Stillborn Swap: 1976 Mercedes-Benz W114 280C – Sold?
September 12, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
Car enthusiasts often have great plans and a for when they buy a classic car. In the case of this W114 Mercedes-Benz 280C originally listed in August 2021 on Craigslist in Litlle York, Pennsylvania (Allentown) the current caretaker had visions of swapping in a V8 (most likely an LS conversion) before a wife and kids became his priority. We’re kind of glad he didn’t have the time to get the job down as this appears to be a very solid example of a W114 featuring the much more attractive European style bumpers offered at $15,000 currently. Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their W114 priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $8,800 and its #2 “Excellent” estimate of $17,700. Interestingly, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool provides a much different assessment as in this case the asking price is nearly seven hundred dollars above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $14,300.
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.”
Call us crazy, but this video could serve as proof that Elvis faked his death so he could live out his true passion as a Mercedes test driver:
In addition to the hardtop styling, the white-over-red color combination is a rare sight on these W114 Mercedes. The only thing we would change out immediately is what appear to be blacked-out AMG mono-bloc style wheels. Our preference would be to polish these out, but that’s just us.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Owned it for five years. lived its life in Florida and Georgia. Had plans for v8 swap, and had a wife and kids instead. Runs great, new weber carburetor everything works. 77xxx miles.“
Swap a V8 or leave as-is: what would you do with this W114 Mercedes? Comment below and let us know!