1973 Mercedes-Benz 280SE (W108)


  • Recent import from South Africa
  • Exterior presents well
  • Highly unusual paint colour
  • Requires some recommissioning

The Appeal

A perennially popular classic, Mercedes’ luxury saloon has timelessly elegant styling and a strong following. It’s easy to see why too - the proportions and detailing on Mercedes from this period are second to none, and their reliability is the stuff of legend.

This is a fine example of the breed too, benefitting from an unusual and rare burgundy finish, with complementary tobacco leather interior, white wall tyres and lashings of chrome. Overall, this example (recently imported from South Africa) presents well but will require some recommissioning to get it back to peak condition. One of the key attractions here is that South Africa’s dry conditions have done a remarkable job in helping to preserve this very original 280SE. So the bones here are very good.

Think of this as a project: in need of a service and with some areas which require attention internally and externally. But it’s easy to see the destination: a beautifully proportioned high end classic saloon in an unusual and attractive colour. Get your bid in now to have a hand in reinvigorating this desirable and usable classic.

The History and Paperwork

  • First registered 1973
  • Imported to the UK from South Africa earlier in 2022
  • Sadly no history accompanies the car
  • MOT exempt
  • V5 present in the owner’s name

The Interior

  • All original
  • Tan upholstery
  • Requires some tidying

Swing open the door and you are presented with a cabin that is all original but which has clearly lived a life. While all of the signature design flourishes are there, in some cases they will need some TLC to bring them back to their best. Having said that, we do love the patina, and the best course of action may be a light touch restoration internally – one that preserves the vehicle’s history and character.

The seats are showing signs of wear and would benefit from some attention including, the seller advises, new seat bases in the front. The woodwork is in fair condition and all of the switchgear is said to be functioning as it should.

Each of the door cards is intact and in presentable condition, although showing some creasing. It should be noted that the door rubbers will need to be replaced. The footwells could also use some fresh carpet, but the floor looks to be solid underneath. While the boot lining is missing, the boot floor itself looks complete and solid, with only minimal signs of some surface corrosion.

Overall then, a fine basis for some cosmetic restoration.

The Exterior 

  • Burgundy paintwork
  • Presentable chrome
  • Good wheels and tyres

Finished in an unusual shade, with nice brightwork and white wall tyres, this Mercedes presents generally very well. The rare colour scheme suits the car’s proportions very well, and helps to really make the brightwork stand out.

Closer inspection reveals that the paintwork has been the subject of some localised repairs, while the bonnet shows a little paint crazing – something to be expected with an original car of this vintage. There are some areas of corrosion which are detailed in the pictures, and the offside side light lens has a small hole. 

When it comes to the paintwork, there are some marks and scratches, but the seller believes that a good polish would pay dividends in bringing this lovely old luxury saloon back to its best.

The wheel trims are in good condition and the tyres show good tread all round. Underneath, the seller reports that there is some evidence of corrosion but that it doesn’t look to be extensive.

The Mechanics 

  • 2.8 litre straight six petrol engine
  • Four speed manual gearbox
  • Goes well, but in need of a service

There are few things in life as reliable as Mercedes’ lovely 2.8 straight-six, and here it’s mated to a manual transmission. So you not only get the benefit of that glorious-sounding engine, but the joy of holding it in gear to hear that barrel-chested six sing a little more!

Under the bonnet, it all looks to be original and tidy, and has been fitted with a modern battery. The seller reports that the car goes well. However, it could do with a service and there are a few items that need addressing: the accelerator is sticking, the power steering needs servicing and the handbrake requires attention. 

Given these issues, he recommends that the car is trailered away and repairs made before it’s driven any more extensively than the limited use he’s given it since it arrived in the UK.


There’s a good reason these cars prove to be so popular with collectors – they drive beautifully, they look great and they’re built incredibly well. So when the chance comes to get one on your driveway, especially in such a desirable specification as this, you really do have to grab it.

Don’t miss this opportunity to breathe new life into a beautiful, imposing luxury saloon which, once recommissioned, should make for a lovely usable classic.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

Please see our FAQ's here and our Terms & Conditions here

Vehicle specification
  • Year 1973
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model 280SE (W108)
  • Colour Maroon
  • Odometer 64,572 Kilometers
  • Engine size 2800
  • Town Dover
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Kent
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
34 bids
  • Gl•••• £11,750 26/06/22
  • se•••• £11,500 26/06/22
  • Gl•••• £11,250 26/06/22
  • se•••• £10,500 26/06/22
  • as•••• £10,200 26/06/22
  • ma•••• £9,900 26/06/22
  • as•••• £9,800 26/06/22
  • ma•••• £9,600 26/06/22
  • as•••• £9,500 26/06/22
  • ma•••• £9,300 26/06/22

The Gallery

The safest way to buy a classic car online

Car & Classic's secure payment system protects buyers and sellers. At the end of the auction, the winning bidder transfers payment into a third-party escrow account. Once the transfer of the vehicle is complete, both parties confirm they are happy with the sale and the money is released to the seller.
Safe, secure payment process

About Max Bids

The max bid process allows you to bid without any hassle.
Enter your maximum bid and we will then bid on your behalf to ensure you're the highest bidder - just enough to keep you in the lead and only up until your maximum.


C&C prevent auction snipers from bidding in the last seconds to win an auction.
Auctions are extended by 5-minutes if anyone bids within the last 2 minutes to allow other bidders to react and counter-bid.

Auto-bidding increments

  • If your maximum bid is equal to or below the reserve price, your maximum bid will be applied in full if you are the highest bidder.
  • If you are the highest bidder and place a maximum bid above the reserve, we will automatically put in the reserve as your first bid.
    • Once the reserve has been met, Car & Classic will make sure you are the highest bidder using only the bidding increments stated below.
    • We will keep you in the lead up until your maximum bid OR the increment closest to your maximum bid, providing your maximum bid is enough to cover the increment value.

Bid Amount Increment
£0 to £10,000 £100.00
£10,000 to £50,000 £250.00
£50,000 to £100,000 £500.00
£100,000+ £1000.00

Automatically outbid immediately

When you place a max bid and are outbid immediately that means that another bidder has placed a max bid limit which is higher than yours.
You can bid again and we will use our automatic bid system to try and get you as the highest bidder.

Matching max bids

When there are two max bids of the same value, the one placed first remains the lead bidder.

Watch this auction

Get notified when the auction is starting, and half an hour before it ends.

Problem with your bid

Bids are contractually binding. To help protect you, we have some rules in place if we think it's been mistyped. Please check and amend what you have entered.