The Mercedes-Benz 280 is a Bulletproof Beauty


Where is the beauty in an object if it isn’t functional? About forty years ago, Mercedes-Benz set out to re-establish their reputation. Unfotunately, Benz had developed an infamy for underpowered engines and questionable ability. With the W114/115 chassis and particularly the brand-new M110 engine, Mercedes was on the offensive. The “new generation” of Benzes debuted in 1968, designed by Paul Bracq.

But for Bernard Bredehorn and his 1972 Mercedes-Benz 280S/8, the W114 holds personal memories. His grandparents lived quite far away had a W116 280SE (the predecessor of today’s Sonderklasse, or ‘S’pecial-class).  He fondly remembers the mechanical noises and sensations he experienced while playing in the rear footwells. His experience with this car, however, was anything but easy going. For a long time this car sat in a friend’s garage awaiting restoration and Bredehorn only saw it when he returned home during school breaks. Each time he returned to it, he had to exhume it from the piles of junk sitting atop the neglected 280.

Finally he was able to take the car apart, do the body work, and get it running even though it turned into a race against his child’s birth and the coming winter…