Friday, January 27, 2017

Luxury, Early 70s Style

It took the rest of the world a while to get over the stigma attached to Germany from World War II but by the mid 1960s, the car buying public, at least, seemed to have done so. Mercedes Benz had begun turning out top rate luxury and sports sedans while winning races on the international motor sport scene. And they were able to do so in the numbers necessary to make them a major player in the world market.

By this time Mercedes was ready to replace its aging W111 and W112 platforms with newer, more innovative automobiles. Enter the W108 and W109. Introduced in 1965 the W108 series featured the series 250, series 280 and the entry level series 300 models.

While the models offered engines ranging from a 2.5 liter or a 2.8 inline six. Within a few years a 3.5 liter and a 4.5 liter V 8 were introduced. Despite the engine or if there was a four speed standard or four speed automatic transmission, all of the W108 vehicles rode with effortless power and comfort.

The 280 SE as seen here had a 108 inch wheelbase and an overall length of 190 inches. The 2.8 liter inline six engine generated 160 horse power that allowed this Mercedes to comfortably cruise down the highways as well as zip around smoothly in city traffic. This Mercedes soon became a very strong alternative to the status conscious former Cadillac or Lincoln buyer. In all over 91,000 of these cars were sold world-wide between 1967 and 1972.

A Mercedes has never been an inexpensive car whether new or used. But the base W108 cars can make a decent bargain for a dedicated collector. A concours quality 280 SE will set you back around $57,000 while a good show car or driver will cost only a little over $30,000. It could be worth it to show up at events with something different and, yes, classy, like a Mercedes.

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