Prices for a W109

1965 - 1972: 250S, 250SE, 300SEb, 280S, 280SE, 280SEL, 280SE 3.5, 280SEL 3.5, 280SE 4.5, 280SEL 4.5, 300SEL, 300SEL 6.3, 300SEL 3.5, 300SEL 4.5
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Dil
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Prices for a W109

Post by Dil » Wed 15 May, 2019 1:37 pm

Just doing research I and hope I could get some guidance from the experts. Look for an old project Benz for a restoration job.

I have always been keen on the W109s, dont mind if it is a 3.5, 4.5 or 6.3. Now I can't see many examples on Gumtree at the moment, but there are a few on Carsales - the prices have skyrocketed since I looked a few years ago (damit). Am I dreaming if I am looking out for a W109, for ~$10k or less. Don't mind a rust or rough example as long as it is salvageable. Apologies if it is a silly question!

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AMG
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Re: Prices for a W109

Post by AMG » Wed 15 May, 2019 3:11 pm

The golden rule with any MB is buy the best example you can possibly afford.

280SEL 3.5 - cheapest entry level 109
300SEL 3.5 - most common 109 for sale
300SEL 6.3 - rare as rocking horse poo or complete basket case asking absurd $

Even then you're going to spend the purchase price within the first 5 years, getting it "up to scratch" if it's a fixer-upper.
you'll be lucky to get a driveable 'safe' 109 for under 50K

Something you should know - these are the second most expensive Mercedes-Benz to own and maintain beyond the 600.

Given the cost of parts for a 109, I wouldn't even look at one at 50-60K. I know there will be massive and expensive fixes required.
If you're not minted, save your money and go buy a LWB w126 - you'll get a better driving car, admittedly imo not as characterful as a 109, but really, a much better car.
Not even a bare project shell with any hope of being restored would go for less than 10K.

If you see the carsales ads with prices around 100K and up to 150K you're in the ballpark for a properly maintained example not requiring any serious rust fixing, air suspension system fixing, or MFIS issues.

These vehicles are in the realm of Garage Queen now. They are not for the faint hearted in servicing cost and complexity and due to the age, the incredulous prices for the ridiculous number of genuine parts needed to maintain them to a roadworthy standard.

Someone's going to post about their 'cheap ownership experience' for sure.

I know a few people who've owned 109's. None of them got out of it without a hefty financial penalty.
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Classic 4sp auto Ardennes Green "Oswald"
2012 E63 AMG Speedshift MCT Diamantweiß "Klaus"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"

matthewz108
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Re: Prices for a W109

Post by matthewz108 » Wed 15 May, 2019 3:17 pm

Even the poor mans W109 - the W108 280SE3.5 - has now started to get dragged up in value. I'm lucky I grabbed mine when I did. These are still relatively simple and cheap (compared to a 6.3) to repair and to find parts for.
The other option may be W108 280SEL? But I think there were less of these made than 3.5's, so may attract more of a premium anyway...
1971 W108 280SE 3.5
1982 R107 500SL

CraigB
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Re: Prices for a W109

Post by CraigB » Wed 15 May, 2019 5:16 pm

The question on my mind is what is it you like about the 109? If its the look then you have half a chance of getting a 108, even a 3.5 which needs work, but that's what you've indicated you can handle. Finnies you could possibly find and their look is along the same lines. Getting a long wheel base car in either is a bit tricky and out of your price range. The other option that springs to mind is the somewhat 'unloved' and in my opinion much undervalued W116. Different look but lovely cars with a lot of that older grandeur in my opinion. Worth a drive of one. In a W116 you will get a long wheelbase car, nice leather interiors etc in your price bracket.

If the air suspension is important to you then that's hard even in a W116 (the 6.9). Also I just make the remark that you want to check some of the costs in restoring. You can be capable with rust and paint etc. but check out prices of rubbers, uphosltery materials, engine rebuild items. Even doing work yourself it still almost always works out cheaper to get the best car you can and at least know the costs of different bits when looking at a car so you have an idea how much you can get away with and what you need to spend on a car.

