1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Roadster
Chassis no. 113044.10.010031
Engine no. 130983.10.003945
2,778cc SOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Bosch Mechanical Fuel Injection
170bhp at 5,700rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
*Matching numbers example
*Factory equipped with desirable 4-speed manual transmission
*Largely original and preserved condition
*Accompanied by extensive history file, books and tools
*Documented by copies of the Mercedes-Benz factory build sheets
The Mercedes-Benz 280SL
"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, it's 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 280SL's 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 280SL's essential user friendliness broadened its appeal beyond the traditional sports car enthusiast market, and many celebrities and film stars owned 280SLs.
The last of a popular and extremely successful line begun with the 230SL of 1963, the Mercedes-Benz 280SL was introduced in 1967 powered by a new 2.8-liter six-cylinder engine that produced 170bhp, 20 horsepower more than the preceding 250SL. The 280SL's 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 predecessor. Christened 'pagoda top' after their distinctive cabin shape, these SL models were amongst the best-loved sports-tourers of their day and are today increasingly sought after by collectors.
The Motorcar Offered
Built at the Stuttgart Mercedes-Benz factory during March and April of 1969, this fine 280SL left the factory much as it appears today. Equipped with the rare and highly desirable four-speed manual floor shift transmission, this "Pagoda" was finished in the popular DB670 Light Ivory color and trimmed in delicious Cognac MB-Tex. Further equipped with power steering, beige soft top, radio, and white wall tires, the 280SL was destined for the US market.
The extensive history file offered with the car attests to the meticulous care and maintenance afforded to it by prior owners. It appears that the Pagoda has been in the care of devoted collectors for many years, and has been kept in good, largely original order, never needing a full restoration. The 280SL was shown at Concours events in the early 1990s, and later, at 71,000 recorded miles, received some engine work. Since 2004, the car has been owned by an East Coast Mercedes-Benz dealer, and has been proudly displayed in his dealership showroom for nearly a decade a testament to the car's quality presentation.
Now displaying fewer than 86,000 miles on its odometer, a figure that is documented by the car's many service receipts and is believed to be original, this authentic 280SL retains its matching-numbers original engine and factory installed 4-speed manual gearbox. Its Light Ivory paint might in fact be the original coat though this has not been confirmed. A contrasting hardtop is neatly finished in a dark green color, with matching hub caps, giving the 280SL a distinctive and tasteful look. These details date back many years, and are believed to have been carried out by the car's original owner.
Displaying excellent panel gaps, this 280SL is reported to have been spared from any noteworthy accident or rust damage, and has benefitted from having been rust-protected years ago. In largely original and unrestored condition, this fine Mercedes-Benz has that outstanding quality feel so indicative of the marque. Accompanied by a substantial history file, an original owner's manual, service books and tools, this must be considered one of the most desirably optioned examples of the legendary Pagoda-top 280SL.