Forerunners to the S-Class, the W108 Mercedes were introduced in 1965. The fins of the predecessor W111 cars were eliminated, and the overall appearance was smoother, more sophisticated. Initially powered with six-cylinder engines a V8 engine was made available in 1970. By 1972, the W108/109 cars were well into advancing years. Development of the successor W116 range was well along, and its introduction came during the year. Engines, however, were carried over, and the series designations updated accordingly.
Although W108 sales worldwide reached nearly 383,000, the 280SE 4.5 achieved fewer than 14,000, making it fairly rare in today’s collector market. They were the last team-built cars at Daimler-Benz, aside from the current AMG variants, and they exhibit the build quality expected from a hands-on assembly team. They were also the last with stacked headlamps.
This 280 SE 4.5 =the typical modern amenities: electronic fuel injection, power disc brakes, power steering, power windows, air conditioning, sunroof and full leather interior.
Showing well today having been subject to a recent restoration it still possesses the elegant and understated presence it did when it was new. More than capable of keeping up with today’s traffic, then as now it is surely one of the most pleasurable and luxurious ways to move about town and country.