There is a discussion on Ozbenz facebook at the moment with a very nice W116 and a stream of comments indicating even the best examples less than 10k. I never understand when amongst us enthusiasts when someone asks about the value of a car it seems there is the rush to lowball the value of our cars, but still, I do believe a nice W116 is the best value of any model for a long term collector car.
Craig Baulderstone
280s's
280SE3.5
280SL Ruby
300TE Otto
350SL Gloria
350SLC Lurch
450SEL Boris
500SEC's...including Syd
560SEL's Foufou and Zac

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Dil
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Re: Prices for a W109

Post by Dil » Thu 16 May, 2019 10:29 am

Thanks all, really appreciate the responses and advice! Looks like I was dreaming with the W109. The W109 were my pick as I love the look of the W108/109s but really fell in love with the LWB and some of the extras.

So would you say that a 6 pot W108 280S/SE (and not the SEL) might be more realistic for my budget?

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Re: Prices for a W109

Post by CraigB » Thu 16 May, 2019 1:37 pm

yes. The key with buying any 108 is seeing what you have and what it will cost to fix. Lots of cars with rusty front sills and jacking points, door rust etc and yet could have good driveline and mb tex seats - maybe cracked dash and dodgy carpet. Can think of lots of cars that fit that scenario. If you can do rust repair and paint, able to do brakes etc then these cars are available cheaper because people know how much that stuff costs and it can all make sense. Once you need to buy in services for paint, engine or trans rebuild etc. etc. then $20k can disappear very fast and the pricier cars start looking like great value. Bonus if you can get good original carpet and door seals ok - all that stuff is available but adds up too - dash is about $750 to have redone but never looks the same with the old vinyl material not available, so if you can snag a good dash, that is a bonus and in my opinion worth dollars if weighing up a couple of cars. Just saw a manual trans car that looked good for about $4k in the last couple of days - seems very cheap.
Craig Baulderstone
280s's
280SE3.5
280SL Ruby
300TE Otto
350SL Gloria
350SLC Lurch
450SEL Boris
500SEC's...including Syd
560SEL's Foufou and Zac

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Dil
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Re: Prices for a W109

Post by Dil » Thu 16 May, 2019 2:43 pm

Thanks Craig really appreciate the detail you have shared! There is so much to take in. Will watch the market over the next few months and see what prices and condition is like. I guess given the various conditions it is hard to give a price range.

Just some questions:

(1) Where is the best place to look? I've been looking at Gumtree and eBay

(2)I'm confused by W108 models for example I think I have seen a 280SE that is an inline 6 and one that is a V8. Is there a list of models or a guide?

I think ideally I would like v8 W108, I guess that is a 280SE? I will watch the market ..

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Re: Prices for a W109

Post by CraigB » Thu 16 May, 2019 4:54 pm

They are a lot thinner on the ground than they used to be but yes gumtree etc. There is no doubt the V8 280SE 3.5 is a good second best to the W109 and they do exist as long wheelbase too, but much rarer ie. 208SEL 3.5. There is no doubt that the air suspension is something special but the market seems to have picked up on that and hence the prices. Good 108 3.5's have sold at shannons auctions (ie. real sales and not dreamer asking prices) around $30k but appear to be very nice 'nothing to do' cars. That's still going to be cheaper than buying a roughie and doing engine/trans/rust/paint/interior. But I am pretty sure last year there were a couple of cars needing work that were around $10k or so and there was discussion on here. You really need to have them looked at though by someone who knows - definitely don't buy sight unseen on what appears to be a bargain car. As i recall this guy was Sydney and car in Perth looked good in photos but when checked out had major issues.

You don't have in your profile where you are, but gumtree in NSW has what they describe as a running 'good solid car' for 11.5k - if its what they say it is, that's probably not too bad.

