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In the Black: Well Bought '84 280E AMG 5-Speed

As we often strive for fresh listings and original content, we probably don’t feature cars on the prominent auction sites as much as we could. That’s not to say the options for features are abundant but typically the cars we like to discuss are shared hundreds of times and if you’re anything like us, we enjoy a sense of variety. That being said, a very cool W123 traded hands this week through Bring A Trailer and it’s something we thought would make for a decent discussion. This Euro-Spec 1984 280E AMG 5-Speed sold this week for $28,000 with 115k miles and some Pre-Merger love under the hood.

Finished in Black (040) this 280E sure looks the part at first glance. From the European-market bumpers and rectangular headlamps to the AMG aprons, side skirts, and aftermarket rear trunk spoiler this is about as menacing as any W123 sedan could look. Noted flaws mentioned included dents on the hood, a ding on the driver’s fender trim strip, rust bubbles on the trailing edge of the driver’s door, and corrosion on the front spoiler attachment points (which is fairly common on these cars). The exterior AMG accessories are nicely complimented by the five-spoke 15″ AMG Penta wheels finished in silver with black Mercedes-style center caps which we’d love to see swapped out for AMG branded caps. Although not our recommendation for rubber, they’re wrapped in Uniroyal Tiger Paw tires that were recently balanced before the auction.

The cabin, finished in Black MB Tex (151), has held up nicely over the years and boasts matching carpets and original wood all in great shape. An AMG 4-spoke steering wheel is prominently displayed in place of the original, which really helps complete the overall look and feel of this 280E. In a perfect world, we’d love to see the seats and floor mats upgraded to AMG optional spec but given the current value, that‘s a solid commitment for any owner that might just pay a solid dividend down the road.

The M110 2.8-liter straight-six was reportedly modified by AMG in Affalterbach, Germany with upgraded camshafts. Originally this engine would have been rated around 185hp with the cams adding 10-20hp over that. It’s not a large difference but this car is all about finding the sweet spot in the rev band. Couple the three pedal Getrag engagement with the sweet sound of a tightly wound M110 straight six and we can assure you, you won’t be thinking about a lack of power.

At the 28k sale price, we feel the buyer made a solid purchase and although it wasn’t a “steal” by market standards, it wasn’t a bad buy. Most onlookers will bring up a lack of paperwork and some minor changes that could be made to the car cosmetically but this car's well known in the pre-merger space and is certainly difficult to replicate as is. We hope given the condition and mileage, this car will be driven as intended as it heads to its new home in Houston, Texas. We wish the buyer best of luck and trust a series of new memories will be made behind the AMG steering wheel.



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