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Less is More: Edward Anderson’s Mercedes 280SE


Photos via Ron Rauto@RonRauto
Stepping foot onto the warm beaches of California with the blazing sun pounding overhead, Edward Anderson was deep in thought. Having left his prized Mercedes back home in Australia when he moved to America, the sane solution for Edward was to replace it. with another Mercedes! Mercedes-Benz-280SE-AccuAir-ELevel-E-Level-AirSociety-007After many tedious hours of searching through dealer lots, Craigslist ads, eBay auctions and tons of other dead ends, Edward finally struck gold, laying his hands on a single owned 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SE; a car he always admired for its sleek and vintage euro styling.Mercedes-Benz-280SE-AccuAir-ELevel-E-Level-AirSociety-006After a year and 15,000 miles of flawless daily driving, the Benz had proven itself reliable to Edward. Wanting to now turn heads along coastal 101 cruises, the project began.Mercedes-Benz-280SE-AccuAir-ELevel-E-Level-AirSociety-004The first thing on the list was to make her shine, so the Benz was dropped off a body shop specializing in classic Mercedes-Benzes for a complete overhaul. The original chrome accent pieces and door panels were all removed and the bodywork began. Returning the 280SE to its former OEM Anthracite 172 green glory.Mercedes-Benz-280SE-AccuAir-ELevel-E-Level-AirSociety-008The perfectly intact and original two-tone cream leather interior was left untouched. Fully loaded with working power windows and ice-cold air conditioning, Edward’s Mercedes’ interior needed only a light conditioning. Mercedes-Benz-280SE-AccuAir-ELevel-E-Level-AirSociety-010In-car-entertainment is provided by a single, dash mounted radio which rarely sees action as Edward prefers listening to the purr of the mechanically fuel injected 6 cylinder, 2.8L power plant that drives this old gal.Mercedes-Benz-280SE-AccuAir-ELevel-E-Level-AirSociety-002A set of brand new, vintage Mercedes hand cap wheels were sourced and polished by hand and were paired up with a set of Fisk1 white-walled tires to complete that classic vintage look.Mercedes-Benz-280SE-AccuAir-ELevel-E-Level-AirSociety-009Wanting to make the car stand out yet keep a level of practicality for daily driving meant there was only one solution: air suspension. Universal Air Suspension Air House bags were swapped in the rear and Slam Specialty RE-5 bags mounted on custom brackets help the front of this Benz sit 7 inches lower than stock. Mercedes-Benz-280SE-AccuAir-ELevel-E-Level-AirSociety-005A 5-gallon air tank filled via twin ViAir compressors connected through 3/8″ lines to an AccuAir VU-4 manifold all managed under the watchful eye of an AccuAir E-Level management setup reinforce the quality that Edward had in mind when he started this build. Mercedes-Benz-280SE-AccuAir-ELevel-E-Level-AirSociety-011Edward would like to thank Dan Davis at Five Star Automotive for keeping the Benz running smooth and sitting low, Eric and Alex from SoCal Suspension for fabbing up the wicked bag set up, Ron Rauto for photographing this beauty and finally Phil at Classic German-British.

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