Bagged Benz: 1976 Mercedes-Benz W114 280C – Sold?
October 16th Update: We just confirmed the Craigslist ad for this car expired and with no replacement listing found, we’re assuming this car sold. This one may have got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330
The combination of its classic two-door pillar-less hardtop styling and lowered suspension drew our interest to this 1976 Mercedes-Benz 280C recently listed on Craigslist in Ridgewood, New Jersey with an asking price of $8,400. Comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has his 122S priced between the #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $14,600 and the #3 “Good” estimate of $8,000.
Here is Hagerty Insurance’s take on the W114 280C:
“Mercedes-Benz eschewed the fins of the previous W110 series with the introduction of the Paul Bracq-designed W114/115 “Strich Acht” cars in 1968. This new design was available in sedan and coupe form and rode on a newly designed chassis that consisted of a ball joint independent front suspension with unequal-length A arms and coil-over shocks, while semi-trailing arms made up the rear. Discs all around were utilized for stopping these substantial cars. The W114 range consisted of gas I-6 engines ranging from 2.3 to 2.8 liters (230C, 250C, 280C, 250C, and 280C for coupes—an “E” suffix denotes rare fuel injection), while the W115 range consisted of gas and diesel I-4 engines of between 2.0 and 2.4 liters displacement (200/200D, 220/220D, 230.4, 240D). Starting in 1973, the W115 series also included a diesel I-5 with the 240D 3.0 and 300D cars.
Well over 1.9 million sedans and 67,000 coupes were built from 1968 to 1976 with a subtle change in styling from the windshield forward appearing in 1974 as well as 5-mph bumpers on U.S. market cars that same year. Transmission choices included four-speed manuals and automatics for all body styles except the I-5 diesel 240D and 300Ds, which were automatic only. A five-speed manual was a rare option on coupes with few making it to the U.S., and a car so equipped with equally rare fuel injection has to be one of the most desirable cars in this wide ranging series.
The W115 and W114 series cars have been referred to as “tank-like” by their enthusiastic following due to their robust construction and reliability, and all permutations of body, engine, and transmission make this Mercedes a choice for many different drivers. Rust compromising the car’s unibody structure as well as dry rot in rubber suspension fittings and bushings are areas of concern in all Mercedes-Benzs of this era, and potential owners should pay attention to these two areas when considering a W114 or W115.”
We came across this nice overview of the W114 280C on YouTube:
As much as we like the look of the air ride suspension on this Mercedes, we highly recommend you go through the details of the equipment used as well as how it appears to be mounted as that will be a true indicator of the quality of the fabricator who did the work. While the Mercedes W114 line of cars has a reputation for being virtually indestructible, that’s only the case when the car has been well maintained. For that reason, be sure to get as much information as possible about the service history for this car before taking the plunge. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Vintage Mercedes coupe with lots of work done and an air ride suspension, euro headlights and bumpers with 17” wheels, brand new all-season tires. Recent full tuneup was done, call for more information“
Do you have a W114 280C story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!
I hate to be that guy again, but this is not a Mercedes-Benz W123. The W123 was introduced the following model year and this is a W114.
Never be afraid to be “that guy” on GuysWithRides – we want our readers to keep us honest! Thank you for the feedback and our apologies for the error. We just updated the post!
Okay then. The 240D was a four cylinder, the 300D having an engine that was very similar except for having a fifth 600cc cylinder added to bring it to 3 liters total instead of 2.4. The 240D was available with a four-speed manual too. My 1976 240D was a four-speed automatic that tried to start in second when the accelerator pedal wasn’t pushed to the floor, which it usually needed to be.
The W114’s ride and handling was very advanced for its time, and I wouldn’t have been tempted to mess with it by fitting low profile tires and air bags. I suspect it is incredibly difficult getting the 185/70VR14 tires this car probably wore when new, but I’d have just gone with whatever the oldest M-B OEM fitment is for which one can still buy tires. Maybe 195/65R15s from a W124, or whatever the W201 came with. On the other hand, this seller of this car cared enough to throw some money at it. I gave up on mine when the first frost of the year resulted in the rusty body cracking. I really enjoy your site. Keep up the good work.