1972 Mercedes-Benz W108 280SE Sedan 3.5 petrol injection V8


Distinctive, imposing on the road - relatively expensive to maintain, but an appreciating classic


Chassis sub-frame rubbers - 2000.

Battery died (7 plate, refillable) - 2001.

Distributor points, spark plug leads - 2002.

Wheel wearings x 4, brake front discs - 2003.

Tyres x 5 replaced - 2004.

Dash lights died; Replaced SONY radio with original Becker Mexico cassette - 2005.

Major rust in rocker panels/door sashes cut out - 2007.

Replaced carpets myself, stenciling/cutting out old carpet on new carpet, re-sewing the plastic edges - 2008.

Brake booster hoses replaced - 2010.

5 new Michelin tyres, valve stem seals replaced - 2014.

Gearbox is currently VERY slow in the 2-3 gear-change. Sunroof water drain points need cleaning out. Air con needs re-gassing. Dash cracks and dash wood need attention.

General Comments:

The Parchment MBTex (MB 147) upholstery makes "Gretchen's" interior a light, airy place to be when it's clean.

I never get tired of looking at Paul Bracq's classic, clean design, especially from the front or the right hand side. Stone Pine Green metallic (MB862) was available only May - September 1972 in the W108 shape, plus her chassis number 12102 is only 120 cars from the end of production, with 625 Australian Build Code too. Probably one of the last RHD ones made. I really enjoy seeing other W108s on the road.

My partner much prefers her late model Toyota Corolla for features and cheaper running costs, but I'll be keeping my "Junior 6.3" for many years to come.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th June, 2014

1971 Mercedes-Benz W108 280SE 2.8 petrol Mechanical PI


Built to last and still running extremely well


Front shocks replaced - LH binding, rear require replacement. Just due to old age.

Some cam wear, but not problematic.

Replaced RR wheel bearing due to rumble.

Drivers seat slightly unstable.

General Comments:

These are a great looking and reliable car. They are not as collectible as the 280SE (W111) Coupes and Cabriolets, but then they are about 10-15% of the price.

Parts are available, but will cost an arm and a leg. They are simple enough to be tinkered with by a competent home mechanic.

Automatic 4-speed (MB's first, apparently based on a 1939 Packard design) is pretty primitive. Doesn't like down shifting under load and doesn't like shifting up when 3rd is selected (revs quite alarmingly - if you don't realise this is normal).

No torque converter, but has a 'fluid flywheel' (fluid coupling) 1st gear engaged until about 15 km/h is reached, or about 1 sec when 2nd is engaged. This also is normal.

Luxury cars when released, so are relatively uncommon. I love it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th March, 2005

1972 Mercedes-Benz W108 280SE 2.8 litre


A practical classic


This car has not needed any parts in the last 2 years.

General Comments:

A delightful car to drive. Everyone who sees it loves it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st February, 2004