1972 Mercedes Benz 280 SEL 4.5, Factory air-conditioning, 4.5L, All Power

Price: - Item location: Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
  • Make: Mercedes-Benz
  • Model: 200-Series
  • SubModel: 280SEL 4.5
  • Type: Sedan
  • Trim: 280SEL 4.5
  • Year: 1972
  • Mileage: 23,649
  • VIN: 10806812013973
  • Color: Gray
  • Engine size: 4.5L M117 SOHC V8 Engine (195 hp)
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Black
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1972 Mercedes-Benz 200-Series 280SEL 4.5

1972 Mercedes Benz 280 SEL 4.5 Description

1972 Mercedes Benz 280SEL 4.5

Gray exterior and black leather interior Powerful 4.5L M117 SOHC V8 Engine (195 hp) Three-speed automatic transmission Factory air-conditioning Power steering, brakes and windows and rear defroster

Many original components, a solid chassis and relatively presentable cosmetic pieces make this 1972 Mercedes-Benz 280SEL 4.5 a worthy restoration project, brought to you by MotoeXotica Classic Cars.

The previous owner, a Mr. Erdos of Holly, Michigan, bought the car a year ago from a neighbor who had stored it in his garage for many years. The seller changed the spark plugs before selling it and the car runs but it will take more restoration efforts to get it to a Mercedes-Benz level of roadworthiness. This example came from the factory with the following options – central locking system, U.S. trim, Becker AM/FM stereo, Thermoking air-conditioning, power windows and green, heat-insulating glass, with rear defroster.

The Mercedes-Benz W108 and W109 vehicles equipped with the 4.5L SOHC cast-iron block m117 V-8 were produced, starting in early 1971, with the 280SE 4.5. The 4.5 engine was released by MB initially for the North American market, to get around the tougher emissions standards without killing the engine output and performance of the 3.5L engine. The m117 4.5 is very similar to the 3.5, with a 30 mm taller stroke. The heads also received larger combustion chambers, lowered compression to 8.8:1 or 8.0:1, depending on engine variation and production date. Power was 230 or 200 horsepower in Europe, depending on compression but 195 horsepower for North America. The D-Jet EFI system was tuned further for the 4.5, with a specific ECU that gave a 10 percent full-throttle enrichment. This (along with a taller rear-end gear) allowed the 4.5 to achieve similar efficiency to the 3.5, yet more power on full throttle. The 3.5 and 4.5 are so similar that 3.5 heads can fit directly on a 4.5 with no modifications for a roughly 11:1 compression ratio!

Believed to have been repainted in its original gray, the paint is in fair shape, with some blemishes visible. Most of the glass is clear and intact but the driver’s sideview mirror glass is on the console and the rear window and rear passenger side glass carry aftermarket tinting. The radio aerial is missing but most of the chrome trim is in one piece and serviceable.

The interior is almost 100 percent original, with the exception of a Pioneer AM/FM stereo with CD player and at least four speakers installed in the doors and rear package shelf. The right front passenger headrest is missing but the black leather seats are in good condition, the dashboard is crack-free and its VDO gauges work as designed while the door panels, headliner, the large steering wheel, gearshift lever and upholstery are in decent condition overall. Driver assist features include power steering and power brakes.

The 108 and 109 Chassis Mercedes-Benz vehicles with the 4.5L m117 V-8 are still, to this date, sought after by many people who owned one in the early 1970s (or who had a family member or friend with one). Also, many people who live in Europe are buying rust-free examples from the USA and shipping them back to Europe. The 4.5 wasn’t offered in Europe at the time, and it has a possibly stronger following than the 3.5 in Europe. In 1971, the 280 SEL 4.5 sedan was available at the same time as the regular-length 3.5 sedan. The almost four-inch (10-centimeter) difference gave the rear-seat passengers additional space to stretch their legs, a plus on longer journeys. This 4.5-liter engined long sedan outsold the 3.5-liter version by three-to-one in 1971 and the following year, the more powerful version was the choice of more than 6,000 customers while only about 500 people chose the lesser car. Production in 1971-1972 totaled 8,173 units.

Competition to this Mercedes-Benz in 1972 included Jaguar’s XJ6 4.2L, BMW’s 3.0 S and the Bentley T.


This car is currently located at our facility in St. Louis, Missouri. Current mileage on the odometer 23,649 miles. It is sold as is, where is, on a clean and clear mileage exempt title.


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