While automotive history is filled with many revolutionary advancements, some of the finest and most enduring motorcars are the products of continuous, methodical development and refinement to virtual perfection. The Mercedes-Benz models based on the W108 body/chassis are an ideal case in point for the many virtues of evolution over revolution in both engineering and stylistic terms, and fine quality, well-maintained examples continue to offer a highly satisfying experience today.
Introduced at the October 1965 Frankfurt Motor Show, the new 2.5-litre 250S and 250SE, plus the longer-wheelbase 3.0-litre 300SEb – internally designated ‘W108’ and ‘W109’ respectively, ushered in the “New Generation” Mercedes-Benz range that gained immediate acclaim from buyers and enthusiasts alike. Most prominently, Mercedes-Benz designer Paul Bracq revised the design cues of his prior W111 ‘Fintail’ models, endowing the new W108/W109 lines with a cleaner, simpler, and considerably more modern presence, while masterfully retaining an overall styling theme that was clearly rooted in Mercedes-Benz heritage. Entering production in November 1967 and produced through September 1972, the twin-carbureted 280S (W108.016) and fuel-injected 280SE (W108.018) sedans – both displacing 2.8 litres – stand as the most important and popular iterations of the influential W108 series from Mercedes-Benz. According to published sources, production reached 93,666 and 91,051 examples, respectively. The design remains timeless today, and the importance of the W108/W109 design cannot be overstated.
This 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280S is a charming and exceptionally well-preserved example of Mercedes-Benz’s famously robust W108 sedan lines, with just two prior owners. Thanks to proper care and storage, this classic Mercedes-Benz sedan looks great throughout and features eye-catching paint and brightwork, with a solid and well-preserved shell. Power is delivered by the renowned 2.8-liter M130 inline six-cylinder engine with twin carburetors, paired to a gated, floor-shifted 4-speed automatic gearbox. Maintained as required and never totally restored, it is presented with only selective paintwork as needed, in the classic shade of Medium Blue over a superbly preserved and pleasingly original blue MB-Tex interior including wood grain dash inserts and window surrounds. Accessory floor mats and seat covers preserved the original upholstery and are included for storage purposes or for daily use. Desirable features and options include power brakes and steering, period-correct Thermo King air conditioning, electric window lifts, and a Becker Europa stereo radio. All features are functional, including the dash clock and radio.
A recent mechanical freshening included an investment of approximately $10,000 on service work and upgrades over the past two years, including an engine rebuild, plus installation of OEM-specification Bilstein shock absorbers all around, a new power steering pump, re-coring of the original radiator, a new fan clutch, and a Pertronix electronic ignition conversion. Seals were replaced on the air-conditioning compressor, along with evacuation and recharging of the system with R12 refrigerant. Transmission seals and gaskets were also replaced. As offered, the 280S clearly benefits from all this care, with an honest and attractive presentation encompassing a well- detailed engine compartment, and an honest, unrestored chassis and undercarriage. A full set of factory wheels with Mercedes’ iconic “star” hub caps and Michelin radial tires supplemented by the mounted spare wheel/tire inside the clean and correct trunk, which is fitted with a factory style floor mat. An important and beautifully preserved example of one of Mercedes’ most influential model lines, this 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280S Sedan is offered in excellent running order and commands plenty of attention wherever it goes, making it an ideal, family friendly classic automobile.
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