All these cars have risks though eg. you might think the heads just need valve guides and then pull them and find they are corroded and stuffed. Getting much harder to find good heads full stop, let alone at a good price. And it is the same story for the 6's. But they can be good and give long trouble free life.

And i think wikipedia is probably the easiest summary. Yes both 280SE but the v8 usually is referred to as '3.5'.

And was just scanning back over the previous posts and i think AMG/Joe has made an error - not often that happens (unlike me!). He has referred to the 280SEL 3.5 as entry 109 - its being a bit pedantic but my understanding is that its the air suspension that is common and unique to 109 and the coil sprung sel's in V8 or 6 are 108. But i could be wrong!
Craig Baulderstone
280s's
280SE3.5
280SL Ruby
300TE Otto
350SL Gloria
350SLC Lurch
450SEL Boris
500SEC's...including Syd
560SEL's Foufou and Zac

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AMG
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Re: Prices for a W109

Post by AMG » Thu 16 May, 2019 5:33 pm

Just model designation Craig and relative spec (options) compared to the 300 and 6.3 I did not mean "entry level" as in no airbags.

I was referring to the model typ109 package base spec and the optional Stuff like factory aircon etc etc and headrests and all that 3 digit code befuddlement that makes option plate snobs weak at the knees.

Happy to be corrected if wrong. I did not mean it as a derogatory comment, just the model designation "base specification" level differences.

regardless, finding a 109 - unless some miracle is performed, it's not going to reveal itself.

I never thought about a 108, simply because OP said 109 (LWB) model, so instantly I thought about LWB126 and ignored the w116 (oops).

My biggest bugbear with all of these vehicles is the hidden rust. sills, jacking points, rear tubs, deck lid etc.... all those "hidden gems" just waiting to jump out and hit you where it hurts.

And you are far more experinced in the most recent cost comparisons on refinishing these than I am. I haven't (and won't be again) worked on a refinishing project for the forseeable future. I just don't have the space.

:dontknow:


yeah if I could find a rust-free 116 450SEL, I'd reckon that would be nice. I am not sure about a 6.9 with the hydropneumatic suspension, as nice as it is, is costly to maintain.

My heart is still with a lwb 126.039
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Classic 4sp auto Ardennes Green "Oswald"
2012 E63 AMG Speedshift MCT Diamantweiß "Klaus"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"

CraigB
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Re: Prices for a W109

Post by CraigB » Fri 17 May, 2019 1:04 pm

I'm with you on the 126.039 and others must be too and hence price differential to the 450, but the 450 is a lot of car and especially for the asking money of most.

And i am with you on all the other comments - I was just being pedantic that all the coil sprung cars being 108 vs all air 109 - you have to scratch your heads sometimes on the designations but I am sure it was all very clear to someone at MB at the time.

Finding good cars is the issue though and yet for many (most?) when these discussions on value are raised, they will stick to a narrow range of what something is worth and base it on an advert of a sight unseen car, or a sale where they are not familiar with the detail of the particular car. Once it is up on a hoist, door trims off etc etc. Only then do you get the real answer of what the difference in cost is between that car and a good car. Of course you can get lucky but that unknown band of costs between the purchase of a car and getting it to a good and safe car is really where the real value lies. The few cars i have sold over the years, I spend huge hours trying to get the car 'right', mainly because i don't want people to get surprises, and a few of these sort of cars have come up on here (like a recent w126 280) and the prices seem higher than market (tell him he's dreaming territory) but if you look at the hours put into it and the years of 'not' spending money after purchase - the real winner in these deals is the buyer.

Anyway, point being, focus more on costs of what needs to put a car right and getting a good handle on that, than the price being asked.
Craig Baulderstone
280s's
280SE3.5
280SL Ruby
300TE Otto
350SL Gloria
350SLC Lurch
450SEL Boris
500SEC's...including Syd
560SEL's Foufou and Zac

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