1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Hardtop Convertible
Registration no. MFL 206H
Some cars don't change, they just get better. The Mercedes-Benz 280SL, latest version of a line that began as the 230SL in 1963, is the same as ever, just better, concluded Road & Track after testing a 280SL in 1968. For those who value engineering finesse and high quality construction, its alone in the field, enthused the highly respected American motoring magazine, while its manufacturer considered the 280SL, a Grand Tourer in the traditional sense and a unique combination of sports car performance and saloon car comfort (a Mercedes-Benz saloon naturally).
These attributes help explain the 280SLs phenomenal success, particularly in the all-important North American market where the optional automatic transmission was considered an essential feature by the majority of customers. The fact that it looked like sex on wheels helped enormously too, of course. The 280SLs essential user friendliness broadened its appeal beyond the traditional sportscar-enthusiast market; many celebrities and film stars owned 280SLs, and only a few years ago Bonhams sold that belonging to Oscar-nominated actress Leslie Ann Warren.
The last of a popular and extremely successful line begun with the 230SL of 1963, the Mercedes-Benz 280SL was introduced in 1967. The new 2.8-litre six-cylinder engine produced 180bhp, 30 horsepower more than the preceding 250SLs. The 280SLs 120mph top speed was no greater but it was significantly quicker off the mark, its 0-60mph time of 10 seconds being a whole second better than its predecessors. Christened pagoda top after their distinctive cabin shape, these SL models were amongst the best-loved sports-tourers of their day and remain highly sought after by collectors.
Finished in blue with cream interior, this example has the automatic transmission option and comes complete with hardtop. The car is offered with current road fund licence and MoT to May 2007.