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Bought a 75 280S home for a friend

Started by alabbasi, 12 June 2005, 08:12 AM


So we went to Tennessee to collect the EBay 75 280S that my friend Phil bought. It was a 210 mile drive so we thought we would take my E420 up there as it can cover distances pretty well. We arrived after about 3 hours. The car was a little worse then I expected as it appears that the radiator was caved in (possibly due to a truck or SUV smashing into it. This took out the AC fan and you can see from the back of the radiator that the fan got pushed into the radiator. It appears that they put everything back to normal and replaced the grill.

The A/C compressor was also removed. I was skeptical that the car would make it back to Atlanta. Keith volunteered to drive the car back and took it for a run down the road. He told me that the master cylinder was on its way and the brake pedal required pumping to get decent pressure. We walked around the car and I noticed the following:


    Paint work was faded and rusty.
    The rockers were rusting from the rear.
    Inner front wheel arch was rusting from the front lower section.
    The trunk is tricky to open (possibly due to vacuum issues with the central locking).
    The paint was faded everywhere
    There is a dent in the rear door (as if something sharp backed into it possibly a panel van).
    There was rust on the hood and the roof.


    The front seats sagged a bit but there was only a few tears.
    Someone let the air out of the rear seats.
    Headliner was pretty good
    Dash was cracked
    Carpet needed gluing on the parcel shelf.
    Windows were slow to open and close.

Keith started driving the car for 10 miles and stopped for gas, when we asked him about the temperature, he said that the car ran a little hot when he was driving in town, but as he hit the highway it ran well. The steering had a lot of play but the engine ran well and smooth. I felt a lot better. We carried on driving at high speed with me tailing the new w116 purchase. After about 90 miles driving, Keith took a quick turn off the highway towards Chattanooga and immediately parked at a derelict gas station. We stopped next to him and saw steam coming out of the front of the radiator. At first thought I thought that the radiator gave, but when he told me that he stopped because the battery light came on I had some hope. We opened the hood and saw that the best connecting the fan and the alternator had snapped. We all got into the E420 and began to look for an auto parts store. No my surprise the local advance auto parts had the correct belt for a 1975 Mercedes 280S (to me, that was impressive),

We got back to the car and after about 40 minutes of figuring out how to move the power steering pump so that we could remove the belt to attach the new belt to the fan / alternator, we got everything back together and got back on our journey. The rest of the journey was rapid and fast. I am actually very impressed with how smooth that twin cam six is. We need to find another radiator for it right away and then work through the other items but all said, for the $500 dollars that he paid, this is not a bad little car.

I am going to get Phil to join the group, he is quite handy and has previously built an experimental air plane. I am sure that the car will soon become reliable transport.
    With best regards

    Dallas, TX USA.


    Sounds like quite a little adventure.

    Reminds me of the time I was driving on a holiday a few years back when my air-conditioning broke and not only stopped working but decided to get in the way of the radiator fan as it spun. Needless to say, the noise of the fan hitting the a/c unit caused plenty of noise as I was driving into town and when the bonnet was lifted sparks were flying. Everyone stared as I drove down the street :) All this was 931 km away from home and in +35C heat.

    The a/c unit has since been replaced and there are now some notches in the radiator fan but amazingly nothing else was damaged.
    1977 450SE [Brilliant Red]
    2006 B200