copies of some of the receipts can be seen in the photograph section of the listing.
Also, present and correct are the manuals for the car along with some assorted booklets.
There is also a Haynes workshop manual for those who like to get their hands dirty. Being a car from a simpler era, it is a car that is easy and rewarding to work on, with most jobs easily completed by a competent home mechanic.
We have noticed a warning light on the dashboard (photo in the gallery) we presume this is a brake warning light. However the vendor states there is no affect mechanically.
The vendor only bought the car in November 2020, so there are no bills etc. from his ownership. The previous long-term owner (17 years) has done all the work beforehand.
Especially where little else is known about a vehicle, we would welcome and encourage a personal inspection by any potential bidders. We are looking after this car is at our Oxfordshire HQ during the sale and, although we operate in a Covid-safe way, we imagine most would prefer to discuss and inspect the vehicle via a live video call. Use the ‘Contact Seller’ option to arrange it with us.
What We Think
This rare car is one of those that is truly worthy of inspection. It wears its years well and appears to be in excellent mechanical order. It is a car we would have no hesitation in jumping behind the wheel and setting off on a long touring holiday – something we hope we will all soon be able to enjoy once more.
This is also a car for the enthusiast to take to classic car rallies and in our opinion, it would be worth showing.
The last Mercedes-Benz show we were at, there were SLs aplenty, saloons galore, a posse of Pagodas, yet W123 coupes were notable by their absence.
Prices are climbing and we are told an immaculate low mileage model in showroom condition recently sold for around £30,000. We estimate less than half of that will be required to become the new custodian of this black beauty, £11,000 to £15,000, so get bidding right away.
Inspection is always encouraged (within Govt. guidelines of course), and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.
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