The interior has aged exceptionally well.
The saying “they don’t make them like they used to” may not always be true, but this model comes from an era that cemented Mercedes’ reputation of building rock-solid cars. Nearly half a century later, this 280E can still hold its own on the Autobahn among modern cars, effortlessly cruising at respectable speeds despite its venerable age.
The folks over at TopSpeedGermany on YouTube are known for taking cars – both old and new – on unrestricted sections of the glorious highway to push them to their limits. It’s the W114’s turn to show whether it still has what it takes decades after leaving the assembly line. Details about the car are not provided, but it might have been subjected to a recent restoration given the absence of the interior door panel on the driver’s side.
Speaking of the interior, the cabin has aged exceptionally well if you ignore the missing door card. We’d probably get rid of the aftermarket radio and search for an OEM unit, but those can be hard to find and pricey. On second thought, we might not need a radio at all as the appealing sound delivered by the straight-six 2.7-liter engine is music to our ears.
Codenamed M110, the engine developed a respectable 185 horsepower and 176 pound-feet (239 Newton-meters) of torque back in the day, helping the luxury sedan complete the 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) run in 9.9 seconds before topping out at 124 mph (200 km/h). This car’s speedometer climbs all the way up to nearly 137 mph (220 km/h), so it’s either too optimistic or someone tweaked the engine.
Regardless of whether the speedometer is accurate or not, let’s just admire how stable and smooth the car feels at such a relatively high speed. There are plenty of new cars available today that can’t reach those velocities, let alone feel so refined at full tilt. The video is a reminder of why the Mercedes badge is sought after, even though some would argue the brand has lost some its prestige by downsizing to sell compact cars in order to chase volume.