1984 Mercedes-Benz 280 CE
Almost as good as new, this well-looked after coupe is a pleasure to gaze at and drive
This must be the nearest thing to a new C123 you could find outside the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. It’s got low mileage for a 26-year-old Merc and its only flaws are a tiny rust bubble on a front wing and two tiny splits on the piping on the centre armrest.
Part of its fine condition must be down to it being a practically one-owner car (from 1987- 2008) that’s been looked after. Avantgarde’s Jonathan Aucott sourced the car for the current owner, who has now decided to let it go. There’s a stamp in the service book showing 51,941 miles on May 28,2008, and it’s just been serviced again at 55,703 miles.
The body is straight and original and has almost certainly never been repainted, and the only exterior flaw – a tiny rust blister at the bottom of the right front wing behind the wheelarch – may or may not be attended to before someone snaps it up. The vendor is a perfectionist and will probably get it sorted, while my personal choice would be complete originality, one tiny wart and all. Either way, it’s no big deal.
The bumpers are unbruised and uncracked and even the valances, which can get shabby on this period of Mercedes, are in good shape. Floors and sills are excellent and have been retreated with black underseal, which should keep the underside protected for a good while longer. The alloy wheels are unscuffed, shod in Nankang tyres with decent tread. The spare still wears the original Michelin XWX and it shares the boot with the original tools and warning triangle.
The engine bay is very clean, with original- looking pipes and fasteners, no leaks, no rot in the inner wings, and the bulkhead is perfect. Oil, automatic transmission fluid and coolant are all clean and to the right levels.
Inside, it’s all original with no wear to the seat velour or carpets and a perfect dash and instruments. The only blemishes are two tiny nicks in that armrest piping, but you have to look to find them. All four windows and the electric sunroof work perfectly and this coupe is fitted with cruise control and rear headrests.
It fires readily and drives as tautly as these cars should, tracking straight and solidly with no slop in the steering, decent brakes and a smooth, well-damped ride with no clonks or rattles. The twin-cam straight-six is rattle-free and settles to an 80 degrees С running temperature, with maximum deflection 3 bar oil pressure showing on the move. Automatic gear changes are smooth and the kickdown works well. It’s sprightlier than you might think and a pleasure to drive.
This well-kept Mercedes is sold with the original data card and owner’s manual plus the supplement for the Blaupunkt radio. Even the first aid kit is unused. One of a kind.