1982 Mercedes 280SE


  • Only 2 owners from new
  • High specification from new with Blue - Green metallic paintwork
  • Low mileage for the age

The Appeal

Mercedes have long been known for their S class vehicles, meaning Sonderklasse in German which translates to 'special class'. They offer luxury in all formats, initially produced as a saloon and later introducing the coupé variant. 

The W126 model was initially released in 1979 and production ran for an impressive 12 years until 1991. Ride comfort and fuel economy were at the top of Mercedes' list when developing the W126, in part due to the oil crisis of 1973. Thus, out of the three engine options, the smooth 2.8L 6-cylinder petrol engine would offer impressive economy for the era as well as adequate power. 

Styling was handled by Bruno Sacco with the aim to improve aerodynamic efficiency while not losing the S class image. During its production run, over 800,000 S class saloons were built, an impressive figure which reflects their popularity!

The History and Paperwork

  • Vehicle currently SORN
  • Vehicle does start, run and drive but has an electrical fault which drains power from the battery when not running
  • Only 2 owners from new with the first owner ordering the vehicle in Bahrain for delivery to Germany, was driven to and registered in the UK shortly after (1984)
  • First registered in the UK 15/05/1984 but sold new in 1982
  • Less than 4,000 miles covered in the last 9 years
  • High specification from new with options such as electronically adjustable front seats, automatic climate control, burred walnut root wooden trim just to name a few
  • Current owner reluctantly selling as no time to use
  • Current owner acquired the vehicle in 2014 and has reportedly covered less than 10,000 miles during ownership
  • Last MOT 25/07/2016 with advisories of both front suspension ball joint covers deteriorated but still functioning
  • On average only 1,000 miles covered each year since new
  • Very little service history, independent
  • Last oil and filter service 31/08/2016 at 36,632 miles
  • Drivers window motor repaired 31/08/2016 but both front windows currently don't function due to an electrical issue
  • Instrument cluster also faulty due to electrical issue (rev counter rises when pressing front window buttons)
  • Service book present and stamped up to 31,037 miles
  • Believed to be original interior and exterior
  • Vehicle has been kept garaged during winters by current owner until 2017
  • First owner reportedly kept the vehicle garaged and covered when not in use until selling in 2014
  • Fair condition overall for the age and mileage

The Interior

  • Original MB-Tex Beige interior in good condition overall
  • Seats absent of any major rips or tears, one small puncture to lower side of driver's seat, both electronically adjustable front seats function as expected
  • Electrical issue means radio functions but with some interference, automatic aerial also extends as expected
  • Neither front windows work due to electrical issue but back windows work as expected
  • All door cards present and secure, all remain in good condition with some superficial marking
  • Walnut wood trim in very good condition throughout
  • Headlining present and secure, remains in very good condition for the age
  • Trim to rear of headlining has come loose and is sagging, rear interior light also stays on, possibly related to the electrical issue
  • Carpets and floor mats present, both remain in good condition throughout
  • Dashboard plastics remain in very good condition free from any cracks or breaks, a common problem on vehicles from the era
  • Parcel shelf remains in good condition with Mercedes emergency first aid kit present
  • Boot remains in a good condition with full-size spare wheel, warning triangle and tool kit present and in fair condition, some staining present to carpet in boot
  • Vehicle will also come with a car cover in a fair condition

The Exterior 

  • Desirable Blue - Green Metallic paintwork remains in fair to poor condition overall
  • Some small areas of corrosion present across the front end and bonnet but appear to be localised, some small dents, chips and scratches around the vehicle in keeping with the age
  • Fading of paint to boot and other panels which a respray would rectify if so desired in the future
  • Top of passenger doors have corrosion present and may need to be repaired in the future
  • Glass, brightwork and badges remains in good condition for the age
  • Rubber seals for glass starting to perish and showing signs of age but remain present and intact
  • Grey bumpers remain in fair condition with some scuffs present and a noticeable dent to rear nearside
  • 4 matching Michelin Energy Saver tyres, all with good tread
  • Original 14' alloys all remain in fair condition, paint starting to peel on each alloy
  • Paint has lifted on drivers wing mirror

The Mechanics

  • Smooth 2.8L straight 6 engine starts well and runs smoothly free from any smoke, bangs or knocking
  • On average only 1,000 miles covered each year since new
  • Currently SORN but does start and drive
  • Last MOT 25/07/2016 with advisories of both front suspension ball joint covers deteriorated but still functioning
  • Last oil and filter service 31/08/2016 at 36,632 miles
  • Drivers window motor repaired 31/08/2016 but both front windows currently don't function due to electrical issue
  • 2 new drive belts fitted to engine 05/01/2017
  • New nearside rear brake calliper and pads fitted 25/01/2017
  • 4-speed automatic gearbox configured from new
  • Engine bay and underside both remain in a tidy, used condition
  • Some corrosion present on airbox
  • Instrument cluster also faulty due to electrical issue (rev counter rises when pressing front window buttons)
  • Current owner advises that the vehicle drives and stops well, as it should and in a straight line


The S class is arguably Mercedes' most renowned series of vehicles, offering luxury and comfort in abundance. This 1982 280SE boasts only 2 owners from new and also low mileage for the age. 

The current owner has cherished this vehicle dearly but since 2017 it has been off the road. Thus, it is in need of some work to bring it back to its former glory but offers a wonderful base to start from. If you are in the market for a classic luxurious saloon to make your own, then this 280SE is a great opportunity with many miles still yet to enjoy!

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1982
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model SE Series 280 SE
  • Colour Blue/Green
  • Odometer 40,935 Miles
  • Engine size 2799
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town St Albans
  • Location Hertfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
14 bids from 4 bidders
  • graham.•••• £4,300 28/09/23
  • devoncl•••• £4,100 28/09/23
  • graham.•••• £4,000 28/09/23
  • Saty £3,800 28/09/23
  • graham.•••• £3,650 28/09/23
  • devoncl•••• £3,500 28/09/23
  • graham.•••• £3,350 28/09/23
  • vik-c £3,200 28/09/23
  • graham.•••• £3,100 28/09/23
  • vik-c £2,900 28/09/23

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