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With tips for Fido-friendly travel, road trips on a budget, and much more, PlanYourRoadTrip.com is our favorite new trip-planning website.
|Not Found on eBay: The Shah's 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SE?|
|Written by Rich Truesdell|
|Tuesday, 19 May 2009 05:11|
Covering four Southern California shows over the weekend turned up some interesting cars not yet listed on eBay or Craigslist.
One of the byproducts of running all over Southern California looking for feature vehicles for my magazine editors are all the interesting cars I find for sale. No car fits this definition better than the 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SE coupe shown here. It was sporting a for-sale sign at Cars and Coffee last Saturday at the Ford Western Headquarters in Irvine, California. This particular car, offered for sale by John Morrison, has led what can be called an 'interesting' life over the past 41 years, beginning when the Shah ordered it in Stuttgart, Germany, followed by the cancellation of the order prior to delivery. Over the next 12 years the car belonged to the family of a Spanish diplomat whose wife drove the car in Malta, Madrid, and London until it was sold to its current owner in 1980.
There was a very similar car in the neighborhood where I grew up in Union, New Jersey, and as a young car enthusiast I always thought of these coupes, unfairly it now seems, as a German interpretation of Ford's Thunderbird, since both are four seat, 2-door coupes. While I think that there's a certain timelessness to the 1961 to 1963 T-Birds, I don't think that it compares with the design of this Paul Barcq-designed coupe. Over the last 48 years, the design has stood the test of time, and is a modern-day classic.
Under the hood the care that has been lavished on this car is immediately apparent. While the car does have 122,500 miles on the clock, the 2.8-liter SOHC straight six featuring mechanical fuel injection and the automatic transmission were overhauled 45,000 miles ago. Other recent maintenance includes an overhauled front suspension and new shocks front and rear.
The interior has only one flaw that John says he's addressing. Deterioration and delamination of the wood trim is an issue with Mercedes-Benzes of this era, and John has already replaced the trim on the A-pillars and around the air conditioning unit. Before the car is sold the rest of the dash trim will be replaced, which is an all-day job. Note the correct Becker radio; the dash hasn't been modified to accept a contemporary audio receiver.